McKay TransCold Launches Refrigerated Boxcar Rail Service Connecting Midwest and West Coast

Additional Food Industry Development Expected at RidgePort Logistics Center

May 12, 2014, 11:36 ET from Ridge Development

WILMINGTON, Ill., May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Ridge Development today announces the official launch of TransCold Express, a hub-to-hub refrigerated boxcar service operated by McKay TransCold that runs bi-directionally between Wilmington, Illinois, and Selma, California. As the first refrigerated boxcar unit train connecting the Midwest and West Coast in over half a century, TransCold Express presents produce growers and meat and dairy producers the opportunity to distribute products more cost-effectively and provides a valuable link to all U.S. destinations.

TransCold Express will operate on BNSF Railway, with cargo being transferred from truck to boxcar through a new refrigerated building operated by National Logistics and Cold Storage (NLCS). McKay TransCold and NLCS are hosting a grand opening on Wednesday, May 21 at the TransCold Express hub in the RidgePort Logistics Center, a 1,500-acre industrial park 40 miles southwest of Chicago. RidgePort Logistics Center is being developed by Ridge Development, the industrial arm of Transwestern Development Co.

"McKay TransCold is dedicated to finding the most efficient and cost-effective transportation methods for its clients," said Randy McKay, CEO of McKay TransCold. "Because TransCold Express connects to transportation hubs on both ends, this service is not point A to point B; it's from point A to anywhere."

TransCold Express will haul products such as vegetables, fruit, cheese and butter from California to the Midwest and carry meat, eggs, cheese, butter, finished goods and dairy creamers westbound. The service takes four days to reach the Midwest from California − the same speed as by truck, but at a significantly lower cost. Depending on the circumstances, a shipper could save between 5 and 15 percent by using the boxcar service versus trucking. TransCold Express is also a more environmentally friendly method of transport, as one boxcar holds the same volume as four trucks, making it four times more fuel efficient.

"BNSF Railway is excited to provide rail service for McKay TransCold's new dedicated refrigerated boxcar unit train between the Chicago area and the Central Valley of California as a supply chain solution to shippers who will benefit by moving fresh and frozen products by rail," said Dave Garin, BNSF group vice president, industrial products. "The advantages to this new opportunity are important and we look forward to offering an attractive alternative for the market."

The NLCS building was uniquely designed for cargo to be transferred between trucks and boxcars. Developed by Ridge Development, the 49,000-square-foot refrigerated facility is approximately 700 feet long, allowing for eight boxcars to be unloaded at once, and only 70 feet wide, providing a minimal transfer distance between the two modes of transportation.

NLCS and McKay TransCold selected the RidgePort Logistics Center for TransCold Express because customers will have expanded transportation and occupancy opportunities in the future as more of the acreage is developed.

"With fresh product coming in on TransCold Express, RidgePort is an ideal location for food processors, baking companies and other food industry firms," said Jim Martell, president of Ridge Development. "The park has a total of 1,500 acres, so there is plenty of room for additional development."

RidgePort is strategically located three miles south of the Interstate 55 Arsenal Road exit that leads to the BNSF Logistics Park-Chicago in Elwood. RidgePort is flanked by more than two miles of BNSF mainline frontage to the west and Interstate 55 to the east. The park would serve as the western terminus of the proposed Illiana Expressway, a toll road that would connect I-55 and I-65 in northern Illinois and Indiana. Located in the Will County Inland Port region, the largest inland container port in North America, RidgePort provides economic incentive packages to qualified companies, has an Enterprise Zone designation and qualifies for a Foreign Trade Zone designation. For more information, visit the RidgePort website at


McKay TransCold (MTC) is a multi-modal 3PL whose core focus is supply chain solutions and transportation sourcing. The flagship service is the TransCold Express. Formed in 2011 specifically to execute the boxcar opportunity with BNSF Railway, MTC is guided by seasoned transportation professionals. Members of executive management range from former large fleet owners to corporate transportation and procurement leaders. Our goal is to offer flexible solutions that are capable of going beyond line haul and executing throughput cost savings.

Our core business focuses are supply chain rail initiatives and over-the-road transportation sourcing, in which we focus on West Coast opportunities through the West Coast Carrier Alliance (WCCA). The WCCA acts as an outsourced load planning platform for both carriers and shippers. Today our network of WCCA partners offers roughly 100 trucks per week of West Coast capacity to our Midwest shippers – primarily in non-rail served areas, such as the Iowa market.


BNSF Railway is one of North America's leading freight transportation companies operating on 32,500 route miles of track in 28 states and two Canadian provinces. BNSF is one of the top transporters of consumer goods, grain and agricultural products, low-sulfur coal, and industrial goods such as petroleum, chemicals, housing materials, food and beverages. BNSF's shipments help feed, clothe, supply, and power American homes and businesses every day. BNSF and its employees have developed one of the most technologically advanced, and efficient railroads in the industry. We work continuously to improve the value of the safety, service, energy, and environmental benefits we provide to our customers and the communities we serve. You can learn more about BNSF at


Ridge Development is the industrial development arm of Transwestern Development Company, a diversified firm with an expertise in all commercial property types. Ridge Development specializes in industrial development and investment in state-of-the-art warehouse, distribution and manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Mexico. Based in Chicago, the company serves North American clients from six U.S. offices and one office in Monterrey, Mexico. The Transwestern Development and Ridge Development teams have developed, constructed and managed more than 138 million square feet of industrial and distribution space.


Transwestern Development Company is a diversified business with expertise and experience in all commercial property types. The firm executes projects through a variety of venture and contract structures and has been creating commercial landmarks for itself, its partners and valued customers throughout the U.S. since 1978. Transwestern Development Co. operates as a principal, investing capital alongside its institutional equity partners in the development of speculative and build-to-suit projects, and as a fee developer for clients and user-owners. The company has amassed valuable experience in construction, design, sustainability, leasing, acquisitions, finance and asset management. As a member of the Transwestern family of companies, the firm capitalizes on the market insights and operational expertise of its affiliates, which include a diversified real estate services firm with 34 U.S. offices and a real estate investment management company. Please visit for more information.

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Stefanie Lewis

SOURCE Ridge Development