Coos Bay Rail Link (CBR) and the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay have signed a 10-year agreement, effective May 31, authorizing CBR to be the operator the 134-mile line.
Headquartered in Coos Bay, Ore., CBR has been running revenue freight trains since October 12, 2011, under an interim agreement.
“This long-term agreement assures stability for the railroad,” said Coos Bay Rail Link 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.
ARG President and CEO Scott Parkinson welcomed the pact, saying, “This gives Coos Bay Rail Link the flexibility and responsibility to run the railroad, while assuring income to the Port from customers, who are lowering their shipping costs and carbon footprint, compared to truck.”
CBR connects with Union Pacific at Eugene, operating southwest via Coos Bay to Coquille. Principal commodities include wood products, bulk shipments, steel and dairy feed.
Coos Bay Rail Link is benefitting from a $31 -million track improvement program. The first phase was completed in April with installation of new ties, fresh 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,” said Foster. “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.”