Coos Bay Rail Link (CBR) signed a 10-year agreement signed with the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay last week to run the 134-mile railroad. CBR has been running revenue freight trains on the line since October 12, 2011, under an interim agreement.
"This long-term agreement assures stability for the railroad," said CBR General Manager Tom Foster. "It is important for shippers, employees and communities along the line to know that their railroad is here to stay."
CBR is a wholly owned subsidiary of ARG Transportation Services
, a railroad investment company based in Eugene, Ore. ARG began operations in November 2003 when it acquired the San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad Co. from RailAmerica, Inc.
CBR connects with the Union Pacific Railroad at Eugene, operating southwest via Coos Bay to Coquille. Principal commodities include wood products, bulk shipments, steel and dairy feed.
The railroad is undergoing a $31 million track improvement program. The first phase was completed in April with installation of new ties, fresh track ballast and surfacing of the entire line. Inspection of the line's 115 bridges has been completed and, where needed, renewal of structures is underway.
"It's been exciting to restore freight rail service to the region," Tom Foster said. "We are providing more frequent service to customers, enabling them to increase production."
Foster's goal is to double carloadings to 5,000 this year. "Having direct rail access to the Port of Coos Bay on Oregon's south coast is a significant and under-utilized asset that we hope to grow," he said. - Chris Dupin