Team Track concept is ahead

With railroad tracks running right through the heart of Canby, leveraging that resource for the city’s benefit has been a topic of conversation of late.

Nationally, rail shipping is gaining momentum with an increasing level of interest and investment. Rail transportation can be less expensive and can haul four times the load of a truck — especially for long distances. In the region, there are relatively few rail served industrial sites to meet an increasing demand.

According to Renate Mengelberg, economic development director, Canby is well positioned to take advantage of this potential. It is adjacent to the Union Pacific mainline and is served by the Oregon Pacific Railroad.

The city is exploring the potential of flexible rail access to multiple users.

“Rail can offer substantial cost advantages for a variety of businesses in Canby,” Mengelberg said. “The demand and investment is growing for rail in the region and nationally. Canby is well positioned to take advantage if we can establish enough market demand to pursue creating one here.”

This access could be used by businesses in the industrial park and in the community throughout the Willamette Valley.

The Team Track concept is not new, but there are very few facilities in the state. A feasibility analysis is underway to explore the potential demand for a team track. It will give the city a preliminary idea of what services should be provided, whether one site in the park could accommodate it and outline a path forward. \

The study is being conducted by OTAK and Leland Consulting and is funded by an Oregon Transportation Growth Management grant.

“So far, the study has identified several potential users including surrounding nurseries, aggregate providers, wheat growers and local manufacturers, among others,” Mengelberg said. “The challenge is how to meet a variety of needs within the time and logistical constraints that the local rail provider and Union Pacific Railroad create. Also the impacts on the park are being carefully considered and any future design will address identified concerns. This is a challenging puzzle.”

The study will be completed by late January 2014.

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