Good Fruit Grower

December 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 81 of 95

The Cold Train Since early in 2010, more produce—including apples— has been hauled east by rail. by Richard Lehnert partnership to move fruit by rail has been going gangbusters this past year and is now sending about 800 refrigerated containers a month from Washington and Oregon to 19 eastern states and the Canadian province of Ontario—and it's gearing up to do more. Much of the cargo is produce, frozen and fresh, fruits and vegetables on 53-foot containers that can be placed on trucks and rail. Half of that is fruit moving from Quincy, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, to Chicago and then on to other destinations. The fruit includes pears and sweet cherries, but 80 percent of the fruit are apples. The Cold Train freight program is a partnership involving Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which provides the rail service; Rail Logistics, which provides the containers; and the Port of Quincy. Patrick Boss, who works for the Port of Quincy and Rail Logistics-Cold Train, hopes the business boom will continue. Some growth resulted from demand for Washington apples needed to replace nearly 40 million bushels A eastern growers did not produce because of widespread freezes in the spring of 2012. But the eastern apple crop this year is large and is just coming to market. Last year's eastern crop failure opened markets for more than just fresh market apples packed in boxes. There was demand for apples to make juice and other processed products. "Before last year, western growers hadn't really connected in a significant way with the juice and applesauce makers in the East," Boss said. No bins "This year, they also found they could ship such apples in bulk. They were using potato pilers to load apples into containers," he said. "This took bin weight out of the load and eliminated the need for bin return." The containers each hold 42,500 pounds of cargo. In September, Cold Train announced it was bumping up its fleet to more than 400 Hyundai 53-foot refrigerated containers, adding new destinations on the East Coast, and adding Toronto, Ontario, to its list. In 2010, Rail Logistics, based in Overland Park, Kansas, started the Cold Train Express Intermodal Service in cooperation with the Port of Quincy and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. The Cold Train part of the name refers to the sealed, refrigerated containers that are loaded with produce and hauled by semi trucks to be loaded, double deep, onto well cars that are then connected to a train. The "well" allows the containers to sit close to the rails and keep a low center of gravity when containers are stacked. It often is educated. It often has jobs. It often has homes. And with 1 in 6 people in the region facing hunger, it may even look like your friend or neighbor. Second Harvest's free food helps neighborhood food banks and meal programs feed more people. You can help. Donating your surplus or unsaleable products can be a cost-effective solution for you and benefit your community. Please contact Second Harvest to learn more. Donation examples: "Second Harvest has been a pleasure to work with and we love knowing that our fruit can be used for such honorable community efforts." 82 DECEMBER 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - December 2013