new member looking for knowledge is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


New Member
My question is 'Why would you ever want the same rule 11 party to be used for different BL segments in a waybill?'

First a little background for this question. I am a programmer that helps build and maintain rating and billing software that is used extensively by shortline railroads. I never had railroading experience and i have picked up what i have over the last couple of years by fixing and maintaining this software. I have been reading Ed's posts on the business side of railroads. (amazing thank you Ed. i felt like i found a pot of gold when I stumbled upon them, It's one thing to work from a Specification when writing this stuff but to understand the reasons why, makes life so much easier. So i big thank you!). I wish i had found your posts a couple of years ago!


Ed Sand

General Idiot
Thanks Rob, glad you've found them helpful.

In answer to your question, keep in mind the main purpose behind Rule 11 is to keep the different railroads in each of the different break points/children (BL segments in 426 speak) clueless as to what the rates are in each child segment. The freight payor then negotiates a rate for each segment thinking he can get a better deal by negotiating with each railroad individually rather than simply relying on his originating carrier to give him one through rate.

So, in short, you often will find the freight payor/Rule 11 party is the same more often than not. Common exceptions are when consignments move through a broker, lumber most commonly, but also grain and other commodities. In this case the Rule 11 is being used because you've got different people paying the freight rather than one payor trying to keep the rates he's getting secret from the other roads.

For example, a carload of peanut oil moves Atlanta to Seattle on a shipper on CSX to a consignee on the UP. If he calls CSX for a through rate CSX is going to a) try and maximize their proportion and b) not really spend much time investigating other rate combinations. So, suppose this shipper also knows he can get a good CSX rate to Memphis and a good BNSF rate to Denver and also a good rate on the UP from Denver to Seattle. The total of all this is less than the through rate from CSXT.

He then sets a waybill for a CSXT MEMPH BNSF DENVR UP route with breakpoints of MEMPH BNSF and DENVR UP. He'll get three freight bills, of course, one from each road, but he'll show as the R11 party in each BL.

Hope this helps. Feel free to shoot me an email or call if you have more questions.


New Member
Thanks Ed,

it's great reading your examples of why Rule 11 is used. I have had the hardest time understanding it's concept never mind writing software for it. Your answer makes a lot of sense.

thanks again

Rob is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)