Senator to tour Railex wine center

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U.S. Sen. Patty Murray will tour Railex’s $20 million state-of-the-art Wine Services Distribution Center today.

As part of her visit to Walla Walla, which includes the opening of the new outpatient clinic at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center, the senator will visit Wallula’s 500,000-square-foot wine storage and distribution facility.

The 4:15 p.m. visit at 651 Railex Road will also include a roundtable discussion on infrastructure investment and a wine industry on the grow.

Murray helped secure funding in 2005 for the initial Railex project — a produce distribution center. That project laid the groundwork for the latest expansion into wine with the center.

Since its opening Railex has created 150 jobs and guaranteed refrigerated transportation for regional produce to the East Coast. About 12 1/2 million pounds of Pacific Northwest produce is shipped per week to East Coast markets, the announcement said. Railex also provides Washington winemakers a reliable storage and transportation model for their products.

Murray will reportedly discuss how the facility is an example of the use of public dollars can attract private investment. The facility, according to the announcement, will also be heralded as an example of a success story that she can bring to Washington, D.C., to reaffirm why investing in infrastructure is of utmost importance.

Murray will be joined by Railex Senior Vice President Jim Kleist, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Vice President of Operations Rob McKinney; and Port of Walla Walla commissioners.

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