The ORULE Connection
Newsletter from the Oregon Rail Users' League
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Greetings! The Oregon Rail Users' League (ORULE) has several new members and we'd like to introduce them to you. We also were happy to take a special train ride recently - details below.
2008 ORULE Annual Meeting Mark Your Calendars for June 17, 2008
The Oregon Rail Users' League will hold its 2008 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. at the Port of Portland.
We have several exciting presentations planned. Hans Bernard, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Kulongoski for Transportation, will brief us on "The Oregon Challenge." Mark Kendall and Rick Wallace, Senior Policy Analysts with the Oregon Department of Energy, will talk about "Petroleum Supply and the Urgent Need for Rail Reinvestment." Kelly Taylor, ODOT Rail Division Administrator, will give us an update on ConnectOregon II.
Finally, the group will also hold annual elections. Come join us, and stay for a little fellowship after the meeting!
Koppers Providing Railroad Track Ties and Other Important Products
Our newest ORULE member , Koppers, is an asset to the rail industry. ORULE welcomes its representative Phil McDonald, Regional Sales Manager, RR Products and Services, based in Somerville TX.
Koppers, with corporate headquarters and a research center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a global integrated producer of carbon compounds and treated wood products. Including its joint ventures, Koppers operates facilities in the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, Australasia, and China.
Koppers is a leading integrated producer of chemicals, carbon compounds and treated wood products for the aluminum, steel, chemical, plastics, railroad and utility industries. Koppers is the largest provider of railroad crossties in North America and is a leading producer of creosote treated wood poles for the electric and communication industries. It is also the largest distiller of coal tar in the world. Carbon materials and chemicals produced by Koppers include carbon pitch, carbon black, creosote, phthalic anhydride, refined tars, specialty chemicals and commercial grade roofing products.
Visit the Koppers' website at www.koppers.com..
TranSystems Creating Transportation Solutions
Ken C. Asztalos is a Senior Consultant with TranSystems, which has also joined ORULE in 2008. He describes TranSystems as an industry leader in providing the full range of transportation solutions to its clients. TranSystems - 1400 professionals in 45 offices throughout the U.S. - provides architecture, engineering and planning; management and supply chain consulting; real estate consulting; and security consulting to all sectors of the transportation industry. "Our ability to meet the continuum of transportation challenges facing our clients anywhere in the world rests firmly on the range of modal expertise, technical disciplines and consulting services we have gathered into one integrated business entity," says Asztalos.
TranSystems' rail expertise encompasses financing, planning, design and operational services for track, site development and terminal yards. It brings solutions that improve capacity, reduce cost and increase flexibility in the dynamic and competitive rail industry. From the ground up, inside and out, switchers to spurs, TranSystems has a deep understanding and respect for this market. In fact, many of its key rail personnel are former long-term employees of major railroad companies. They bring a distinctive expertise to the table, one that can only come from true hands-on rail experience.
To continually improve the efficiency, speed, safety and reliability of freight rail movement, that's the greatest challenge-because the cargo isn't waiting. TranSystems has the ability to bring full architectural and engineering services; management and financial consulting security expertise; real estate and right-of- way services; intermodal breadth; and construction management skills to rail related projects.
TranSystems' experience across all parties, disciplines and factors on the waterfront has vastly improved the operations of ports and maritime clients from coast to coast. In a match-up with the port profile, it thinks in intermodal terms. TranSystems, with a history of service to all components of the port entity, in addition brings a full knowledge of all other modes, including the Class 1 railroads, and the hard- won understanding of the inherent interoperability of modes.
The company's commitment to the marine sector incorporates all elements of coastal engineering and waterfront development, including marinas, piers and wharves, and waterside facility engineering and design. It augments these services with particular strengths in security planning and design, program and project management, GIS, and construction management services.
From here to there - faster, smarter, safer, and more efficiently. Visit TranSystems' website at www/transystems .com.
Fact Finding Train Breaks Banner for New Ethanol Plant P&WRR, BNSF and Cascade Grain Partnered in This Project
On April 28, 2008 Portland & Western Railroad (P&WRR) hosted a fact-finding train that traveled from Portland's Union Station to Cascade Grain's new ethanol plant in Port Westward, Oregon. The train picked up over 70 local decision makers along the way in Scappoose, St. Helens, Columbia City and Rainier before arriving at the plant for a banner breaking ceremony and speeches from key participants. The guests traveled in luxury passenger cars provided by BNSF Railway Company (BNSF).
Throughout the trip, officials from P&WRR, BNSF and Cascade Grain Products, LLC described the benefits of the new plant and the use of railroad transportation, noting the positive impact of each on the regional economy and the environment. Ethanol from the new plant will be utilized as a high octane, clean burning renewable fuel, relieving dependence on foreign oil and helping to lower gas prices. The use of P&WRR rail service avoids adding 56,000 new trucks to an already overcrowded Highway 30, greatly benefiting the environment and avoiding an increase in traffic congestion.
Among the attendees at the event were officials from Scappoose, Rainier, St. Helens, Columbia City, Columbia County, ODOT Rail Division, the regional coordinator from the governor's office and the Port of St. Helens officials that oversee Port Westward. The event, which culminated with the P&WRR train breaking through a banner, was widely regarded as a success, bringing attention to the exciting economic opportunities of the new ethanol plant, as well as educating the officials and public about the benefits of railroad transportation.
"We're proud that our rail service will help bolster the economy of Columbia County," said Bruce Carswell, Portland & Western Railroad President. "Our aim is to operate our trains as efficiently as possible to minimize wait times for local residents." To realize this effort, P&WRR is replacing 23 miles of 100 year- old rail that lies between Scappoose and Goble. By the time these improvements are completed, the train will take three and a half minutes to clear a crossing.
Kelly Taylor, Oregon Department of Transportation's Rail Division Administrator, was similarly pleased with the day's events. "Portland & Western' s approach to upgrading its track is a great example of how the public and private sector can work together to ensure a form of transportation that is economical, efficient and environmentally responsible," she said.
When the rail service begins to operate full swing, incoming trains will be hauling 110 cars loaded with 440,000 bushels of shelled corn and should run twice a week. Annually, this will amount to 10,000 inbound cars and 4,000 outbound cars. The plant itself will employ around 50 people and will produce around 113 million gallons of ethanol each year.
The day's ceremony concluded with a roast beef lunch and a more leisurely train ride back to Portland. Passengers were treated with gorgeous views of the Columbia River as they enjoyed stretches of smooth riding over the recently improved sections of rail lines.
The photograph at the top of this newsletter showing a cityscape of Portland, Oregon - complete with profile of a train - is courtesy of the Port of Portland.
The Oregon Rail Users' League (ORULE) is an association for all public and private interests that operate, utilize, and support railroads in the State of Oregon. We advocate for the rights and needs of railroads and their customers, as well as encouraging economic growth within the State of Oregon. Our members include railroads, passenger trains, ports, shippers, agricultural and timber interests, engineering firms, and many others.
Oregon Rail Users' LeagueLana Butterfield, Executive Director
Email: email@example.comPhone: (503) 682-3839Fax: (503) 682-9201
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Oregon Rail Users' League | P.O. Box 1517 | Wilsonville | OR | 97070