The Juice Train That Rides Through Richmond

A common local sight, Tropicana rolls through regularly on its way north.


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Rail fans in Richmond might notice a train passing through a few times a week that consists of bright orange, blue and white cars bearing the “Tropicana” logo.

It is the famous “Juice Train” operated by CSXT, representing the type of trade that rolls through Richmond, which handles about 75 trains a day.

The train originates in Florida, typically on the West Coast, and runs north to Jersey City, New Jersey, where it's unloaded. And then the refrigerated cars are sent back to Florida.

In the 1950s, the juice used to move by ship (the "S.S. Tropicana") from Bradenton, Florida, to New York. The trains started to move the product in 1970.

Although the train doesn’t go very fast (maximum speed is 60 mph and maybe half that as it moves through Richmond), it's considered an efficient way to move the juice.

CSXT and Tropicana have added another juice train that goes to Cincinnati and the Midwest. Yet another train sometimes goes all the way to California.

Observers note that the East Coast trains often have about 45 refrigerated cars and the rest of the load might be rounded out with routine container loads. Here’s a video.