Amtrak is a step closer to competing with trucks for coast-to-coast refrigerated freight.
ExpressTrak LLC, Amtrak's freight business affiliate, rolled out its first 109 refrigerated rail cars at Ebenezer Railcar Service's shops in West Seneca, N.Y., last week, according to Traffic World.
The cars were rebuilt to handle sustained speeds of 90 mph as they travel behind scheduled Amtrak passenger trains. The refrigerated cars will travel between the East and West coasts in as little as four days, carrying fresh produce, frozen foods and perishables such as meat, poultry and cheese.
Service will begin between Western transloading centers in Los Angeles, Oakland and Bakersfield, Calif., and Eastern transloading centers in Philadelphia, Springfield, Mass., Jacksonville, Fla., Detroit, Toronto and Montreal.
Amtrak To Add Refrigerated Freight
Amtrak announced the program in late 1999; at that time, it said it eventually planned to add 350 refrigerated freight cars and handle nearly 17,000 refrigerated loads a year.