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RAIL EMPLOYMENT & NOTICES



Rail News Home Maintenance Of Way

9/24/2007



Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

'Unsafe' tunnel conditions prompt Central Oregon and Pacific to close Coos Bay Line indefinitely


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The Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad (CORP) on Friday announced plans to discontinue operations on the 136-mile Coos Bay Line between Vaughn and Coquille, Ore., by month’s end because of “unsafe” tunnel conditions. The line, which features nine tunnels that are more than 115 years old, will be closed indefinitely.

Several tunnels require extensive repairs to eliminate the risk of collapse, according to CORP. A geotechnical and environmental engineering firm specializing in rail tunnels determined three of the tunnels need immediate repairs. Last year, the 439-mile short line began repairing one tunnel, but repair work triggered a collapse that cost about $2 million to fix.

The short line plans to form a public-private partnership to complete repairs, which could cost about $7 million over the next five years, said CORP General Manager Kevin Spradlin in a prepared statement.

“We regret any inconvenience that this closure causes our customers, but the line has become unsafe for our employees to use,” he said. “We tried to keep it open as long as possible.”

Owned by RailAmerica Inc., CORP is working with customers to truck some freight to the railroad’s Eugene-to-Roseburg, Ore., line for rail-car transfers.


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