Amtrak To Carry Fresh Produce

Published online: Nov 19, 1999
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In efforts to shore up finances, Amtrak will start carrying fresh fruits and vegetables on its long-distance passenger trains, tapping a big cargo market largely lost by railroads to trucks.

Freight railroads once handled a large share of the fresh fruits and vegetables but after the interstate highway system was built, trucks took over because they could travel faster and offer fresher produce.

The move by the national passenger railroad, which is partially funded by Congress, will allow it to tap into the produce shipments in the United States valued at more than $100 billion a year to rail.

However, it appears potato produce could be left out of the deal as only produce from California to the Midwest, Northeast and to Florida will be hauled.