Coos Bay rail brings opportunity

| Print |  Email
Articles - August 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
0810_ATS10
Union Pacific Railroad is donating a 22-mile section of rail line to the Coos Bay port. The track was previously used by Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad. // PHOTO COURTESY OF UNION PACIFIC
The final acquisition of an important rail segment has given the International Port of Coos Bay a chance at economic stability.

Union Pacific Railroad and the port are nearing a deal for a 22-mile stretch of railroad that runs from the north spit of lower Coos Bay to Coquille. The railroad company will donate the stretch, except for a small profitable portion that Coos Bay will have to buy from UP for an undisclosed price. In March 2009 the port bought a sizable chunk of rail line that runs from west Eugene to the north spit of lower Coos Bay for $16.6 million. The 22-mile stretch will add to this segment, which is isolated from other UP-owned lines and not financially viable to UP, but vital for businesses with direct access.

Companies such as Oregon Resources Corporation, Georgia-Pacific and Roseburg Forest Products depend on rail to ship product. About 300 jobs disappeared in 2007 from companies that used the line when service was discontinued from Eugene to Coquille. American Bridge went from 65 to 19 jobs and doubled its transportation costs. Roseburg Forest Product’s Coquille-based plywood mill employs several hundred people. Without rail service the company would consider moving that production to other mills in Dillard and Riddle because the company spends 10% to 15% more on land transportation in the current location. The port also hopes a strong rail line will lure international investors that depend on rail to ship their products coast to coast.

“Mills are in danger without the railroad,” says Bob Ragon, spokesman for Coos Siskiyou Shippers Coalition.

Every added rail car represents revenue for Coos Bay, which gets a percentage of the original shipping rate. The port initially will add tariffs to cover operation costs.

“When you are in the manufacturing business you need competitive transportation options,” says Martin Callery, the port’s director of communications and freight mobility.

JOSEY BARTLETT
 

Comments   

 
Scott Cantonwine
-1 #1 One-sided representationScott Cantonwine 2010-08-10 15:06:55
This story leaves out a number of key facts, chiefly that these jobs were lost on account of market dynamics, not the absence of this rail service. Many private firms have explored the rehabilitation of this line, but only after heavy state and federal subsidies does this "pencil out" -- or does it? Without an ongoing "allowance" from Big Brother, this line simply will not be a viable commercial concern. Given the financial affairs of our state and federal governments, however, one should immediately scrutinize their notion of solvent project or good idea.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Alan Miller
+1 #2 The "One-sided Representation" email is correct because . . .Alan Miller 2010-08-11 01:41:14
Rail lines cost taxpayer money, but roads and road maintenance are all paid for by God.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Reader Input: Rx for Health Care

July/August 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers how Obamacare has impacted their business.


Read more...

Business School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Training, from the mundane to the sublime, bolsters companies and workers in an uncertain world.


Read more...

Living the dream

News
Friday, August 21, 2015

smugglespearsthumbRenee Spears, founder and owner of Portland-based Rose City Mortgage, is hot to trot to sell pot.


Read more...

Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GARY THILL | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

Brain Storm

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CAMILLE GRIGSBY-ROCCA

Can the brave new world of neurotechnology help an OHSU surgeon find a cure for obesity?


Read more...

The Cover Story

Linda Baker
Thursday, August 27, 2015
01-cover-0915-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

How do you put a baby on the cover of a business magazine without it looking too cutesy?


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