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Western Railroad Discussion > Watco Giving back UP their Washington Branch Line


Date: 02/10/19 13:57
Watco Giving back UP their Washington Branch Line
Author: spider1319

In a recent filing Watco's Palouse River and Coulee City has announced that the lease of the Walla Walla Branch and Weston Branch will be terminated .In a subsequent Decision the STB has approved the termination of service by Watco subject to employee protection.UP has now the option of resuming service or finding another operator.I suppose Frontier Rail might be interested since the are now the operator of the Dayton Branch.Given the decilining carloads I doubt if this fits the new Unified Plan 2020.Anyway it is an interesting read on the STB.Gov website.The first view is the old Walla Walla UP Yard Office.The second image is of the former Walla Walla Valley Interurban crossing in Walla Walla.A member of our church was an NP Clerk at Walla Walla and it quite interesting to hear of the once vast amout of traffic that Walla Walla and the surrounding area produced.Bill Webb






Date: 02/10/19 14:03
Re: Watco Giving back UP their Washington Branch Line
Author: spwolfmtn

Just speculating, but will probably be another bunch of branch lines that the state of Washington will end up buying.  If so, who ever the state finds to operate them, the "paper interchange barrier" had better be gone so that they can do business with the BNSF!  I wish the STB would get rid of that in its entirety.



Date: 02/10/19 16:54
Re: Watco Giving back UP their Washington Branch Line
Author: Milwaukee

I've been through Walla Walla but don't have any idea what is influencing the carload activity at this time compared to the historic levels.   I suspect some land has converted over the wine production which is not reliant upon railroads but otherwise I think the area is producing at least as much if not more overall agriculture production as it did 50 years ago.   Has that much traffic moved over to truck vs. rail to take us from having three (WWV, BN and UP) railroad volume to not even one (Watco) being able to make a good profit?   What else is making it unprofitable for Watco?  



Date: 02/10/19 17:00
Re: Watco Giving back UP their Washington Branch Line
Author: railstiesballast

A factor in declining agriculture carload might be the locks and dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
Now that it is widely recognized how much damage those dams have done to the salmon populations there is political pressure to alter their operation or even remove them.
Time will tell, but by now we know nothing is forever: rail traffic, ship traffic, salmon fishing, and everything else.
 



Date: 02/10/19 17:16
Re: Watco Giving back UP their Washington Branch Line
Author: callum_out

I haven't seen WATCO do much beyond servicing existing shippers, little to produce increased business. This
situation isn't much of a surprise.

Out



Date: 02/10/19 19:17
Re: Watco Giving back UP their Washington Branch Line
Author: up833

I lived in WW in the late 50s, early 60s. At that time sugar beets were a big crop and all of it went by rail, both UP and NP.. Vieggy and fruit canning at WW, and Milton-Freewater but not nearly so much these days.  Also about that time the Walla Walla Valley was the center of the new flash frozen food business that generated carloads of reefers. The Jolly Green Giant left Dayton Wa in about 2005. Last place in WA to can asperagus.  Its long been known for canned and frozen peas. Weston OR generates some reefer traffic but probably only a couple cars a day (I havent seen news of there in a couple of years)
RB



Date: 02/11/19 08:17
Re: Watco Giving back UP their Washington Branch Line
Author: BAB

To railballast, if dams are removed there are two things, one fish runs never will return to pre dam levels due to many things, two depends on who is talking about them, three the impact on the ag industy and resulitng loss of irrigated farm land will impact food production and employment also.
Not everything can be saved in this world and there are many other things that the dams which are causing salmon decline that never seem to get addressed due to special intrests.  Another thing depends on how the fish count is done when its up there is little or no reporting on it when its down the SIGs are all over dam removal not cutting back on fishing with nets as a good ammout of them are sold.



Date: 02/11/19 18:24
Re: Watco Giving back UP their Washington Branch Line
Author: funnelfan

Walla Walla, Milton-Freewater, and Dayton used to be big source for loads in Reefers and Insulated Boxcars, but that has been declining for decades and almost all gone now, save for reefers of frozen french fries coming from Weston, OR. The Sawmills are also gone and the Wheat gets trucked to nearby Barge Elevators. All the traffic that made the branches profitable in the 1970's is now gone for the most part.

I believe the Blue Mtn RR was one of the early Watco operations.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Date: 02/13/19 06:08
Re: Watco Giving back UP their Washington Branch Line
Author: WrongWayMurphy

Seems like a good opportunity here to tell a joke.

Q : What does the Jolly Green Giant do first thing in the morning ?


A : He stands over his corns and peas.
 



Date: 02/13/19 13:05
Re: Watco Giving back UP their Washington Branch Line
Author: CA_Sou_MA_Agent

Q.  Who does the Jolly Green Giant fear the most?

A.  Avocado pickers.  



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