Friday, October 24, 2008

Newspaper articles from various years about the MB Line

Engineer Andrews and a crew of surveyors will begin work at Columbia River Junction to run what is believed to be the final survey for the line up Moses Coulee to Mansfield.

The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad have revived plans to run a line from Beverly to the Big Bend. A survey was made a while ago and it is believed the Great Northern's present activity on the Mansfield Line was prompted by this threat of the Milwaukee to invade what Jim Hill regards as his territory.

The Daily World has been informed that work will begin in a few days on the Great Northern's branch line up Moses Coulee. Effort is also being made to find a suitable grade into Waterville with the main line instead of placing that town on a spur line.

The Great Northern Railroad has filed an application for right of way across state lands in Douglas County adjacent to Moses Coulee. This action indicated the railroad is ready to proceed with its branch line into the Waterville country.

-March 1949-
Mansfield line reopens Big Bend to rail transport after severe flooding the summer before.

-June 1982-
Burlington Northern formalizes its intent to abandon Mansfield Line.

A local task force has developed a plan it hopes will save rail service in the Douglas County wheat country but it will require a financial investment from wheat growers. Burlington Northern had notified the Interstate Commerce Commission that it planned to abandon the Mansfield Line within three years.

An updated version of the State Rail Plan is now in the works and it will analyze the impact of abandoning the Mansfield Line. The fate of that stretch of rail, which serves most of Douglas County's wheat farmers running up Moses Coulee through Waterville to Mansfield, is now one of the "top-rated projects" of the state Department of Transportation.

Voters in areas of upper Douglas County, including the towns of Waterville and Mansfield, will decide on a special railroad district in the Nov. 8 general election. County commissioners have chosen to let the voters decide the fate of the Mansfield Line, which runs 62 miles from Columbia Siding southeast of Wenatchee through Moses Coulee to Mansfield.

-March 1985-The Mansfield Line is history. The last wheat train rolled out of Douglas Saturday morning prompting speeches, jogging old memories and flattening souvenir coins placed on the rails. About 100 people gathered in Waterville to see off the last train of 40 boxcars. Burlington Northern is abandoning the 62-mile spur line, having waited out unsuccessful attempts by local farmers to keep the trains rolling. Wheat ranchers must now rely on trucks to transport their crop.

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