Facebook Page
Easing the Burden

Vital Links to Healthy Communities

Albany & Eastern Railroad
Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad
City of Prineville Railway
Hampton Railway
Idaho Northern & Pacific Railroad
Klamath Northern Railroad
Longview, Portland & Northern RR
Lake County Railroad
Mount Hood Railroad
Oregon Pacific Railroad
Palouse River & Coulee City Railroad
Peninsula Terminal Railroad
Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad
Portland & Western Railroad
Portland Terminal Railroad
Sumpter Valley Railroad
Wallowa Union Railroad
White City Terminal & Utility Railway
Willamette Valley Railroad
Wyoming & Colorado Railroad
Easing the Burden on Oregon Roads

Until 1999, Morse Bros. trucked 500,000 tons of aggregate annually from its Salem quarry to its Portland site -- about 13,000 trucks each year, nearly all returning to Salem with empty backhauls. Now, in partnership with the Portland & Western Railroad, Morse sends the aggregate to Portland by rail, on its own 17-car unit train.

"We can move rock cheaper by rail than we can on the highway. Our biggest reward is the reduction of risk by not having to have our trucks on the road".

Dave Jensen -- Morse Bros. 

Six years ago, Medford Ready-Mix had its own fleet of trucks to haul cement from Portland. When the company built its White City facility, access to the White City Terminal and Utility Railway and the Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad allowed the company to eliminate its truck fleet, freeing I-5 of the cement trucks, and reducing the company's insurance and transportation costs.

If the short lines fell silent in Oregon, autos would have to share the state's roads with more than 500,000 more semi-trailer trucks. Trains move 55 million tons of freight each year, with nearly half traveling over short lines. In 1999, Marion County's three short lines alone transported 34,447 carloads. That's the equivalent of more than 120,000 truckloads added to farm roads and I-5.

For travelers on Oregon highways, the reward is clear. Safety is also an issue since the accident rate for truck traffic is nearly five times greater than the accident rate for rail traffic.

  • The Mount Hood Railroad eliminates between 600 and 900 truck trips a year through the scenic Columbia River Gorge.
  • Without Portland's Oregon Pacific Railroad, 7,200 trucks would be added each year to already heavily traveled metro highways.
  • Georgia-Pacific in Toledo, a 2,500 ton-a-day business, would need to send many trucks on narrow U.S. Highway 20 and coastal U.S. Highway 101 to replace its rail service.
Reducing truck trips is easier on the environment, too. For every gallon of fuel, a train can haul 355 tons of freight. The same gallon of fuel in a truck will only carry 113 tons.

 Keeping Jobs in Oregon

Keeping Them Rolling

Keeping Timber Jobs

Easing the Burden on Oregon's Roads

All Around the Town

The Company They Keep

Facts and Figures

A Short Story About Short Lines

Member Connections

Railroad Links

Guest Book

Oregon Railroad Map

  OSLRA Home Page  
Click on the link to continue!