Produce shippers that were expecting Burlington Northern Santa Fe to expand rail service to the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma WA this autumn have found those plans have not materialized. They are now attempting to find alternative transportation for fruit, potatoes, and onions.
According to Pat Boss, formerly executive director of the Washington Potato Commission, BNSF had agreed to provide regularly scheduled refrigerated container service to the ports. Boss, who has been working for the Central Washington Alliance for Rail Freight Transportation, said “they pulled the rug out from under us.”
Gus Melonas, a BNSF spokemsman, said no agreement had been made for scheduled, or dedicated, service. “We are discussing the future transportation needs to serve this market,” he said.
Boss said BNSF has mentioned supplying other types of rail service that wouldn’t be on a regular schedule. He said the railway told him it doesn't have enough locomotives and other equipment for the service because of demand elsewhere.