Rail line to Oregon coast set to re-open

Oct 3, 2011

Soon, trains will once again roll down the rail line to the Oregon coast port of Coos Bay. A key rail link that was abandoned four years ago is set to re-open this month.

The previous private owners of the 110-mile rail link abruptly shut it down in September of 2007 citing deteriorating tunnels and track conditions. The Port of Coos Bay bought the tracks and used about $25 million in state and federal money to rehab the line. The Port's Martin Callery says it means sawmills and other shippers in the region won't be dependant on trucks alone to get their products to market.

"Nothing against truckers. They do a good job. But when they're the only game in town they can pretty much set their price and you're going to have to pay it. When you have competitive options, then everybody has to sharpen their pencil," Callery said.

The tracks hook up with the national rail network in Eugene. Speeds will be slow, at first…just 10 miles per hour. But the Port hopes to bump up that number next year with further upgrades to the line.

Copyright 2011 Northwest News Network

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