USA: Washington State Department of Transportation has selected San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad and Coos Bay Rail Link operator ARG Transportation to revive freight services on the 40 km Othello – Royal City line in central Washington.

ARG is to spend six months determining interest from prospective customers. If the results are favourable it will reopen the line, which the state acquired in 1993 to prevent it from being abandoned and to safeguard the infrastructure. Freight services ceased in 1994, but following interest in revival $0·75m of state-funded repairs were completed in 2013.

‘I, along with the entire community, am excited that after years of work by the Port of Royal Slope and WSDOT, this project is moving towards completion’, said State Representative Matt Manweller on August 21. ‘A rail line out of Royal City will be a boon to economic development and another opportunity for local farmers to get their produce to international markets.’