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Washington state DOT solicits proposals for freight-rail service operator

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is requesting proposals from qualified parties to manage and operate the Central Washington (CW) branch of the Palouse River and Coulee City Railroad and the Geiger Spur Branch. The CW branch of the Palouse River and Coulee City Railroad is owned by WSDOT and the Geiger Spur Branch is owned by Spokane County, according to a WSDOT press release. Under the proposal, the selected operator would work with WSDOT, the county, local governments, economic development authorities, shippers and Class I railroads. The goal will be to develop "innovative and efficient" operating and shipping methods and improvements that will provide competitive rail service for the region's shippers. Letters of intent to submit a proposal must be submitted by March 19; proposals are due by April 18. The successful proposal will be chosen on June 15, according to WSDOT. Freight-rail service on the two branches is expected to begin Jan. 1, 2019. Complete details on the proposal request are available on Washington's Electronic Business Solution (WEBS) website.

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