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The Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad (CORP) has reopened 95 miles of track between Ashland, Ore., and Weed, Calif., following the completion of a multimillion-dollar public-private partnership project.The rail line had been closed for the past seven years, resulting in companies that had been using the line to exclusively use trucks instead, said CORP President Jim Irvin in a press release."The reopening of this section of the rail line will provide safe and efficient service and again make rail a viable transportation option for companies in southern Oregon," Irvin said. "Each railcar can replace more than three tractor-trailers, which means CORP will help reduce congestion on Interstate 5."Initial projections estimate two trains, one in each direction, will operate per day.The project to reopen the line included:• Tunnel 14 repairs that involved new steel-fiber reinforced shotcrete and rock-bolt supports, lined with timber sets, a new drainage system and replaced track;
• the replacement of 50,000 linear feet of continuously welded rail;• resurfacing of 60 miles in Oregon and California, as well as adding 21,000 tons of ballast; and• repair of 28 existing bridge decks.The project was funded in part by a $7.1 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant, which was awarded to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), southern Oregon counties, Siskiyou County in California and private industry. Douglas County invested $20,000 and Jackson County invested $10,000. CORP provided a 25 percent match for the project.A Class III operating between Weed, Calif., and Eugene, Ore., CORP has a total of 305 route miles. Its traffic includes lumber, logs, plywood and assorted manufactured goods. The short line was acquired by Genesee & Wyoming in 2012.
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