Re: U.S. CAN SUPPORT EFFICIENT RAIL SYSTEM
Author: Jason Kuehn
Date: 02-13-2008 - 10:11
I suppose I am crazy, but I think this map is most interesting. One way to make the CORP more stable would be to reroute Amtrak down the CORP through Roseburg and Medford (you know, where the people live). The map does not propose this, but does show new service to Medford. I realize the track would need to be upgraded and the tunnels enlarged. Theoretically it is not as fast a route, but people don't ride Amtrak for speed, and with all the delays you get on UP, the CORP line might actually be no worse than the UP route through K Falls. Secondly, Corvallis is shown as a major point without rail service in Oregon. The solution to that is for the state to purchase and upgrade the Dawson branch and reconnect it to Eugene. Then reroute the freight traffic to Toledo on the renovated line. Not only does Corvallis get passenger service, but the street running freight trains also go away. Passenger trains would replace them, but passenger trains are much shorter and don't carry hazmats creating less congestion and worry.
A lot of track rehabilitation money for freight lines has come in the name of Amtrak. Look at the former B&M Connecticut River line Amtrak took over, rehabbed, then sold to the CV. Guilford (aka Pan Am) was rehabbed between Boston and Portland for the DownEaster service. The State of Oregon and it's Congressmen and Senators could/should take over the line over Siskiyou Summit and apply for federal funding to upgrade it for Amtrak. They could do the same with the Dawson Branch. ODOT needs to write this up in a rail plan and then start working on it.
Then CORP, with state support should be applying for a federal RRIF loan for the Coos Bay line. Part state funds and RRIF loans to CORP would fund the tunnel work on that line.