Image credit: Railex
Last week I wrote about the Stobart Refrigerated Train shipping produce from Spain to the UK via the Channel Tunnel, providing an alternative to hybrid trucks or slowing down freight as a means to saving gas. But while it was impressive, commenter Andrew pointed out that the "first-of-its-kind" headline may have been misleading. In fact, four 55 car state-of-the-art refrigerated train have been shipping refrigerated produce from Washington State and California to Albany, NY. The entire operation is incredible. Running 52 weeks a year since October 2006, the Railex trains have undoubdtedly saved a massive amount of gasoline - somewhere in the region of 5 million gallons of fuel and 85 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year per train according to the company's website.
Operating between fully refrigerated, modern loading centers, the trains offer fresh air exchange, GPS tracking and temperature control. Since the service started, the operators claim to have been late only 4 times, and each of these were due to "acts of God like snow or flooding." Check out the two-part Iowa Public Television feature on the Railex train below - it's an impressive operation.
The Fresh Express: Part One
The Fresh Express: Part Two