Getting the Railroads Back on Track

, Written by RaeAnn Christensen, Posted: Tue, August 6 2013 at 6:23 PM, Updated: Thu, August 8 2013 at 9:10 AM

The rail lines have many areas that have been damaged by the Rabbit Mountain fire which is part of the Douglas Complex fire.
This has put a stop to transporting lumber using the rail lines.

Something that isn't good for a mill town.

Now crews are working hard and quickly to get the railroads back on track.

Hammers strike and spikes are being put back in place.

"The bridge deck caught on fire probably from the fire above," says Dale Summers of Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad.

While the firefighters are making solid progress on containing the Douglas Complex fire.

"The fire agencies are letting us back in here and are letting us get going," says Summers.

Railroad crews are right behind them, quickly making repairs to restore normal operations.

Two railroad trestles were damaged. 

Summers says "it made the rail expand which added to much rail to the structure and made it buckle out."

And an area of the tracks were basically split in half by two trees that slid down the mountain.

The Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad runs between Northern California and Oregon.

An estimated 27,000 cars per year travel back and forth on the rail carrying mostly lumber products.

"Work isn't being diverted we are just on a holding pattern," says Summers.

Crews are working quickly so that holding pattern won't be too long.      

And business should be back to normal for customers.

Summers says "they were concerned initially but I think we put their concerns to rest. They're very happy with our efforts and getting this line back open."

Railroad officials say the cost for repairs is right now at $150,000 but they expect that number to go up as they find more damage.

They expect the line to be up and running by Thursday.

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About the Author

RaeAnn Christensen

NBC 5 News Reporter and Weather Forecaster RaeAnn Christensen earned a Bachelors degree from Weber State University, majoring in Communications and Broadcast Journalism.

RaeAnn started her career as a Producer for two local stations where she grew up in Utah. Working for the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, she won local awards for producing, and also became an Emmy award winning producer.

RaeAnn enjoys traveling, hiking, biking, cooking, country dancing, and spending time with her family and friends.

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