3 min read

ABC's of the AAR

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PSC's Steel Line Rail Services has the certifications to meet your needs 

There are many things to consider when selecting a railcar repair service provider. Things like response times, geographic footprint, pricing, and the quality of work, but perhaps the most important is the provider’s certifications. These certifications tell you what they can or, more importantly, cannot do. Thankfully, PSC Group’s Steel Line Rail Services (“SLR”) has the AAR (Association of American Railroads) certifications necessary to keep your cars rolling safely down the track – M-1003 and M-1002 activity codes C5, C6r, C10, and RLJ.


The M-1003 certification signifies that SLR has developed and effectively employed a quality assurance program that meets the requirements of AAR MSRP-J, Specification M-1003. This specification was designed to ensure the safety, interchangeability, and cost-effectiveness of manufactured materials, products, and services. To comply with the 24 elements of the M-1003 specification, tank car facilities must create and utilize a documented quality assurance system that includes policies, procedures, inspection and test plans, work instructions, and quality records.


M-1002 details the technical approval requirements associated with certain activity codes, material groups, repair levels, and service equipment categories. Within M-1002, 18 codes cover the construction, manufacturing, maintenance, assembly, installation, and removal activities that can be performed on tank cars. Each of these activity codes comes with its own requirements that must be met for AAR certification.

  • C5 certification means SLR is authorized to maintain and qualify tank car service equipment (safety relief devices, valves, fittings, closures, and/or instruments) to an AAR-approved design, including maintaining and qualifying the lining and coating.
  • C6r covers removing and replacing tank car service equipment, including leakage tests and modifications.
  • C10 qualification approves SLR to perform maintenance and qualification of interior linings and coatings in tank cars. This includes proper preparation and cleaning, testing of coatings, NDT (non-destructive testing) methods for measuring the thickness of the tank car, as well as repairing to requalify the coating.
  • RLJ designation allows SLR to perform weld repairs to tank car jackets.
  • *In addition to the above, SLR is certified to perform single-car brake testing with automatic brake testing capabilities and to replace/repair qualification markings, stencilings, and the variable identification plate.


With these certifications and its growing mobile fleet, PSC Group’s Steel Line Rail Services can safely perform tasks like valve removals and replacements, gasket replacements, and other critical work wherever your railcars are located – sitting in a storage yard or even at a loading rack. This means fewer days wasting money on bad-ordered cars and the costs to transport them to/from a shop for repairs. If you’re interested in lowering costs in almost every repair situation, contact Micheal Henigan (MHenigan@steellinerail.com) or PSC’s Business Development team (PSC.BD@pscgroup.com) today.