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2/7/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Small road restores Washington line to divert frozen-food traffic


Palouse River and Coulee City Railroad Inc. (PCC) recently rehabilitated 30 miles of track that had been out of service for more than three years to accommodate a frozen-food shipper, according to the February newsletter of PCC parent Watco Cos. Inc.


Smith Frozen Foods previously shipped freight from Walla Walla, Wash., by trucks, which traveled on rural highways. But by using rail, the company can reduce transportation costs by shipping more product in box cars compared with trucks, and be more competitive east of the Rocky Mountains, said Smith Frozen Foods Logistics Manager Mike Hachquet.


PCC now moves the freight by rail between Weston, Oregon and Walla Walla.


"By working together, Smith's and the PCC have brought value to each other and removed trucks from the highway," said Ed McKechnie, Watco's
director of government affairs.


Smith Frozen Foods plans to annually ship 500 box cars, each carrying about 100,000 pounds of frozen vegetables.


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