Coastal Branches, up and down

Discussion related to railroading activities past and present in the American Pacific Northwest (including Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and southern British Columbia).

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Coastal Branches, up and down

Postby lbshelby » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:39 pm

It finally looks like the International Port of Coos Bay will be successful in acquiring the entirety of the Coos Bay branch from the Central Oregon & Pacific. The last funding was lined up this week as part of the Omnibus bill in Congress that will allow the port to close their purchase offer before the month is out.

Meanwhile, further south, the ex NWP branch to Humboldt Bay appears to have a slightly more realistic future with a plan by the NCRA's leadership to divide the line into three segments: a barge fed shortline / tourist operation on the north end, a conventional shortline in the Sonoma area, and the Eel River Canyon segment that will remain untouched.

Going the other way, the Port of Tillamook Bay is likewise segmenting, but will not be trying to pursue freight business on the isolated coastal segment.

Rumors are currently circulating about abandoning the PNWR A-Line west of Wauna, OR, but there has been no news from any official quarters on that, neither on or off record.

Lastly, Weyco has permanently closed its Abdereen, WA mill operations. No word on how or if this will affect the Puget Sound & Pacific's Gray's Harbor branch.
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Re: Coastal Branches, up and down

Postby lbshelby » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:40 pm

...and ironically the International Port of Coos Bay closed the deal the same day I posted the above, Friday March 13. A rather interesting day to start a new venture, too.
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Re: Coastal Branches, up and down

Postby wigwagfan » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:17 pm

Not a coastal branch, but it looks like the last remnant of the Salem, Falls City & Western - later SP's Black Rock, then Falls City, then Dallas Branch (and now P&W's Dallas District) might have a nail in the coffin. Weyerhaueser announced the closure of the sprawling Dallas mill, once the Gerlinger Mill (which formed and owned the SFC&W).

There's no other shippers on the line, so unless the city of Dallas has something up its sleeve (which I doubt), this line will probably follow the fate of the western end of the A-Line, or the Lower Westside, or the route over Rex Hill.
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Re: Coastal Branches, up and down

Postby kevin.brackney » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:01 am

I used to think about relocating back to the Pacific Northwest; but after hearing all of this bad news, I think I'll stay put. Maybe the boring beige winter landscape of Ohio isn't so bad afterall.
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Re: Coastal Branches, up and down

Postby wigwagfan » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:58 pm

kevin.brackney wrote:I used to think about relocating back to the Pacific Northwest; but after hearing all of this bad news, I think I'll stay put. Maybe the boring beige winter landscape of Ohio isn't so bad afterall.


The good news is that Coos Bay is getting their railroad back in shape (thanks to tens of millions of your tax dollars). The Toledo Branch is still going strong. The Tillamook Branch is pretty much dead; however the tourist train group officially leases all of the coastal track and they are working on expanding their operations to encompass all of the coast track rather than the five miles between Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach. The Astoria Line is also dead; there's been a slight up-tick in traffic on the eastern end of the line (east of Wauna) but from Wauna to Astoria there is zero hope. (Cruise ships, fishing boats, coffee shops and art galleries don't exactly spell success for freight trains.) But the Astoria Trolley still runs in town right on the old SP&S mainline.

Up in Washington State, however, the line to Hoaquim is seeing quite a bit of traffic including export auto traffic...
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