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Michigan rail company to buy Cold Train

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The Cold Train hauls Northwest produce to 20 states in the Midwest and along the east coast.

QUINCY — The Cold Train, the refrigerated railway that delivers Northwest produce and products from here to the east coast, will be sold this month to a Midwest rail company.

Federated Railways, Inc., of Farmington Hills, Mich., announced last week it will buy the Cold Train’s parent company, Kansas-based Rail Logistics, and likely seal the deal by the end of March. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The new subsidiary, called Federated Cold Train, will keep the current management team and staff — including Steve Lawson as president and CEO — along with Cold Train’s headquarters in Overland Park, Kans., and shipping operations at the Port of Quincy and in Portland, Ore.

Port of Quincy spokesman Pat Boss said Federated plans to expand Cold Train’s operations by adding at least 1,000 refrigerated containers to the fleet over the next five years. Since opening in Quincy in 2010, Cold Train’s fleet has grown from 100 to 400 containers, each 53-feet long.

Cold Train now ships refrigerated cargo from the Port of Quincy’s Intermodal Terminal to key distribution hubs in 20 states, mostly in the Midwest, far South and on the East Coast. Cold Train also has regular express service from Washington and Oregon to Toronto.

The rail service also hauls frozen and refrigerated foods and some dry goods back from the Midwest and East Coast to Washington and Oregon.

Federated Railways’ parent company — Federated Capital Corporation — owns a variety of railroad operations, including the Great Lakes Central Railroad, a 400-mile regional railway in Michigan and Federal Railcar, Inc., owner of a fleet of refurbished passenger railcars.

Lawson said Cold Train’s popularity among regional ag producers should increase as fuel prices remain high and regulations increase for the long-haul trucking industry.

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business. follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.