Side view of a typical RailBox boxcar.
RailBox Company (reporting marks ABOX, RBOX, TBOX, FBOX), founded in 1974, was an effort to address a perceived boxcar shortage in the United States in the 1970s. Under the routing rules in effect at the time, cars owned by operating companies were supposed to be routed back to their owning road as soon as possible or the host road would have to pay demurrage charges. This was believed to cause a shortage of available cars as empty cars would be routed back instead of being loaded with cargo that took them farther afield.
The main idea behind RailBox, as evidenced by their slogan « Next Load, Any Road! » was that since they were owned by many of the railroads as a cooperative, their boxcars were not subject to load/empty rules and could be used for loads going anywhere in Canada, Mexico and the US where an AAR Plate-C loading gauge is permitted.
RailBox cars are all boxcars and are painted yellow with black doors. Unlike most TTX rolling stock which is usually nondescript with no logo, Railbox cars had a bold graphic side logo, which was a stylised X made of red and blue intertwined arrows to symbolise free flow.
As of 2005, some RailBox cars are still in service but with the decline in general boxcar loadings as a proportion of overall traffic, the reduction of demurrage rates with the decline of the pricing and regulatory influence of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), and the increase in shortlines putting boxcars into the pool, the need for general boxcars has lessened. RailBox (and the similar Railgon Company) are currently subsidiaries of TTX Company.