Home Archives January 2007 Prineville Railway gets chugging thanks to ODOT grant

Prineville Railway gets chugging thanks to ODOT grant

| Print |  Email
Monday, January 01, 2007
PrinevilleRailway0107.jpg

PRINEVILLE — The old children’s fable The Little Engine That Could is the made-to-order analogy for the City of Prineville Railway thanks in part to a $2 million grant from ConnectOregon, a lottery-funded Oregon Department of Transportation program that invests in transportation infrastructure.

The railway, the oldest continuously operated municipal shortline railroad in the United States, will use the money to continue development of a 37-acre freight depot located at a former Prineville lumber mill. It’s a fitting location for a railroad that in its 1970s heyday hauled 10,000 cars of freight, most of it lumber from Prineville’s lucrative mills. As the mills played out, so did the railway, hauling just 87 cars in 2004.

Dale Keller, the railway’s business development manager, credits Rob Corbett, Prineville’s city manager, with recognizing the potential in reviving — and reinventing — the 89-year-old city-owned railroad. That potential included increasing the amount of freight hauled (up to 500 cars in 2006) and offering the ability to unload, transfer and warehouse freight for Central Oregon industries.

The railway’s two mandates are to get the railroad on its feet and create family-wage jobs. “You create that, and the business comes. And it is coming,” says Keller.

The railway connects with both the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern railroads, a unique transportation advantage that translates into savings for companies like LP Engineered Wood in Hines. LP used to truck materials and products to and from Boise, Idaho, but now uses the Prineville freight depot to store materials and to ship products all over North America.

The rails have significantly reduced LP’s transportation costs. “It’s actually an integral part of our shipping operation,” says Jim Campbell, LP plant manager.

The railway negotiated a land trade for the depot site and has made some improvements already, including a heavy-equipment ramp. When it’s completed in about four years (city officials hope to win additional ConnectOregon grants), the depot will handle conventional freight and heavy equipment, operate a warehouse system, and transfer liquids. The first phase will construct an additional rail spur and warehouse, and rebuild an existing structure.

If Prineville can become the next commerce hub for the growing Central Oregon region, the railway might just chug its way into another 89 years.

— Sharon Vail

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


Read more...

Tight and Loose

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

As schools implement more rigorous academic standards, holistic and flexible approaches to K-12 education flourish.


Read more...

Fast Food Slows Down

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

The ubiquitous fast-food restaurant may be on the decline.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Video: The 100 Best Survey

News
Thursday, August 28, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1OB Research Editor Kim Moore shares some pointers about the 100 Best Companies to Work For survey.


Read more...

How to add positivity to your team

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 12, 2014
happy-seo-orlando-clientsBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

I often talk about what leaders can do. What about followers? If you’re a team member and you’d like to add positivity to your team, what might you do?


Read more...

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS