Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad received Notice to Proceed on the
design for a $9.2 million upgrade to a section of the Siskiyou Line between
Ashland and Weed, California. Reopening this line will provide an additional
transportation option for the delivery of southern Oregon lumber and
manufactured goods to national and world markets. Construction is expected to
be completed in July 2015 with the project rehabilitating several tunnels,
bridges, ties and rails along this section.
ODOT, southern Oregon counties and private industry and
Siskiyou County, California were successful in receiving a federal TIGER
(Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) IV grant for significant
improvements to the Siskiyou Line which has not been used since 2008. No funds
outside the TIGER IV grant were requested from other public entities. CORP has
agreed to provide a 25% match to the project.
Improvements on this section of line in
southern Oregon and northern California will renew and improve interstate
freight rail options and business competitiveness, help retain and increase
regional employment to manufacturing and wood product industries which provide
family wage jobs.
By reopening this line, CORP customers and shippers would
have access to the Union Pacific mainline, reduce transportation costs and
enhance access to the national railroad network, and national and international
Currently, region manufacturers rely on either interstate
truck, or rail cars sent to/from Eugene
to join the Union Pacific mainline. This costs valuable time and money,
depending on the chosen transportation mode.
In the case of trucks, this mode increases emissions and
causes additional congestion on Interstate 5.
Rail service has been shown to be both safer and more efficient,
reducing congestion by 3.5 trucks for each rail car used.
“The southern Region is the third highest truck volume region, but has the lowest density rail corridor.”
~ Oregon Rail Tunnel Assessment, Shannon and Wilson, Inc. Consultants.