According to today's USDA Grain Transportation Report, the Port of Benton in Richland, WA, recently hired Columbia Rail to manage its 16-mile short line railroad—a first step toward reversing decades of deterioration.
Per the 2-year agreement, Columbia Rail will pay the port $13,000 a month to use the line and a locomotive repair facility. However, the port will return the money to Columbia by covering operation and maintenance costs.
The port hopes, immediately, to raise train speeds from 5 miles per hour (mph) to 10 mph, and eventually, to restore them to 25 mph.
Central Washington Corn Processors (CWCP) is a 2.1-million-bushel grain transload facility located on the short line railroad that supports livestock operations throughout the region.
Via the port-owned short line railroad, CWCP is connected to both Union Pacific and BNSF.