Corvallis, WA — Oregon Shipping Group President Kevin Mannix emphasized the critical role of freight rail in Oregon in a recent op-ed for the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

“At least 38,000 containers of goods originating in the Willamette Valley were shipped out of Oregon in 2016 — including straw, hay, pulp, lumber, potatoes, seeds, grains, Christmas trees and nursery stock. The transportation of those containers is critically important to the farmers, growers and makers whose businesses produce those goods. Transportation is also important to our economy and our quality of life.”

Mannix, who also served in the Oregon legislature as both a representative and senator, joined GoRail for Railroad Day 2019 on Capitol Hill. He spoke to congressional offices about freight rail’s public, environmental and economic benefits for Oregon.

“This infrastructure discussion was the backdrop for my recent trip to Washington, D.C., for Railroad Day on Capitol Hill. I was part of a group meeting with members of the House and Senate about the importance of strong freight railroads and their impact on the Oregon economy and our communities. And what an impact they have.

As policymakers in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere consider various policies to strengthen our infrastructure, I hope they will keep the freight railroad example in mind. AASHTO, the trade association that represents state departments of transportation, concluded in 2018 that a 1% mode-shift from highway transportation to freight rail would generate $19.3 billion in benefits over 30 years — 44% accrued to shippers in lower transportation costs and 56% to the rest of society in cleaner air, less roadway congestion and improvements in safety.”

Read the Full Op-ed.