Coal plans raise rail questions

Allison Roberts News

Two years ago, the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay completed the $16.6 million purchase of the dormant Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad, bringing new life to rail freight along Oregon’s southern coast.

Yet to make the 133-mile rail line — now called the Coos Bay Rail Link — capable of handling large shipments of bulk commodities, it needs an estimated $180 million worth of upgrades the port can’t afford.

That has led to an unlikely savior: a proposed $250 million coal export terminal.

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