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C-C-Cold Train adds c-c-containers

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The Cold Train, that refrigerated (achoo!) choo-choo that hauls fruit and produce to points east from Quincy, has nearly doubled its capacity in the last couple of months.

So the outfit tooted its own horn last week with a slick little fact sheet that was chock-full of info. Some tidbits:

• The Cold Train, loaded with local produce, rolls out of Quincy six days a week from the Port of Quincy’s Intermodal Terminal.

• The train provides refrigerated shipping service to 10 Midwest and East Coast states or regions: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New England, Georgia and Florida.

• Back in 2010, the operation started with 70 high-tech Hyundai refrigerated containers, each of them 53-feet long. In the following year, Cold Train added 120 cars. It added another 100 cars just this past October and November.

• Each container (in photo) can hold 42,500 pounds of cargo. The interior measures 3,478 cubic feet. You can stack two containers to ride the rails, and three containers to store them in terminals.

• Frozen products ship at a chilly minus-10 degrees. Temperatures for fresh fruit and produce vary slightly: apples at 34 to 36 degrees, onions at 35 degrees, potatoes at 42 degrees.

• Cold Train uses less fuel to haul more cargo than long-haul trucks, says BNSF Railway. Hauling a container by Cold Train reduces the shipment’s carbon footprint by 52 percent when compared hauling the same cargo by truck.

• Depending on rail traffic and weather, the trip east takes about three to four days to Chicago and maybe a week to, say, Miami Beach. All our apples want to go to Miami Beach, don't they?