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Siskiyou rail line reopens

Local officials celebrated the reopening of the rail line over the Siskiyou Pass Tuesday in Medford. The event was held adjacent to Porter's Restaurant, which formerly housed the Medford railroad depot.

The Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad has begun sending freight trains over the entire 296-mile short line between Eugene and Weed after spending $13 million for the Siskiyou Summit Railroad Revitalization project. The resumption of train traffic on the Siskiyou Line south of Ashland means veneer and other wood products from the region can be shipped by rail. CORP plans to send about 12 freight trains over the tracks each day.

On Tuesday, a freshly painted locomotive ripped through a banner stretched across the tracks to celebrate running freight trains for the first time after the line was shut down in 2008 because it needed major repairs.

A ceremony was held for the Siskiyou Summit Revitalization Project in downtown Medford on Tuesday. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch