Do you know why there have been about 20 empty rail cars left on the tracks in the middle of Ashland for the past several months? Who owns them? Is this permanent storage for these cars or will they eventually be moved? The cars currently block many of the pedestrian "short-cuts" across town as well as the Peace Fence installation. Although it doesn't seem to stop everyone, I see many people climb over or under the cars to cross the tracks.

Do you know why there have been about 20 empty rail cars left on the tracks in the middle of Ashland for the past several months? Who owns them? Is this permanent storage for these cars or will they eventually be moved? The cars currently block many of the pedestrian "short-cuts" across town as well as the Peace Fence installation. Although it doesn't seem to stop everyone, I see many people climb over or under the cars to cross the tracks.

— Sarah P., Ashland

There has been a lot less rail car activity in and around Ashland in recent years and even less since Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad has reduced the number of trips it makes over the Siskiyou Summit to two per week.

According to Patrick Kerr, CORP's assistant general manager, the rail cars are owned by a variety of owners — other rail lines or private owners. Some are leased to CORP.

"They're in storage right now, but for how long they will be there, I don't know." Kerr said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. The volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.