Federated Railways Inc., a Michigan-based company, said today it acquired the company that operates the popular "Cold Train" rail intermodal service linking Pacific Northwest points with U.S. Midwest, East Coast, and Canadian markets for the eastbound movement of fresh produce and frozen foods.
The new unit will be called "Federated Cold Train LLC," and will continue to conduct business as "Cold Train." The unit will maintain its current management team, including President and CEO Steve Lawson. It will also stay in its existing headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., a suburb of Kansas City, Mo. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Federated Railways is an affiliate of Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Federated Capital Corp. The parent's holdings include the Great Lakes Central Railroad Inc., a 400-mile regional railroad that operates just within Michigan.
The Cold Train service was launched in April 2010 from the Port of Quincy in Washington state in partnership with BNSF Railway. Last May, the service was expanded to Portland, Ore. Today, the service links the two Pacific Northwest points with 20 U.S. markets and with Toronto.
Besides the eastbound shipments of produce and frozen items, the service transports frozen and refrigerated products, as well as dry goods, on westbound moves to Washington and Oregon.
The service has attracted the interest of produce shippers looking for either a supplement or an alternative to truck transportation. It has become a valuable asset during winter months when inclement weather can curtail truck deliveries, as well as in the summer periods when available trucks are often hard to come by.
Federated Capital President Louis P. Ferris said the new owner plans to add at least 1,000 53-foot containers to the Cold Train fleet during the next five years, bringing the container fleet to at least 1,400.