U.S. Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mike Crapo from Idaho introduced the Short Line Railroad Rehabilitation and Investment Act of 2015 on Tuesday.
The senators' proposed act would extend the maintenance tax credit for short line railroads nationally which expired in 2014. When the previous bill was enacted, short line railroads across the country received a 50 percent tax credit, or, up to $3,500 per mile of track owned.
Now that these funds are expired, railroad owners will have less money to pay for maintenance. Martin Callery from the Port of Coos Bay explains:
Callery: "If we ever have some kind of an immediate need where, let's say, we have a small cave-in in a tunnel or something like that, then we tap that fund. It's kind of in our emergency response fund."
Callery says the Port of Coos Bay received more than half a million dollars from the act in 2013 and '14 combined. The Coos Bay Rail Link is just one of 15 short line railroads in Oregon.