Marion County to consider reopening east county rail line
Marion County is investigating whether it makes sense to reopen the Silverton to Stayton portion of the East Marion Rail line, a segment that's been closed since 2012.
The full line, owned by Union Pacific and operated by Willamette Valley Railway, runs from Woodburn to Stayton and historically has provided short line shipping service between these Marion County communities.
Since the line was closed, several groups have stepped forward with suggestions to reactivate the rail line.
To assist with the conversation and develop a common picture for all interested parties, Marion County has contracted with Anzur Logistics, a rail transportation consulting company based in Salem, to conduct a study of the rail line including an infrastructure assessment, market analysis, and cost benefit analysis.
"Marion County's goal is to provide the underlying research and economic evaluation necessary as potential redevelopment opportunities are explored. We are not advocating for a particular outcome or project," said Marion County Economic Development Coordinator Tom Hogue. "The county's role is to provide factual, neutral information beneficial to all parties as the future of the East Marion Rail line is discussed."
Anzur Logistics will assess current track conditions and provide cost estimates to return the line to service, as well as provide a cost benefit analysis and potential funding sources. The final study will include an economic assessment for cities along the rail line. Commissioner Kevin Cameron said, "Short line railroads are an important asset. It's important for the county to assess the economic impacts of rail service and ensure potential renewed service is utilized for the benefit of Marion County communities."