By Yessenia Anderson
The Siskiyou rail line has been out of service since 2008, but is back on track thanks to a new federal grant.
“Get that lined reopened and put some Oregonians back to work in southwest Oregon,” said Congressman Peter DeFazio.
Congressman Defazio expressed his joy after lobbying for what he said will have a widespread economic impact.
“Reopen Siskiyou line to California; it’s absolutely critical for a number of mills in Southwest Oregon,” said DeFazio.
While the Siskiyou rail line isn’t currently used by Boise Cascade, the manufacturer said the announcement has sent a hopeful message to the expansion of their field as whole.
“Without long term infrastructure manufacturing business is pretty well in trouble down here we need rail,” said Boise Cascade Region Manager, Bruce Cartmel.
Boise said the re-opening will not only extend the tracks but could extend their cash flow.
“With out rail our economic reach is smaller that puts you at risk long term of being competitive so we do need it and it is very important to us long term,” said Cartmel.
Boise Cascade is hoping a northern line near Glendale will receive the same support.
“We do believe that our business will be better secured for the long-term if we get that. i think it gives us the potential to reach further, to expand production long term,” Cartmel said.
Boise officials say truck costs are fine for short deliveries but can begin to stack up for long on going rides.
“It’s also faster generally we need rail for our more remote customers. The economy of the rogue valley does depend upon continued rail infrastructure,” said Cartmel.
Congressman Defazio was not alone; Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley also support the railroad improvements.