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City railway, Les Schwab in negotiations

City officials hope to get tire firm's business

by: TIM STUMM/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Sam Delay, left, and Zach Roberts relax for a moment at a practice earlier this week. The Warriors return four starters this season.

Last weekend the City of Prineville Railroad delivered its first shipment of tires for Les Schwab.
   Les Schwab currently unloads boxcars in Redmond then brings tires to their warehouse by truck.
   "We're still in negotiations at this time," said Mike Ervin for Les Schwab.
   Robb Corbett, the City of Prineville city manager, is optimistic about the outcome.
   "We have been working with Les Schwab for several months, trying to make the City of Prineville Railroad an affordable option for their shipping needs," said Corbett. "It's not a done deal. It is a business decision and they need to do what is best for their company."
   The city recently improved a piece of their property next to the rail line. They graveled the property and sloped the ground so the bed of a truck is even with the floor of the rail car.
   "We've improved our property and have been able to work with them (Les Schwab) and the big rail- roads to make it affordable to come to Prineville," said Corbett. "We hope we can continue to adequately respond to whatever needs they have."
   Adding Les Schwab to their list of clients will improve the railroad's bottom line, according to Corbett.
   "This will significantly help and will greatly improve our bottom line. We still have our work cut out for us, but this would be a big shot in the arm," he said. At its peak, the City of Prineville Railroad ran 10,000 rail cars a year.
   In 2002 it ran 125 cars and in 2003 it ran 600 cars.
   "This is a viable option for anybody who moves freight in central Oregon. We want anybody who is using rail to find a reason for the cars to come into Prineville on our track," said Corbett. "I am completely convinced that it (the railroad) is a tremendous asset to Prineville and central Oregon. This railroad will do tremendous things in the future, which equates to good things for the city."