​City of Prineville Railway

The City of Prineville Railway (COPR) is the oldest continuously operated municipal shortline railroad in the United States.

Recent achievements can be directly connected to a succession of ConnectOregon investments. Three rounds of ConnectOregon investments (CO I, II and III) helped develop a 37-acre freight depot site —a former lumber mill located three miles west of Prineville—and enhanced intermodal capability throughout central Oregon.

The City of Prineville Railway’s freight depot is a regional multimodal hub with transload, warehousing and distribution facilities. Instrumental in the COPR’s success is its unique transportation advantage: it is connected to both the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern railroads, which translates into direct transportation cost savings for Prineville area businesses. The railway also has the ability to accumulate products until a full railcar load is on site and then load out a railcar for a customer, or to unload an inbound product and store it on site and deliver it just in time to a customer plant or job site.

The railway had a stellar year in 2016 with projected double-digit increases in carloads and revenue and more than 30 customers from a variety of industries, including Les Schwab Tires, Carson Oil Co., the Malheur Lumber Co., and EnviroTech Services, which ships magnesium chloride de-icer liquid via rail throughout the country.

“COPR now has more than 100 direct jobs on our line and we’ve relocated three businesses that had been looking to move out of Oregon,” says Railroad Operations Director Matt Wiederholt. “ConnectOregon allowed us to invest in infrastructure that helps incubate new business, compete for relocating businesses and provide rail access for central Oregon shippers.”

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