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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Perishables bear fruit for CSXT's growing Express Lane business


To CSX Transportation, the success of Express Lane now is marked by melons. For the first time in several years, the Class I recently moved honeydew melons, which traveled damage-free from Turlock, Calif., to Hunts Point, N.Y., via Express Lane, CSXT's joint guaranteed perishable service with Union Pacific Railroad.

"Melons are a delicate commodity to ship [and] we proved we can ship them safely, efficiently and in a cost-effective manner," said Ray Schloss, CSXT account manager-merchandise, in a prepared statement.

Perishables are one of CSXT's fastest growing traffic segments: Hunts Point business is up 60 percent compared with three years ago, primarily due to Express Lane, the railroad said.

Through Express Lane, which combines UP's refrigerated box car fleet and West Coast produce-shipper access with CSXT's service to large eastern consumer markets, the Class Is are avoiding interchange-related delays.

CSXT and UP in November 2001 created new traffic blocks moving eastbound between North Little Rock, Ark., and Cincinnati, and westbound between Cincinnati and Pine Bluff, Ark., to eliminate additional switching and reduce transit time 24 hours in each direction.

The Class Is also created two new trains and seven block classifications to focus freight over targeted interchange gateways, and enable shipments to move more quickly through a gateway without handling.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/13/2002