Loading Authority (OT-5)

The Loading Authority (OT-5) system provides a centralized, paperless process for submitting and approving Loading Authority (OT-5) applications. A web-based communication system, it facilitates the potential placement of private freight equipment at specified loading locations on a railroad.

For rail equipment to be approved for potential loading, you must submit a Loading Authority (OT-5) application to the linehaul carrier for the loading location, as specified in the Association of American Railroads' OT-5 Circular, effective since 2009. Railroads must approve Loading Authority (OT-5) applications before private railcars can be placed in service on the North American rail network. 

The controlling entity (railcar owner or lessee) or its representative is responsible for submitting a Loading Authority (OT-5) application. The application is sent to the relevant Class I railroad, which reviews and approves or rejects the application within 45 days.

Getting Started with the Loading Authority (OT-5) System

If you are new to the Loading Authority (OT-5) system, here is how to get access:

  1. Register for a reporting mark or Railinc Company ID using the Railinc Onboarding Application. There is a one-time setup charge for registering a company ID with Railinc. If you already have a reporting mark or Railinc Company ID, you do not need to register again.

  2. Go to www.railinc.com and create a Railinc Single Sign-On (SSO) by clicking “Need to Register” in the Customer Login box at the top right of the page. If you have a Railinc SSO already, you do not need to register again.

  3. After you have created a SSO ID, use it to log in at www.railinc.com and request permission to access Loading Authority (OT-5) as a Submitter.

After you receive an email from Railinc confirming approval of your permission request, you may log in to www.railinc.com with your Railinc SSO and use the Loading Authority (OT-5) system.

Loading Authority (OT-5) resources are available to download, including the User Manual and an FAQ document.

Working with the Loading Authority (OT-5) System

View the demo below to learn how to create an application in Loading Authority (OT-5) and refer to the User Manual for details.


View the demo below to learn how to view and approve an application and export a report in Loading Authority (OT-5).


View the demo below to learn how to expire an application and remove equipment in Loading Authority (OT-5).


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