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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Short lines jump on 'Jersey Express' to lure coast-to-coast perishables shippers


During the past few years, Class Is have introduced joint perishable services between the East Coast and West Coast, including CSX Transportation's Express Lane offering with Union Pacific Railroad. Now, two short lines have partnered to offer a similar joint, coast-to-coast service.

Raritan Central Railway L.L.C. and the Modesto & Empire Traction
Co. (M&ET) recently launched The Jersey Express, offering transportation and distribution services between Edison, N.J., and Modesto, Calif., for perishables and food grade products.

Raritan Central Railway expects the service to lure food shippers to the Raritan Center Industrial Park in Edison, which offers more than 300 rail-car spots; switching, warehousing and third-party logistics services; and one-day truck transit times to all major metropolitan markets, including Washington D.C., and Boston. M&ET plans to use The Jersey Express to market its warehousing and switching services to California food growers, packers and distributors shipping product to the East Coast.

To provide the service, the short lines will use CSXT and Norfolk Southern Railway connections in the east, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe and UP connections in the west.

"At this time, we are focusing on a BNSF-CSXT move [for shippers] that consolidate truck traffic into box cars for shipments to the East Coast," says Eyal Shapira, president of 16-mile Raritan Central Railway, 25-mile Pennsylvania & Southern Railway L.L.C. and five-mile New Jersey & Northern Railway L.L.C.

Jeff Stagl

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/28/2004