L&R Railcar

L&R Railcar Services


Types of Railcars We Clean:

We provide onsite mobile railcar cleaning for several different types of railcars, including: tank cars, hopper cars, boxcars, flat cars, pressure differential (PD) cars, high hazard cars, gondola cars, freight cars, and other general use railcars.

Powerful Steam Cleaning

Our steam cleaning system digs deep to cut through caked on, baked on substances.

Bakken Crude Oil



AFTER STEAMING Ready for Final Clean


AFTER CLEANING Ready for Ethanol

These are just a few of the common services we provide:

  • Mobile Railcar Services
  • Dry & Bulk Car Cleaning
  • Car Stenciling
  • Wheel Inspections
  • Brake Pad Replacement
  • Tanker Car Cleaning
  • Graffiti Removal
  • Light Maintenance
  • Replace Belly and Manway Gaskets
  • Nationwide Service

Contact us to discuss your specific project.

L&R also provides “Clean to Kill” services, allowing for the permanent dismantling and disposal of your railcars or equipment once they have reached the end of their usefulness or service life.  L&R’s personnel possess the experience, training and equipment to assure your equipment is prepared in a safe manner, in accordance with all applicable state and federal regulations.  Safety to our employees, clients and the public are our Number #1 priority.  Please contact us to discuss cost-effective solutions regarding your equipment retirement requirements.

US Map

Some of the products we clean from railcars:


Crude Oil / Petroleum based commodities include:

Used oil, asphalt, gasoline, diesel, ethanol, biodiesel, petrochemicals and others

Sand and Soil products include:

Cement, sand, barite and others

Agricultural Chemical products include:

Nitrogen fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides with some restrictions

Food Grade Products and Commodities include:

Corn, canola, palm, peanut and all other food-grade oils. Flour, wheat, barley, corn and other grain products, and commodities such as sorghum and blackstrap molasses.

Other products such as:

Bulk materials and hazardous products including acids and other high hazard materials


Safety is Priority #1



OSHA • Confined Space • HAZWOPER 20, 40  • PPE •  H2S • SafeLandUSA • First Response Medical

L&R works closely with our clients to determine the most appropriate method of cleaning for each railcar, depending on the commodity being transported. Whether it is orbital nozzle cleaning, steam or high pressure-washing, L&R has a solution for your cleaning needs.

L&R’s Typical Railcar Cleaning Procedure


Prior to car cleaning, all personnel approaching railcars have the proper personal protection including Nomex®, eye protection, boots, hard hat, gloves, H2S monitors and if required a safety harness. L&R also provides a manway watch as a safety precaution.

L&R conducts a general external condition inspection, noting all stenciling including car numbers, certificate dates, placards, weight and measurements. L&R documents all visual observations including dents or dings in the steel tank or components, paint condition, oil staining, grime, residue and graffiti. L&R further document the cars position including all dates and times.


  • L&R documents the railcar with photographs and records all seal numbers and noting any open flanges.
  • L&R crews check tank pressure and begin to safely open manways and valve protection.
  • Crews then begin procedures to allow for safe entry certificate issuance including H2S and LEL readings.
  • Crews visually evaluate the tank interior (lined / unlined) from the open manway or flange.
  • No crew entry is permitted until a confined space certificate is issued.
  • Crews then gauge and calculate the residue (if any) remaining within the car.
  • L&R crews will note the residue condition and sample the residue if necessary.

L&R Cleaning Procedures

  • Once the initial inspections are completed, L&R begins by removing all residual waste material left in the railcar (commonly referred to as “heels”) via vacuum truck. “Heels” are difficult to remove in normal unloading routines, as the railcars have little or no slope to the unloading tube or drain areas. The materials remaining vary in polymerization, melting point, viscosity, density and impurity content. Other factors include the amount of heat applied during unloading or the time since the last cleaning operation.
  • L&R crews with then steam / hot water wash the tank to remove additional bulk residue. The entire interior surface of the railcar is steam cleaned to loosen remaining waste material. L&R’s modern, state-of-the-art equipment assures that breakdowns or malfunctions are minimized or eliminated altogether. By rotating older equipment out of service and replacing it with the latest technologies, L&R can assure that your railcar or other tank cleaning projects are performed on-time, with reduced out-of-service times for your equipment.
  • Following steam / hot water washing, a mechanical or power wash is performed.
  • Crews then squeegee the tank interior.
  • On occasion, a solvent wash may be required (petroleum based or other) at this time.
  • A final detergent wash if required will then be performed. L&R uses the most advanced and powerful green cleaners on the market. Using these proprietary, biodegradable cleaning detergents, L&R crews power wash all surfaces of your equipment, leaving a clean, residue-free surface.
  • Once a final detergent wash is performed, a squeegee and mop dry will be performed if required.
  • L&R crews then clean the exterior of the railcar or tank.
  • Following the cleaning processes, any remaining waste and wastewater residue is collected and extracted from your tank and container.
  • Oily water waste or petroleum-based waste water is processed through our proprietary cleaning system and separated and/or reused (through the manway or BOV).
  • Detergent waste is reused or containerized for proper disposal.
  • L&R will then record all quantities of water, solvents, petroleum and detergent used during the process. Waste is transported and disposed of in accordance with applicable state and federal rules and guidelines and documented for your protection.
  • L&R record all times and procedures used in the cleaning process of your railcar or tank.

L&R Post-Cleaning Procedures

Once L&R has cleaned your railcar or tank, we perform a general visual external condition inspection which includes the following:

  • L&R will photograph and document the car’s position and all dates and times.
  • We will visually inspect the tank interior and note the observed conditions.
  • L&R professionals will note any rust or corrosion damage to lining and document with photographs.
  • At this point, the tank should be clean and completely dry without any evidence of condensation.
  • L&R will perform white rag wipes (including tank interior and accessible flanges) to determine cleanliness.
  • On some railcars, a Black Light (UV) test is required to ensure cleanliness of the cars. L&R will perform this test at this time.
  • L&R then performs a wall and bottom wash test for color or residues (if required).
  • Photos are taken following car/tank cleaning and provided along with the Clean/Quality Certificates.
  • Once the car meets inspection standards, the car will be closed, and seals will be placed on all required components and recorded by photographs and written documentation.
  • Only after the extensive cleaning and inspection process, L&R will issue a Clean Certificate / Quality Certificate.
  • L&R then issues the owner a Final Inspection Report that notates any maintenance issues that should be addressed, a Time Report and photographs.

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L&R environmental stewardship

L&R believes in the protection of our environmental and in keeping with that premise, L&R is committed to protecting your jobsite during the cleaning process. Our employees are highly certified, and our safety equipment is fully maintained in order to provide our clients with the highest level of service and protection. The L&R process requires crews maintain a clean work zone at all times and exceed industry standards.

All water used during the cleaning process (both inside and outside the car) is collected. We do not let contaminants soak into the ground or enter city sewer systems. Wastewater is sent through an industrial water recycling system that filters water under 20 microns for reuse and/or disposal. All waste, contaminants, and wastewater is transported off-site and recycled or properly disposed in accordance with strict state or federal environmental standards.


Additional Services

Carbon steel cars receive a proprietary natural organic rust inhibitor that will not cause contamination with future product.

L&R can also provide light maintenance at the time of cleaning for an additional cost. Please ask for details.

At L&R Railcar Services, we provide the same care, professionalism and abilities for cleaning tank trailers, ICB/Totes, ISO containers, roll-off containers, reefer/box vans and frac tanks as we do for the rail industry.  Let us know how we can assist you with your industrial cleaning needs.

L&R provides solutions to your cleaning and waste needs.

Call us to discuss the many services L&R provides.

L&R Railcar