California Citrus, Celery and Carrots Chill Out Cross-Country in High-Tech Rail Cars
Union Pacific and CSX Transportation Begin New Fresh Produce Train Service Offering More Efficient Service in More Environmentally Friendly Manner
Omaha, Neb., October 06, 2008 California produce today is making a 3,300-mile journey in a train made up entirely of state-of-the-art refrigerated boxcars. Crossing Union Pacific Railroad and CSX Transportation's rail networks, the shipment originating in Delano, Calif., will arrive in Schenectady, N.Y., 128 hours later which meets or beats over-the-road transit times and is more cost efficient.
This new train provides Southern California perishables shippers with both a high-speed and reliable transportation alternative while offering the cost savings that rail provides in moving their goods. While area produce will be the primary product moved to the East Coast by the new train service, other commodities such as cheese and frozen food are also candidates for this type of "express" or expedited service.
The 55-car train is made up of next-generation refrigerated boxcars that are constructed with the most efficient insulation, use an environmentally friendly and energy efficient refrigeration unit and are equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) to monitor the "health" of the refrigeration unit and the temperature inside the rail car.
"This new weekly transportation service for Southern California producers is a competitive shipping option for fresh produce to New York compared to over-the-road transportation and it takes advantage of the environmental benefits of shipping by rail. What is exciting about this new service is that we're carrying produce such as peppers, grapes and celery that we haven't carried in rail cars since they built the Interstate highway system," said John Philp, Union Pacific Railroad, assistant vice president - food and refrigerated products.
Each train carries the same amount of produce and perishable items that would have been moved by more than 200 over-the-road trucks. With the produce moving by rail rather than by truck, 100,000 fewer gallons of diesel fuel are being consumed each time the produce unit train operates. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each of the produce unit trains will reduce CO2 emissions by 85,000 metric tons each year.
Union Pacific operates the train from the new refrigerated warehouse at Delano, about 35 miles north of Bakersfield, to Chicago. The entire train then is "handed off" to CSXT, which operates the train to a refrigerated warehouse at Schenectady.
"We are excited about this new service, which offers customers in the Northeast a fast, reliable and environmentally friendly alternative to cross-country shipping over the road," said Donna Cerwonka, CSX Transportation's director - food and consumer products.
The Delano produce train follows the success of another produce unit-train that operates from Wallula, Wash., to Schenectady that began service in October 2006. The 100th Wallula produce train departed the Railex refrigerated warehouse in Washington state on September 18.
The refrigerated warehouses were built and are managed by Railex, LLC, a division of AMPCO Distribution Services. Railex also coordinates the loading of the refrigerated rail cars in Delano and the unloading and distribution of the perishable products in New York.
About Union Pacific
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America's premier rail franchise.
About CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation Inc. is a principal operating company of CSX Corporation. CSX Corporation, based in Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the leading transportation companies, providing rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services. The company's transportation network spans 21,000 miles with service to 23 eastern states and the District of Columbia, and connects to more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at the company's Web site, www.csx.com.
For more information, contact Mark Davis, Union Pacific, (402) 544-5459 or Gary Sease, CSXT, 1-877-835-5279.
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