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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Peter DeFazio (4th District of OREGON)

Oct 9, 2020

Press Release

Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today announced that he has secured a nearly $9.9 million grant from the Department of Transportation for repairs to the Coos Bay Rail Line (CBRL). This grant marks more than $40 million DeFazio has secured for the CBRL in the last five years, including a $20 million grant in December 2018 and an $11 million grant in July 2016.

“The Coos Bay Rail Line is a vital connection between Oregon’s natural resource economy and the world market, which is why I have fought to bring more than $40 million in infrastructure investments to this line,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio. “Federal investment in critical local infrastructure like the CBRL is essential to preserving and promoting Southwest Oregon’s economic viability, and I’m proud to have secured this funding to help keep this vital rail line moving.”

The Coos Bay Rail Line is a 134-mile short line railroad that serves as the only freight rail connection from southwestern Oregon to the national railway network via the Union Pacific yard in Eugene, OR. The line serves as a cost-effective transportation option for eight primary shippers who employ approximately 800 people with family wage jobs and ship an estimated $250 million each year in goods to and from a tri-county region.

The funds will be used to rehabilitate and replace ties and resurface track at various locations along the rail line. The project proposes to replace 67,000 crossties and resurface main line, sidings, an industrial lead, rail yard and spur tracks with ballast along the 121 miles of track that stretches from Eugene to Coos Bay, Oregon. Prior grants DeFazio has secured for the CBRL have been used to upgrade and improve bridge crossings, rehabilitate tunnels and improve speed and capacity for the rail line.

In May, DeFazio sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao urging the approval of the funds.