Capdiamont\’s Weblog

Rail and Trail around Humboldt Bay

I admit being nervous how the committee process would go.  As I told NCRA at their last meeting, what they came up with was very smart. Now we have a rail with trail process around the bay. This gives our area the political capital and economic benefits we need to implement the plan a single way could not. I knew that not all the ties needed to be replaced, and the rail did not need to be replaced, yet you naysayers would not listen. We can finally move forward now that the “squeeze” folks have quieted down. For those who continue to doubt normal maintenance can raise the rail-bed effectively for sea level rise, please understand NCRA already has done this as part of the rebuilding process. They raised the trestle down in Novato. On either side the track needed to  be raised to match the bridge.

I am a part of this process. I do not have a problem with putting a trail along side the rail. I do have a problem with removing the rail for a trail in these vital areas. We need the tourist train. The tourist train is about diversification of our economy.

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Kinetic Sculpture race 2012 – Manila Community Center
Saturday 26 May 2012, 06:20
Filed under: Humboldt, Manila

Just a fun day today. Nice gathering, and it helped to wear out my little one.  I was not helping the Ham/Amateur Radio Group today.  They were using the 146.850MHz repeater today. Tomorrow, and Monday they will be using the Far West Repeater Association Network. That means Southern Humboldt, and as far west as the Dinsmore area will be able to directly hear what is going on.

Arcata Eye: How That Cute Li’l Speeder Helped Open Up A Can(yon) Of Worms
Friday 20 Aug 2010, 07:23
Filed under: Arcata, Humboldt, Manila, NCRA, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, Samoa, THA

As a demonstration how environmentalists can complain about every little thing, the usual groups have gotten together to pen a hilarious, over the top, and completely removed from realty letter.

The reality is very, very little work was done. The ballast work was simply moving it from one side of the track to another. No new ballast was used. To correct the driveway analogy, it is more akin to moving gravel a few feet on your driveway to fill in a pot hole, than anything else. As far as safety concerns, we had already passed over the bridges with zero deflection. Speeder doesn’t weigh much, even with people

The nice, balanced article by The Arcata Eye is here.

Local NWP area railroad news and grumble type mood.

I’ve delayed this, because of being in a grumble type mood. Now I need to reboot the browser, and computer for updates, so I might as well deal with it.

I and others, were trying to get a 4th of July speeder run in Eureka for this year, working it out for weeks. Heck, it was thought of last year, but was rejected. Something about overwhelming crowds back then.

Lets review the area that we wanted to give rides. The loading area would be Humboldt Towing at the northern end of 1st st., so that we would be connected to the crowds of downtown, and not block much of 1st st. The Northern end of the ride would be just south of T st. crossing. As far as getting it ready, there is no brush in the way, clear a bit of the flange ways, cut flange ways out of wood in one crossing, and cut some wimpy stumps that grew next to the rails. You couldn’t ask for an easier new riding area for a speeder. You couldn’t ask for a nicer way to get in the public’s mind.

Just a simple little ride, generating good pr, having fun, and generating a little revenue. No advertising, for it was a bit late for that, just a few signs around downtown pointing the way or so.

Except that isn’t what happened. Instead I got the full force of the political, lazy answers. Excuses ranges from the stumps,to paved over crossing, to permits needed, to lack of transportation due to somebody being out-of-town. The stump would have taken one person a max of 1/2 day to take care of. It isn’t like you have a full tree to take care of, and we have dealt with plenty of stumps next to the rails on the Samoa side. There is no paved over crossing, the closest one that fits that description is the one just north of Humboldt towing. Just take a chainsaw to the wood, and cut a small grove for the flanges. Eureka city engineering didn’t get back to me on that one. Talking to Eureka city clerk, no permits needed. Nice person BTW. Transportation could have been overcome, by having Humboldt Towing, or another towing company put it on a flat-bed. I’m sure I could have even borrowed or rented something big enough to haul it.

But nope, it got shot down to the point, even a static display was given the big NO from the board meeting. No means to appeal the decision, heck I didn’t even know the idea would be voted on. Well it is time to revamp the by-laws.

Enough of the rant.

The speeder rides this year have the new trailer to about double the capacity of the rides. And will have a special run in the beginning of Aug from Arcata and will be longer rides.

Pacific Lumber Speeder ride opens to public in Humboldt County

More seats available for ‘Riding the Rail’

”Riding the Rails” speeders now can carry 26 people. A donation of $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for children under 8 is requested from guests. Children riding on the lap require no tickets.

Rides start this coming Saturday, and continue on July 24, Aug. 28 and Sept. 25 for a 20-minute ride between Samoa and Manila beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. The Timber Heritage Association will have a special longer ride along the U.S. Highway 101 corridor on Aug. 7 with a higher donation of $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for children under 8. Tickets and reservations can be made online at Potential guests may call 442-3073 for reservations and information.

SamoaSoftball blog: has Eureka Southern excursion train blast from the past video.

SRPD: Freight trains at least 3 months away

Basically looking at around Oct of this year if things go well for freight trains on the NWP.

MIJ: Editorial, don’t cut the SMART bike path.

SMART, the commuter train on the southern end of the NWP faces $155 million. The debate is how to go about things with building the line. The shortfall is due to the economy, lack of money coming from NCRA because of the freight trains not running, and new safety requirement. So what gets cut out, or delayed? General choices is hope for better economy, federal grants(etc), bike trail, or

2010 Timber Heritage Speeder rides
Monday 14 Jun 2010, 07:04
Filed under: Arcata, Eureka, Humboldt, Manila, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, Samoa, THA

Timber Heritage Association 2010 Speeder rides

one hour rides # 9:00 – 4:00 # higher suggested donation
go to
& select date, time, number of passengers, make
credit card donation to reserve your tickets
$7.00 suggested donation for adults, $6.00 for seniors (62+),
$4.00 for children (12 & under with an adult)
rides on the hour or half hour 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
for those without internet access, call 442-3073 and leave contact information

Other possible runs is 4th of July in Eureka to the bridge north of Eureka, and in Fortuna for a special event there.

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Next NCRA meeting agenda, Humboldt County BOS 10:30am

Wednesday, March 10, 2010~ 10:30 a.m.
Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Chambers
825 5th Street, Eureka
Humboldt County
All items appearing on the agenda are subject to action by the Board of Directors. Staff recommendations are subject to action by the Board of
Directors. Staff recommendations are subject to change by the Board.
Comments will be limited to three minutes per person and not more than ten minutes per subject, so that everyone can
be heard. “Public comment” time is limited to matters under the jurisdiction of the Authority that may not have been
considered by the Authority previously and are not on the agenda. No action will be taken. Members of the public may
also comment during specific agenda items when recognized by the Chair.
1. Spencer Clifton – Annie & Mary Trail Update
2. Karen Diemer – Arcata to Bracut Trail Update
3. Gerry Tomczak – Timber Heritage Association Update
F. DISCUSSION ITEMS (no action required)
1. Status of Lombard-Windsor Repair Project – Lifting of Emergency Order 21
2. Status of RRIF Loan
3. Status of November 5, 2009 Russian River Division EIR
4. SMART/NCRA Revised Operating Agreement
5. Sale of the Ukiah Depot
6. NCRA/SMART Joint Use of $8.6 mil. in ISTEA Funds
7. April 7/8 CTC Meeting
8. Novato Consent Decree
1. Approval of Minutes – Regular Board Meeting – February 13, 2010
2. Acceptance of Minutes – Finance Committee Meeting – January 10, 2010
3. Acceptance of Minutes – Finance Committee Meeting – February 10, 2010
4. Acceptance of Sonoma County Financial Statements – February 2010
5. Acceptance of NCRA Financial Statements – February 2010
6. Approval of Warrants Issued – Agency 787010 – February 2010
7. Approval of Cal Card Statement – February 2010
1. NWP Co. – John Williams
1. C.J.Neary
Significant exposure to litigation pursuant to Govt. Code Section 54956.9(c) one case
Govt. Code Section 54956.8
Property – Ukiah Depot Property
Negotiating Parties – Caltrans, City of Ukiah, County of Mendocino, Weston
Solutions, Union Pacific Railroad
Under Negotiation – regulatory matters, existing and potential contractual matters,
price, payment, terms
Agency Negotiators – C.J. Neary, Mitch Stogner
April 14, 2010 – 10:30 a.m.
Corte Madera Best Western – Terrace Suite
56 Madera Blvd.
Corte Madera
Marin County

Looks like there is a little bit for everybody.

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THA news, and 2010 Speeder Schedule
Saturday 16 Jan 2010, 10:22
Filed under: Arcata, Eureka, Humboldt, Manila, NCRA, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, Samoa, THA

Speeder ride schedule for 2010;

At the Jan. 26, 2010 THA board meeting the board voted on the following tentative dates for 2010 speeder operations on Saturdays originating at Samoa:

June 26, July 24, August 28, and September 25.

A special day of rides down the 101 Corridor between Arcata and Eureka is tentatively planned for August 7.

Training for the Special Operations Crews is tentatively scheduled for Saturday May 29 and June 5.

Other ride days may be scheduled, but are not planned at this time.

No reservations are being accepted at this time. An on-line reservations system is being considered.

Two Saturdays ago;

Ok it has been a while since I’ve been down to the roundhouse complex.

Track has been laid for the passenger cars. The actual move of the cars has been delayed due to weather.

The 2nd speeder that is being converted in to a trailer for hauling passengers, has been gutted out.

Yesterday the logger shed was fixed up to store flammables away from the main buildings. I was able to check out the speeder trailer. I like it. It is all steel with angle iron as short corner posts.

Electricity was restored to the boiler shop under the supervision of Rod and other skilled, professional electricians that volunteered their time.

Humboldt Beacon: Pacific Lumber caboose purchased as memorial: Wooden car a remnant of a vibrant past

The red caboose in Scotia will soon be moving to a new home. The Pacific Lumber Company #5 wooden caboose, parked next to the Fire Hall in Scotia, will soon be moving to the roundhouse in Samoa, and joining the Timber Heritage Association (THA) collection.

The passenger car’s haven’t been delivered yet due to weather. The track has been assembled to put them on.

The conversion of an old crew speeder in to a passenger trailer, is going smoothly. This Saturday they should be sandblasting the frame, to get it ready to paint. The reason this speeder was chosen, was engine on this one was in poor shape, yet the body was in good shape. Modifications are done with the intent of still being able to restore the speeder to former, self-powered glory.

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THA news, Special Halloween speeder run
Friday 16 Oct 2009, 12:00
Filed under: Humboldt, Manila, NCRA, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, Samoa, THA

We had a special speeder run today, just for the communities of Manila, and Samoa. Weather wasn’t bad, just light rain. The rides were free, as a thanks for the support. Pretty good turnout, despite the very limited advertising.


We’ve cleared part way in to the last heavy brush area between Manila and highway 255. It really helped having the use of the exhavator to load the dump truck. NCRA needed the exhavator and dump truck for use down south to clean up winter debris. They greatly helped out the speed and width of cleanup. Now further cleanup will be harder and slower. At least we don’t have much left of the thickly overgrown area left.

Two Thursdays ago members went out to Fields Landing to retreve another speeder and move it to Samoa. The engine in it is no good, so the speeder is going to be restored as a trailer to the A&MR RR speeder. Issuses to be dealt with is braking, pa speaker, lights, and general restoration. The engine have already been taken out.

We have already met our rent requirement for the year with the work we have done.

The ROW has been cut just east of the bridge by Sierra Pacific for what looks like levee work.

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The last speeder run of the year was wonderful and other THA news
Wednesday 30 Sep 2009, 04:58
Filed under: Humboldt, Manila, NCRA, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, Samoa, THA

Fog was quite thick in the morning, blowing off by mid morning. Believe it or not we haven’t had much fog for the many runs we have had. Richard Marks, and his wife took the ride that and and loved it! Richard Marks has photos, of the ride, and roundhouse at his website. “This project is also an affirmation of the relevancy of an excursion train to Scotia.” Richard Marks is running for Harbor district commissioner, and supports rails with trails. His hard work, and looking for everyone, including the pole climbers is why I personally endorse him.

Just got the latest THA newsletter. According to it, 834 people took speeder rides, generating $3,849 in contributions for the ride or general preservation. Speeder rides will resume in the Spring, hopefully with a trailer to increase capacity.

Voices of Humboldt County also likes the speeder ride. One correction though, of their stuff, we try and keep the speed below 15 mph, however it probably can do 30mph. It has four gears, but we generally only use the 2nd and 3rd gear, with little to no throttle. 1st gear is a little slow, and 4th is too fast for the condition of the roadbed. Going to Manila, I’ll have it in 3rd, with the throttle as low as it will go. On the way back I’ll have it in 3rd, with two fingers width of throttle. The throttle does tend to creep towards going slower, than faster if you don’t watch it.

The petal on the floor is the clutch, with a long throw to it. On the bench, the one with the loop is the throttle, the knob is the choke, the thick orange handle one is fwd-n-rev, and the stick shift is R-1,2,3,4. Trivia for you, is if both the stick, and reverser is in reverse, you will go forward. Also, we hardly ever use the reverse on the stick. The control panel has ignition power, horn, and starter controls. It has amperage, and oil pressure. I’m working on a speedometer.

My personal joy was having the kids ring the bell going back in to the “station”, and their eyes light up. It was nice being able to have people tour the collection at Samoa. Many thanks to Humboldt Towing for hauling the speeder from the roundhouse to the rail, and back again.

Small flyer

The boiler shop roof continues, the part over the shed was the worst roof we had on the property. No way to keep people out of it, before, with burnt and rotting rafters. Now it is ready for roofing.

Various groups have toured the buildings.

May 7th, HSU OLLI Extended Education class with 25 students.
July 25th, Eureka Heritage Society with 50 people. Both were facilitated by Ray Hillman. Mike Kellogg gave a historical background of the buildings, and locomotives.

Aug 5th Horseless Carriage Club Tour with people from California and other states toured the area and included a stop at the roundhouse with their vintage cars.

In August, the Southern Oregon Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society from Medford, Oregon scheduled a three day visit to THA facilities and activities.They presented a Live Rail Award, for “outstanding accomplishments saving our railroad heritage for future generations” to THA. The honor included a certificate and a handsome carved wood plaque.

Sept 12th, a number of the Humboldt Bay Model A Club members rode the speeder, and toured the roundhouse.

Work continues on #37. Ultrasound survey has been started, and cylinder/pistons inspected, and tested.

Anderson Model Kits offers a high end model kit of the Samoa Roundhouse as it appeared in 1933. The HO, S, and O scale kits will be available through THA’s mail order catalog. The prices are $199, $299, and $399 respectively. I wish there was a G scale option, but then again I couldn’t afford it. Many best wishes to them.

Many thinks to Green Diamond Resource Co. for donating, Wayne Bare Trucking for delivering, and Homer Purcell of Freshwater Tissue for unloading a log truck load (about eight or nine cords) of logs to be bucked, and split. Well with donation of Don’s Rent All of splitter time, and members help, it has been all split.

Harold Harnden gave a tour and donated items from his Harnden Mill at Berry Summit to THA.

North Coast Co-op has selected THA as part of it’s 1% Register Donation Program. Members can donate an aditional 1% above their grocery purchase to THA at either Co-op. You will need to give the cashier our number, which is 87383.

The five passenger cars THA purchased are numbered SP 2091, 2093, 2106, 2109, and 2148. Our successful bid was $2,800 per car, and estimate cost of moving is $9,300 per car. The purchase price, and move is being financed by NWP co, NCRA’s operator of the railroad. Tentatively they will be moved Nov., or Dec., and placed on temporary track at the edge of the parking lot at the Samoa Roundhouse building complex.

Strategic Plan Completed, and final draft completed/approved.

If you have the actual newsletter, you will see I ripped most of this out of the newsletter, shamelessly.

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Upcoming Timber Heritage Association speeder runs and news
Thursday 27 Aug 2009, 08:54
Filed under: Humboldt, Manila, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, Samoa, THA
Update, I forgot to include the new earlier start time of 9am to allow additional two runs per day.

The speeder ride dates are the Saturdays as follows: Beaware these are full, should be to squeeze a few in.
August 29
September 12. Might have a 2nd speeder coming down from Oregon to help give rides, that will double our capacity.
September 26. Last run of 2009, due to weather.

We are very grateful for the response, and strong demand.

Timber Heritage Association (THA) and friends will have rides on the Arcata & Mad River Crew Speeder these Saturdays beginning at 9:00 AM, ending with last ride at 3:30 PM. Members ride free otherwise the ticket donation is $4.00 for adults and $2.00 for children under 11. THA’s Humboldt Bay Scenic Railroad will be operating the crew maintenance vehicle (speeder), which was built in the late 1930’s by the Arcata & Mad River Railroad and recently restored by THA volunteers.

The rides begin near the Cookhouse (please park there). The speeder will travel from Samoa to Manila on the mainline NWP track by the bay and back for a trip lasting 20 to 24 minutes. The rides are on a schedule leaving on the hour and half hour.

Guests will be able to tour the old Hammond Roundhouse facilities where six steam locomotives and one diesel locomotive that formerly operated in Humboldt County are housed.

Call Gerry Tomczak at 707-441-1960 Friday during the day to reserve a ride for any of the Saturdays we are running. If you can’t make a reservation THA will issue a ticket with a time so you do not have to wait in line.

The news is the THA board approved the buying of five passenger cars for our tourist train for $12,300 each including moving. They will take some good work to restore, but are in good running condition. Full details of moving them, and storage of them still have to be worked out.

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