Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad

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Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad
Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad.png
Eastbound at Brickerville July 4th 2005 - Flickr - drewj1946.jpg
An EMD GP38-2 leads an NRHS excursion over the Coos Bay Line in 2005.
Reporting mark CORP
Locale Weed, CA - Eugene, OR
Dates of operation 1995–present
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Length 305 miles (491 km)[1]
Headquarters Roseburg, Oregon
Website [1]

The Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad (reporting mark CORP) is a Class II railroad[2] operating between Northern California and Eugene, Oregon, United States. It was previously a mainline owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) between Eugene and Weed, California (north of Redding, California) via Medford, Oregon. SP sold the route on December 31, 1994, in favor of using its route to Eugene via Klamath Falls, Oregon and Cascade Summit.

The mainline of the CORP is 305 miles (491 km). Traffic is estimated at 17,000 cars per year, consisting mainly of logs, lumber products, and plywood.[1] CORP is a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming, which acquired the railroad as part of its acquisition with RailAmerica in late 2012. Until 2007, CORP also operated the 136-mile (219 km) Coos Bay branch, another line once owned by the SP.

On May 17, 2007, CORP was awarded a Silver E. H. Harriman Award in Group C for the railroad's safety record in 2006. This award marked the first time a RailAmerica-owned railroad has earned a Harriman award.[3]

Siskiyou Pass[edit]

In December 2007, CORP announced it was cutting shipments over the Siskiyou Pass south of Ashland, Oregon beginning January 15, 2008. Shipments from Ashland and areas north of Ashland would be re-routed north to Eugene before heading south via Klamath Falls. Reduced shipments would continue over the Siskiyou Pass until April 15, 2008 on a bi-weekly basis.[4]

On March 20, 2008, CORP announced plans to keep its Siskiyou line open between Medford and Weed, and to spend nearly $5 million on improvements to the line.[5]

CORP reopened the 95-mile (153 km) section between Ashland and Weed in November 2015, after repairing rails, ties, and bridges. The project was funded by $7.1 million of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) money, $30,000 combined from Douglas and Jackson counties, and a 25 percent match from CORP.[6]

Coos Bay Line[edit]

The Coos Bay Line was completed by the Southern Pacific Railroad and opened for traffic in 1916.[7] Originally, the line went from Eugene to Powers via the communities of Veneta, Noti, Swisshome, Mapleton, Cushman, Canary, Reedsport, Lakeside, Hauser, North Bend, Coos Bay, Coquille and Myrtle Point. According to a timetable dating 1920, four through passenger trains and a local between North Bend and Myrtle Point made up passenger service in the line. Passenger service ended on June 4, 1953, after many years of only one running passenger train nicknamed "The Owl."[8] Trackage beyond Coquille was abandoned and subsequently removed in the 1980s. "In 1994 SP sold the route to Railtex (later, RailAmerica), which operated it as part of" CORP.[9]

On September 21, 2007, CORP elected to shut down most of the Coos Bay branch. The track was closed between Vaughn (west of Noti) and Coquille (south of Coos Bay). This action was taken after it was revealed that the nine aging tunnels on the line required repairs that were internally estimated to cost up to $7 million.[10]

On October 23, 2007, the Port of Coos Bay filed a $15 million lawsuit against CORP, in response to its closing of the Coos Bay Branch. The suit claims that CORP failed to provide the required 180 days' notice that it would shut down a leased spur to the bay's North Spit.[11]

On November 21, 2008, the Surface Transportation Board ordered CORP to sell part of the branch to the Port of Coos Bay for $16.6 million. The 111-mile (179 km) segment links Danebo and Cordes. The price was much less than RailAmerica, CORP's corporate parent, had desired ($25 million), and much closer to what the port had initially offered ($15 million).[12] The Port completed the purchase of the line in 2009 and is currently repairing the tunnels that led to the line's closure.[13] The Port reopened the line in 2011 as Coos Bay Rail Link.


  1. ^ a b Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad (CORP), Genesee & Wyoming Inc., retrieved Sep 1, 2014 
  2. ^ Surface Transportation Board, FORTRESS INVESTMENT GROUP LLC, ET AL.--CONTROL--FLORIDA EAST COAST RAILWAY, LLC, September 28, 2007
  3. ^ "RailAmerica's Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad Wins Harriman Award" (Press release). RailAmerica. May 18, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ Conrad, Chris (December 15, 2007). "Freight lines at crossroads". Mail Tribune. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ Sowell, John (March 21, 2008). "Roseburg railroad offers to keep Siskiyou line open, but at a price". The News-Review. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Aleshire, Ilene (November 11, 2015). "S. Oregon railroad line operating again after 7 years". The Register-Guard. Eugene, OR. Archived from the original on June 16, 2018. Retrieved June 16, 2018. 
  7. ^ Larson, Henry. "Out of the Forest, Into the Fog: SP's Coos Bay Branch." CTC Board, Jan. 1990, pages 38-43.
  8. ^ Dill, Tom. "Southern Pacific's Coos Bay "Owl"". SP Trainline. Southern Pacific Historical & Technical Society (28): 15. 
  9. ^ "Coos Bay Rail Link: Traffic Nearly Doubles". Railfan & Railroad (March 2014): 25. 
  10. ^ Associated Press Staff (September 21, 2007). "Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad shut downs operations". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Today's Cargo News Archives October 22 - October 26, 2007". www.cargobusinessnews.com. Retrieved 14 April 2018. 
  12. ^ Ross, Winston (November 21, 2008). "Coastal rail link priced for sale: Coos Bay port officials hope to make the purchase and restart the vital passage". The Register-Guard. p. B1. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  13. ^ "RailAmerica restarts its engines". Trains magazine. Kalmbach Publishing. June 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Burkhardt, D.C. Jesse (April 1990). "Mountain Branchline". Pacific RailNews: 26–33. 
  • Robertson, Donald B. (1998). Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History - Volume IV - California. Caldwell, ID: The Caxton Printers. ISBN 0-87004-385-4. 
  • Stindt, Fred A. (1996). American Shortline Railway Guide - 5th Ed. Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 0-89024-290-9. 
  • Walker, Mike (1997). Steam Powered Video's Comprehensive Railroad Atlas of North America - California and Nevada - Post Merger Ed. Faversham, Kent, United Kingdom: Steam Powered Publishing. ISBN 1-874745-08-0. 

External links[edit]