PCC W&I in Moscow and the EWG
Date: 06-22-2007 - 07:27
The old P&L itself is alive as the W&I. They have a very aggressive Manager who continues to go after new customers--a very refreshing change from the Watco days. Very few shortline operations are going to make anybody rich. Yes, the line was purchased by WSDOT. Idaho has no similar rail "protection" program. Moscow is a sad case because the land in front of the University is so valuable. Idaho trackage on the old WIM line is stuck under Watco ownership because the W&I operators do not own their trackage, so they are reluctant to buy anything in case they lose their contract which would leave their only outlet operated by somebody else. The W&I is actually doing very well stuffing currently unused tracks with somebody else's surplus cars--collecting a nice storage fee.
On the old "CW" side, the new Eastern WA Gateway operators have moved in. They are currently running with a full time staff of 4. One of their SD45s has already "burped" and was stuffed in at Govan leaving a single '45 to handle things. The EWG actually rents office space in Cheney with a desk set up in a hearing aid store. One of the bosses (if not THE boss) of US Rail Partners has come out to get the operation running. The first order of the State's business is examining the line to prioritize where work should begin to remove the most slow orders. Similar work will follow on the P&L and ex-UP track.