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April 8, 2015

Former executives of Cold Train sue BNSF Railway for $41m

Former executives of Cold Train have filed a $41m lawsuit against BNSF Railway, alleging that Cold Train’s service was shut down due to BNSF’s scheduling issues.

Former executives of Cold Train have filed a $41m lawsuit against BNSF Railway, alleging that Cold Train’s service was shut down due to BNSF’s scheduling issues.

Cold Train former president and CEO Steven Lawson and former managing member Mike Lerner filed the case in the US District Court in Spokane, Washington State.

In August last year, Cold Train stopped its intermodal service carrying agricultural goods from the Port of Quincy to the Midwest and East Coast, blaming rail congestion as a result of BNSF hauling larger volumes of oil and coal from the Northern Plains region.

"We worked to remedy those situations and regularly communicated with our customers throughout the period so that they could anticipate when service would improve and plan accordingly."

The lawsuit states that BNSF caused significant damages in an amount, which is estimated to be more than $40m.

A statement from Cold Train stated that BNSF intentionally interfered by preferring business from other customers over Cold, which led to an abysmal on-time percentage (OTP) for the Cold Train shipments.

It added that the cancellation of a 72h service from the port of Quincy to Chicago effectively destroyed the bulk of Cold Train’s business.

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In the end of 2013, Cold Train Express was providing service six days a week to 24 states and it was shipping nearly 1,000 containers a month.

Meanwhile, BNSF communications director Amy Casas was quoted by The packer as saying: "BNSF did experience well-documented service issues following unprecedented demand levels and historic winter weather events beginning late in 2013, but we worked to remedy those situations and regularly communicated with our customers throughout the period so that they could anticipate when service would improve and plan accordingly."

"Any suggestion that BNSF would intentionally seek to cause harm to any customer runs completely contrary to how BNSF conducts business."

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