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Rail News: Short Lines & Regionals

Oregon bill annexes Coos Bay line into port district


Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and Oregon International Port of Coos Bay officials attended a signing ceremony for a bill that officially annexes the Coos Bay rail line into the port district.

The port already owns the 134-mile line between Danebo and Coquille, Ore., but annexing the route into the district provides the port eligibility to apply for additional grants and loans.
In 2007, the line was closed by the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad Inc. because of costly tunnel safety deficiencies. Federal and state legislators, port officials and local shippers worked jointly in an effort to reopen the line, and in 2009, the port obtained $8 million in federal funds to help purchase the line from the railroad.

Earlier this year, the port received a $13.5 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery II grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help fund $24 million worth of repairs to the line. The port plans to reopen the route for partial service by early July and provide full service sometime in fall. The line will be operated by ARG Trans as the Coos Bay Rail Link.

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More News from 6/21/2011