Kettle Falls Int'l Rwy up for sale?

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flint creek mp23

Substation operator
I saw this news blurb today. What's going on with KFIR? BNSF usually runs a sizeable M-SPOCHW train up to Chewellah Mon-Fri to interchange with KFIR. I would have thought the KFIR was doing fine.


Washington, B.C. officials seek new operating plan for Kettle Falls International

Published: January 5, 2011


SPOKANE, Wash. — Communities along OmniTRAX’s Kettle Falls International Railway are seeking out a new operating plan since the Denver-based shortline holding company announced it wants to divest the line, the Grand Forks Gazette (B.C.) has reported. OmniTRAX’s “deadline is unknown,” said Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor. “But we realize this is a time-limited operation because the company definitely wants out of this rail.”

The 160-mile railroad operates tracks it acquired from BNSF Railway, all former Great Northern lines, which run mostly in Washington but touch southern British Columbia. The short line and Class I interchange at Chewelah, Wash. Its traffic includes forest products, metals, fertilizer, and industrial chemicals.

Taylor met with other local officials in Spokane in December to discuss the future of the line. He said some companies have expressed interest. However, the towns along the line may need to seek out government help so they can pitch a business plan to potential operators that makes sense.
 

andrewjonathon

New Member
From reading other articles I gather it is the needed maintenance to keep the railroad from Kettle Falls to Grand Forks operational that is making the railroad unattractive.

However, I think company is only trying to divest itself of the Grand Forks line north of Kettle Falls. Only a small percentage of the traffic on the BNSF trains you refer to goes or comes from north of Kettle Falls so the overall impact on those trains may be minimal.

http://www.bclocalnews.com/kootenay_rockies/grandforksgazette/news/111946899.html

According to the article the last major maintenance was done in 1989! Thus the cost to rehabilitate the line is very high and without some maintenance the operational costs are equally as high. It sounds like a classic case of a company trying to squeeze as much revenue out of investment until the infrastructure is basically worthless.
 




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