The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is seeking information from railroads and intermodal logistics companies to help determine if the department should revive the the former Washington Produce Rail Car program.
The department last week issued a request for information seeking proposals from parties interested in restoring the program. The deadline for submissions is May 2.
Federal funding may be available to support the program, but input from the freight community will help the department determine if it should pursue such funding, WSDOT officials said in a press release.
"Both the number and quality of submissions is important to this process," said WSDOT Freight Rail Policy and Program Manager Chris Herman. "We'll be looking at the level of demand, as well as assessing the experience of each submitter in managing temperature-controlled fleets and meeting strict service requirements for perishable shipments."
The Produce Rail Car program originally launched in 2006 with federal and state funding. The program was suspended in 2012 when several private companies were expanding in the market.