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Railex hits milestone, set to open new Florida facility

NEW ORLEANS — Railex, which operates weekly unit trains that offer express five-day coast-to-coast service, recently shipped its 1,000th eastbound train and is celebrating its seventh year in business, according to Paul Esposito, executive vice president of network planning and government relations.

Esposito said that 1,000 trains is the equivalent of 142,000 truckloads, and the use of Railex's service helped save over 63 million gallons of diesel fuel and prevented more than 1.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from being pumped into the atmosphere.

"It's a tremendous savings on the environment," he told The Produce News.

Esposito and other Railex officials were on hand at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit convention, here, to promote the planned opening of its new facility in Jacksonville, FL, which is expected to be operational by May or June.

Railex identified the location in Jacksonville in September 2012, said Esposito, and the company has been going through the permitting and scheduling process for the past year, he said.

"It's really an ideal location," said Esposito. "It is on Phillips Avenue at the junction of FEC Railroad, which provides easy accessibility and gives us a rail option to South Florida as well as increases our distribution radius."

Railex began operating in 2006 with service between its headquarters in the Albany, NY, area and a facility in Wallula, WA. In 2008, it added a facility in Delano, CA. The Jacksonville facility is its fourth and will facilitate express shipments to all major Southeast markets, including Atlanta and Miami.

Each of the four facilities offers refrigerated storage space with distinct custom temperature zones that enables it to properly handle the various perishable products, such as produce, seafood, wine, nursery and frozen items.