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Port of Columbia and Frontier Rail officials will gather tomorrow in Dayton, Washington, to mark the reopening of the Columbia Walla Walla Rail Line (CWW).
The port owns a 37-mile stretch of rail that spans two counties and provides service from Dayton to Walla Walla, Washington. A segment that runs between Prescott and Dayton has been closed for nearly three years due to repair work on eight bridges and a section of track near the Touchet River, port officials said in a press release.
The port leases the rail line to Frontier Rail, which operates the line as CWW. The repairs were funded by the Washington State Department of Transportation, Port of Columbia, private shipper matching funds and Frontier.
Frontier worked "hand in hand" with the port to reopen the line, port officials said.
"We are beyond excited to see the rail line resume service," said Port Manager Jennie Dickinson. "Given the history of rail in the settling of this area, we thought celebrating this important event at the oldest train depot in state of Washington made sense."
The port took ownership of the line in 1996 after it was donated by Union Pacific Railroad. The section owned by the port is part of a 67-mile stretch of rail between Dayton and Wallula. UP still owns the port between Walla Walla and Wallula.
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