COOS BAY, Ore., April 27—ARG Trans has been selected by the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay as the preferred operator for the 133-mile Coos Bay rail line, following interviews with five final candidates in January 2011.
The Port has begun negotiating a contract or lease agreement with ARG Trans to operate trains and maintain the rail line.
The former Central Oregon and Pacific track has been closed since 2007 and was purchased by the Port in 2009. The line will operate as the Coos Bay Rail Link (CBRL) and is undergoing nearly $24 million in repairs to upgrade the line from 10 mph to between 25 and 40 mph. Partial service is expected to resume this summer with full operation this fall.
“ARG Trans is excited to work with the Port to bring rail service back to the region,” said ARG Trans President Scott Parkinson. “Restoring rail access to businesses in Lane, Douglas and Coos counties will provide business development opportunities that will result in local jobs and economic improvement. We will work with all stakeholders to ensure that the Coos Bay Rail Link is a positive addition to the community.”
ARG Trans is an experienced rail-related transportation enterprise founded in 2003 when it acquired its principal subsidiary, San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad (SPSR), from RailAmerica. The railroad’s chief sources of traffic are agricultural chemicals, feed grains and building products. In addition, SPSR operates a transload facility serving southeast Arizona.
Parkinson said, “Partnering with the Port is in keeping with ARG Trans’ strategy of focusing management attention on business opportunities that have significant growth potential. Our team of rail experts will work with the Port to develop a railroad that is safe, efficient and environmentally responsible.