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CG Railway Inc. on Friday marked a milestone for its rail ferry service between the United States and Mexico by registering the 1000th vessel sailing.An International Shipholding Corp. subsidiary, CG Railway launched the service in January 2001 with two rail ferrys as a short sea alternative to overland rail routes originating in the eastern United States and terminating in central and southern Mexico. The ferrys travel between Mobile, Ala., and Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. CG Railway expanded the service in 2007 from a single-deck to a double-deck operation, increasing the onboard capacity of each vessel to an average of 115 rail cars."By providing an efficient short sea solution that facilitates trade from the U.S. and Canada to Mexico, the rail ferry provides a unique, high-quality service," said CG Railway Senior Vice President Kevin Wild in a press release. "Our focus remains on providing an economically feasible alternative to traditional routes, and — even as we take a moment to appreciate how far we have come — we eagerly look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead."The rail ferry service targets a variety of goods moving by rail to and from Mexico, including forest products, chemicals, minerals, metals and agricultural products. Beginning in first-quarter 2015, the service will accommodate refrigerated freight, CG Railway officials said. Launched in March 2000, CG Railway interchanges in the United States with Class Is and short lines that serve the Port of Mobile, Ala., including BNSF Railway Co., CN, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, the Alabama and Gulf Coast Railway and TASD Terminal Railway/Alabama State Docks. In Mexico, the short line interchanges with Ferrosur S.A. de C.V., which serves the Port of Coatzacoalcos.
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