USDA Grain Transportation Report (3/02): Columbia Rail to Manage Short Line For Port of Benton (WA)

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.