DeFazio Proposes Donation of Bailey Branch Rail Line to Ensure Continued Use
WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio sent a letter to the Union Pacific Railroad requesting that it consider donating, rather than selling, the 14-mile Bailey Branch railroad line, which runs from south of Corvallis down to Monroe and over to Dawson.
The current operator of the line, Willamette and Pacific Railroad, is planning to discontinue service. By donating the rail line, Union Pacific would help ensure shippers could continue to use this line, which they consider a critical link to Oregon's rail network.
The text of the letter follows.
October 10, 2006
Mr. James R. Young
President and CEO
Union Pacific Railroad
1400 Douglas Street
Omaha, NE 68179
Dear Mr. Young:
I am writing to request that Union Pacific Railroad (UP) consider donating the 14 mile Bailey Branch line in Oregon to Benton County, the State of Oregon, or another interested public entity.
The Bailey Branch, also referred to as the Monroe-Dawson line, was owned by Southern Pacific and in the early 1990s the Willamette & Pacific Railroad signed a 20 year lease of the line. Last year, the Willamette & Pacific decided that they no longer want to operate the line and they plan to file an application with the Surface Transportation Board to discontinue rail service.
It is my understanding that Union Pacific has volunteered to sell the Bailey Branch line, but the interested parties do not have enough funds to both purchase the line and make the necessary improvements that would allow continued use of the line. As a result, I urge UP to consider donating this line so that someone else can operate it. By donating the line, UP would help ensure continued service to the shippers who have depended on the Bailey Branch line for years and consider it a critical link to the state's rail network.
I appreciate your consideration of my request.
Member of Congress