ARG Transportation Services

ARG Coupler Newsletter, January 2017

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ARGTS NL Jan 2017 Screen


Short Line Rail Executive David Parkinson Passes

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December 22, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Short Line Rail Executive David Parkinson Passes

PALM DESERT, Calif.—Short line railroad executive David L. Parkinson, 78, died Saturday, December 17 at Palm Desert, California after a brief illness.

Mr. Parkinson had been involved in railroad investments and acquisitions since 1988. He was founder and chairman of the Arizona & California and the California Northern railroads since their respective startups in 1991 and 1993 and chairman of the Puget Sound & Pacific Railroad, which began operation in 1997. The three railroads were sold in 2002 to Rail America, Inc., which subsequently was acquired by Genesee & Wyoming Inc. in 2012. Mr. Parkinson acquired the San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad from RailAmerica in 2003.

He was a director of Evraz Oregon Steel Mills Inc. since 2001. Mr. Parkinson served on the board of directors for Napa Landmarks and California Short Line Railroad Association, and the Foundation of Intermodal Research.

From 1972 until 1986, he was founder and chairman of WESTEC Services, Inc., a California-based engineering and consulting firm. He became group president after the organization was acquired by ERC International—a part of Ogden Corp. Mr. Parkinson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1960 and served in the Navy’s nuclear power program and submarines.


Coos Bay Rail Link Names Locomotive After Port’s Chief Commercial Officer

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July 29, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

COOS BAY RAIL LINK NAMES LOCOMOTIVE AFTER PORT’S CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER

COOS BAY, Ore.—In a time-honored tradition of railroading, Coos Bay Rail Link (www.coosbayraillink.com) is naming one of its eight locomotives to honor Oregon International Port of Coos Bay Chief Commercial Officer Martin Callery. He retires July 31 after 23 years of service with the port. “Martin has been a huge champion of the railroad,” says Scott Parkinson, president of CBR and ARG Transportation Services (www.argtrans.com)–the railroad’s holding company, based in Eugene, Oregon. “He was instrumental in securing the public funds to acquire and renovate the line,” Parkinson notes. Callery also was in charge of the solicitation that selected CBR as the operator. “Thereafter,” Parkinson adds, “he was a vocal proponent of CBR and a true partner with us.” “The Martin Callery” is Coos Bay Rail Link No. 2439, a 2,500-h.p. GP30u locomotive that the railroad acquired in December 2014. Carload volume up nearly ten-fold Since running its first revenue freight train in October 2011, Coos Bay Rail Link has increased its average volume nearly ten-fold from 65 to 609 carloads per month. The Coos Bay line is owned by the Port of Coos Bay. The Port selected ARG Transportation Services in April 2011 to operate the 133 route miles of line from Eugene to Coquille, Oregon as the “Coos Bay Rail Link.” Coos Bay Rail Link was named “2014 Short Line Railroad of the Year” by Railway Age magazine. ARG Transportation Services began operations in November 2003 when it acquired the San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad Co. from RailAmerica, Inc.


Coos Bay Rail Link, San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad General Managers Named

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December 18, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

EUGENE, Ore.—ARG Transportation Services (www.argtrans.com) announced that Coos Bay Rail Link Director of Rail Operations Darrell “Duke” Rodley and San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad Manager of Operations Richard Archunde have been promoted to general managers of their respective companies, effective January 1. These are newly created positions. “We are very pleased to announce these well-deserved advancements,” says Scott Parkinson, president of ARG Transportation Services, parent company of the San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad and Coos Bay Rail Link. “Both Duke and Richard have worked tirelessly with their teams to strengthen their respective railroads and improve customer service.” ARG Transportation Services acquired the San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad in November 2003 from RailAmerica, Inc. The 133-mile Coos Bay Rail Link, owned by the Port of Coos Bay, Oregon, began operation in October 2011. 


Coos Bay Rail Link is the Nation’s 2014 Short Line of the Year

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Coos Bay Rail Link – 2014 Short Line of the Year

March 13, 2014

For Immediate Release:

North America’s leading railroad transportation industry trade publication, Railway Age, has selected the Coos Bay Rail Link – CBR as the 2014 Short Line of the Year. The magazine singled out CBR for the prestigious award because of the short line’s entrepreneurial spirit that has helped rail shippers in Coos, Lane and Douglas Counties become more efficient and competitive, and grow their operations.

“Backed by new owner Oregon International Port of Coos Bay, Coos Bay Rail Link has overcome negative media coverage and a skeptical public to show it means business – literally,” said Railway Age Managing Editor Douglas John Bowen.

The previous rail line owner, a private hedge fund company, halted service on the 134-mile rail line in September 2007. Within two years, the Port bought the line and started rehabilitation. It soon contracted with a rail operator and CBR re-opened the line in October 2011. Since that first month, CBR has gone from 20 carloads and two customers to a record 636 cars and 13 customers in January 2014.

“We created something out of nothing,” CBR’s former General Manager Tom Foster said. “Together, we revived a transportation link vital to rural Oregon manufacturers and businesses that trade nationally and globally. We’re ecstatic about this honor.” Foster now serves as vice president of marketing for CBR’s parent company, ARG Transportation Services of Eugene, Ore.

The Port has relied heavily on the assistance of private and public partners, including Oregon’s congressional delegation, to purchase the rail line and invest more than $31 million into its rehabilitation.

“I commend the Port of Coos Bay for stepping up to the plate so quickly after the previous owners of the rail line abruptly shut the line down in 2007,” Rep. Peter DeFazio said today. “The closure could’ve spelled economic disaster, but thanks to our team effort, we salvaged a rail line that is integral to local businesses and the communities they serve. The restoration of the rail line was an outstanding achievement and it deserves this national recognition.”

Railway Age credits short lines, including CBR, with being drivers of commerce helping the nation with its economic recovery. “Rather than giving up and succumbing to economic nightmare, this community made a decision to dream big, fight for our future and to take on the daunting task of resurrecting a railroad,” Port CEO David Koch said. “Today, we are both humbled and honored by Coos Bay Rail Link’s selection as Railway Age’s 2014 Short Line of the Year. The success we have achieved on this railroad is a testament to the power of collaboration and what we can achieve when we pull together for a common goal.”

For additional media information, please contact:
Elise Hamner, Communications Manager, Oregon International Port of Coos Bay
Phone 541.267.7678  /  Email ehamner@portofcoosbay.com


San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad Named U.S. EPA “SmartWay” Transport Partner

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August 15, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

SmartWay Transport Partner LogoBENSON, Ariz., Aug. 15—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad (www.argtrans.com) as a partner in EPA’s SmartWay® Transport Partnership program.

The Benson, Ariz.-based short line was recognized August 7 for its success in improving both fuel efficiency and environmental performance by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

“This is an exciting development,” said Scott Parkinson, president of ARG Transportation Services, SPSR’s parent company. “We are one of only 18 rail carriers in the nation to earn this distinction.”

SPSR Operations Manager Richard Archunde and Administrative Assistant Ellie Islas were instrumental in gaining this recognition.

Archunde credited SPSR employees. “They have helped us save fuel, lower costs, and reduce adverse environmental impacts.” He noted, compared to trucks, railroads typically move four times more freight per gallon of fuel while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent.

Islas added, “The Smart Way program will help SPSR keep close track of how efficient we are running and help us look into areas to further improve our efficiency from year to year.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, since SmartWay began in 2004, its 3,000 members have saved 65 million barrels of oil, eliminated 28 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, and reduced 478,000 tons of nitrogen dioxide and 22,000 tons of particulate matter.

ARG Transportation Services acquired San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad in November 2003 from RailAmerica, Inc. ARG also operates the 133-mile Coos Bay Rail Link, headquartered in Coos Bay, Ore.

SPSR serves regional businesses in Cochise County from connections at Benson and Willcox, Ariz. with Union Pacific’s Los Angeles-Chicago main line.


Coos Bay Rail Link Signs Long-Term Pact with Port

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May 31, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

COOS BAY, Ore. – Coos Bay Rail Link (CBR) and the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay have signed a 10-year agreement, effective today, authorizing CBR to be the operator of the 134-mile line.

Headquartered in Coos Bay, CBR has been running revenue freight trains since October 12, 2011 under an interim agreement.

“This long-term agreement assures stability for the railroad,” said Coos Bay Rail Link General Manager Tom Foster. “It is important for shippers, employees and communities along the line to know that their railroad is here to stay.”

CBR is a wholly owned subsidiary of ARG Transportation Services (www.argtrans.com), a railroad investment company based in Eugene, Ore. ARG began operations in November 2003 when it acquired the San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad Co. from RailAmerica, Inc.

ARG President and CEO Scott Parkinson welcomed the pact. “This gives Coos Bay Rail Link the flexibility and responsibility to run the railroad, while assuring income to the Port from customers, who are lowering their shipping costs and carbon footprint, compared to truck.”

CBR connects with the Union Pacific Railroad at Eugene, operating southwest via Coos Bay to Coquille. Principal commodities include wood products, bulk shipments, steel and dairy feed.

Coos Bay Rail Link is benefitting from a $31 million track improvement program. The first phase was completed in April with installation of new ties, fresh track ballast and surfacing (smoothing) of the entire line. Inspection of the line’s 115 bridges has been completed and, where needed, renewal of structures is underway.

“It’s been exciting to restore freight rail service to the region,” said Foster. “We are providing more frequent service to customers, enabling them to increase production.”

Foster’s goal is to double carloadings to 5,000 this year. “Having direct rail access to the Port of Coos Bay on Oregon’s south coast is a significant and under-utilized asset that we hope to grow.”


San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad Sets 5,000-Day Safety Record

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December 28, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

BENSON, Ariz. – The San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad (SPSR) set a new safety record December 23 completing 5,000 days of accident-free operations on the Benson, Ariz. based short line.

“It confirms that San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad employees are totally committed to safety,” said SPSR Railroad Director Peggy Davis.

Scott Parkinson, president of ARG Trans, SPSR’s parent company, noted, “This is a huge milestone and we’re very proud of this achievement.”

San Pedro & Southwestern will celebrate with a special dinner in early January.

In addition, the railroad has earned the coveted “Jake Award With Distinction” for 12 consecutive years. This award is presented annually by the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association to only those railroads that have not had a Federal Railroad Administration reportable employee injury for the entire year.

ARG Trans acquired the line in November 2003 from RailAmerica, Inc. ARG Trans also operates the 133-mile Coos Bay Rail Link, headquartered in Coos Bay, Ore.

SPSR serves regional businesses in Cochise County from connections at Benson and Willcox, Ariz. with Union Pacific’s Los Angeles-Chicago main line.


ARG Trans Signs Coos Bay Rail Link Pact, Foster named General Manager

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COOS BAY, Ore., August 16—ARG Trans (www.argtrans.com) has signed an interim contract with the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay to operate the Coos Bay rail line, known as Coos Bay Rail Link (CBR). ARG Trans also announced the appointment of Tom Foster as CBR’s general manager. Read more


ARG Trans to Operate Coos Bay Oregon Rail Line

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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.

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