Funding for Clark County Rail Project Included in Washington State Transportation Budget

May 1, 2009

OLYMPIA, Wash., May 1 /PRNewswire/ — On April 25th, the Washington State Legislature passed its 2009-11 Transportation Budget which included $1 million in funding to begin to rehabilitate a portion of Clark County / Chelatchie Prairie Rail Line.

According to Eric Temple, the President of the Portland Vancouver Junction Railroad (PVJR), the tremendous cooperation between Clark County, its Railroad Coordinator, the Clark County Railroad Advisory Board, and the PVJR was a critical element in raising awareness in Olympia about this important infrastructure project. Additionally, the government affairs consultants that Clark County and the PVJR utilized did a great job of keeping the issue top-of-mind with legislators. More importantly, because of all the work that was done over the past few months to raise awareness with the legislature about this project, many key legislators from Clark County and from across the state were instrumental in helping to secure the $1 million in funding for this project, said Temple.

In a recent letter that was sent to various legislators, Fred Abraham, the Railroad Coordinator for Clark County, stated that Clark County greatly appreciated the strong support for this project from the legislature. “This railroad has a long history in Clark County and the economic benefits it can provide are certainly recognized. I’m looking forward to seeing the results from the upgrades to rail infrastructure in regards to this funding which will enable us to grow businesses on the rail line,” said Abraham.

For more information, contact Eric Temple of PVJR at 206-660-4731 or Fred Abraham of Clark County at 360-397-2323, ext 4113.

About the Clark County / Chelatchie Prairie Rail Project

The Clark County-owned rail line runs for 33 miles across the county from Vancouver to Chelatchie. This rail line is vital to economic development in SW Washington. Unfortunately, over the last 50 years, the rail line fell into disrepair and is badly in need of rehabilitation.

However, several positive recent events have occurred to justify restoration of the line. For example, the PVJR signed a long-term lease with Clark County in 2004 to operate the rail line and has already helped to significantly increase freight shipments (by over 1000%) in less than 5 years. In addition, Clark County hired a full-time railroad coordinator in 2007 to work with stakeholders in Clark County and to help promote the rail line. The recent positive developments have caught the attention of several companies and there is considerable interest by several new businesses in locating along the line if it can be upgraded.

Specifically, there are two phases of track upgrades that need to be completed to refurbish this line. Phase 1 would upgrade the line to Class 2 (25 MPH) condition between Vancouver and Battle Ground, while Phase 2 would upgrade the line from Battle Ground to Chelatchie to Class 2 condition.

The $1 million recently provided by the legislature will help to upgrade a portion of Phase 1 of the project.

This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Clark County / Portland Vancouver Junction Railroad

Source: newswire

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