Poland Spring shipping water on trains from Waterville

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Poland Spring Water is increasingly using trains rather than trucks to move its bottled water from Maine to markets in Massachusetts. The company plans to move 4,000 containers a year by train and eventually may use rail to deliver its water to markets in New York and New...

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Poland Spring Water is increasingly using trains rather than trucks to move its bottled water from Maine to markets in Massachusetts.

The company plans to move 4,000 containers a year by train and eventually may use rail to deliver its water to markets in New York and New Jersey.

The company began its experimental rail initiative in January when it began shipping bottled water from its Hollis plant using rail cars loaded at the state's new intermodal facility in Portland. On Friday, the company will add to that service when it begins using a previously unused intermodal facility in Waterville. Trucks will be hauling the containers there from the company's bottling plant in Kingfield.

The state-built facility in Waterville hasn't been used since the late 1990s.

Pan Am Railways will haul the containers to Rigby Yard in South Portland, where railroad crews will make a longer train carrying containers filled with water from both Hollis and Kingfield.

The state's new intermodal facility in Portland opened in January, and Poland Spring was its first customer, shipping 45 containers a week by rail from Portland to Ayer, Massachusetts. There, the containers are put on trucks and delivered to nearby wholesale suppliers.

The new Waterville operation will add 60 containers to the train. The trains will operate daily from Friday through Monday.

Taking that much cargo off the roads will reduce carbon emissions by 5,000 metric tons a year, said Chris Haynes, director of logistics in the Northeast for Nestle Waters North America.

"That is a huge value for us," he said.

The company is renting the containers from Eimskip, the Icelandic shipping company that calls on Portland.

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