The Cold Train Opens Talks On Expansion

Rail service in Washington state ships Apples to 20 different states and Canada.

Apple industry leaders and officials from the Port of Quincy Intermodal Terminal recently met with Washington State legislators to discuss funding for expanding the Cold Train Express Intermodal Service, a rail service provided by the port. The Cold Train, which was launched in 2010 by Kansas-based Rail Logistics, ships both fresh and frozen produce via a fleet of more than 400 refrigerated containers.

At a special work session of the Washington State House Transportation Committee on January 15th in Olympia, committee members and industry and port officials highlighted the cost benefits and efficiencies of the Cold Train, which ships apples from Washington State on BNSF tracks to 20 states in the Midwest, to the East Coast and to one Canadian province.

Cole Jessup, one of the Washington apple shippers who testified before the committee, said one of the industry’s goals of the session was to lobby legislators to expand the rail, warehousing and loading facilities at the Port of Quincy.

“We tried to emphasize to the committee the importance of the rail system,” Jessup said. “In the winter, if Washington State mountain passes are closed, rail can sometimes be the only viable option for shippers. When cherry season heats up in the summer, it can be hard to find trucks. Rail is a nice safety valve."

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