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American Shipper

Coos Bay gets loan to buy railroad

Coos Bay gets loan to buy railroad

The Oregon Economic and Community Development Commission has approved $12.6 million in loans to enable the Port of Coos Bay to buy a 120-mile rail line.

   The Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad closed the line in September 2007, and in a June 2008 filing told the U.S. Surface Transportation Board that it had ceased seeking financial solutions to repair and reopen the railroad and planned to abandon it at the earliest time permitted under the Board’s regulations. The railroad is owned by RailAmerica.

   The STB let the port buy the line rather than see it abandoned and dismantled, setting the price at $16.6 million. The port had raised about $4 million and the loans will allow it to complete the purchase by a Feb. 18 deadline.

   Meanwhile, the “Coos Bay World newspaper is reporting that state legislators are seeking to give the port permission to use part of $60 million earmarked for harbor dredging. Reportedly $9 million to $10 million in repairs are needed before traffic between Coos Bay and Eugene, Ore., can resume.

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