Capdiamont\’s Weblog


Marin County Judge Lays Smack Down on NCRA Opponents

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Judge to dismiss suit against North Coast rail service

Environmental groups cannot use state law to block the resumption of freight rail service on the North Coast, a Marin County judge tentatively ruled Tuesday.

Judge Roy O. Chernus said that federal law preempts state law in matters relating to railroads, so environmental groups could not sue the North Coast Railroad Authority over deficiencies in an environmental impact report that it prepared under state law using state money.

The state law “mandates a time-consuming review which may result in indefinite delays and unduly interfere with exclusive federal jurisdiction over rail transportation” by giving local officials power to block operations on environmental grounds, the judge wrote.

Ouch! This is what I have said for a long time. This also calls in to question Novato’s lawsuit and settlement. Maybe NCRA can get some money back from that city and the county of Marin.

Watch soon for Hank Sims to write another rant against the railroad and bearing his teeth. The troll or trolls will do the same with the comments on here.

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First Passenger train on NWP in June

For the first time since the reopening of the railroad. The NWP is having a passenger train. For $199 you will travel between Sacramento and the Sonoma race track. A t-shirt and preferred seating is included.

For the first time ever, Northern California NASCAR fans can get on board the NASCAR Express train service to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Sonoma Raceway.

The raceway has partnered with the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) to offer a first-of-its-kind express train that will transport fans directly from the Sacramento area to the raceway on race day, Sunday, June 23, 2013. The train will depart from Sacramento, with stops in Davis and Suisun City, and traverse some of Northern California’s most spectacular scenery before dropping passengers just steps from the raceway’s main entrance.

Link

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Common Carrier and Passenger E-W Rail
Tuesday 9 Apr 2013, 02:40
Filed under: Humboldt, NCRA, North Coast Railroad, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad

I am not sure why people are so against finding out out options and the use of public money. In order to have knowledge we must have info. By using public money we can have what we want, that is passenger rail. That is why Union Pacific rejected public money to expand Donner Pass. They did not want to deal with passenger train expansion. East-West rail would be a common carrier. Things that are carried is produce from farms, lumber, ie common everyday things people need and want. There is no way to sneak the boogeyman coal through here. Relax.

Tomorrow is likely uneventful. The fish passage is likely approved without the bridge.

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Loleta Antique Show and THA Speeder Run this Saturday 9-4ish

Looks to be another great weekend for fun, with some showers. This Saturday is the Loleta Antique Show and Loleta has been kind enough to invite Timber Heritage Association down to run once again. This show sponsored by the Loleta Volunteer Fire Department. According to their website it is one of the largest Antique Shows in Northern California. My only questions is how did I miss these gems for so long?

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Unanimous Support to Continue East – West Rail Study
Wednesday 29 Aug 2012, 09:59
Filed under: Humboldt, North Coast Railroad, Railroad, trails

With one hundred percent of the public speaking in favor of the study, the Supervisors did the honorable thing and unanimously approved going forward with supporting the study yesterday. With a broad base of support, this is good news.

According to the presentation the study would also resolve land use questions. However Supervisor Lovelace had to bring up land use questions, making me wonder if he listened to the presentation at all.

In an alternate universe, the back room dealing folks are unhappy that democracy happened.

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THA Speeder Crew Car runs Loleta Swauger Station Day 8 July 2012
Tuesday 10 Jul 2012, 12:48
Filed under: Humboldt, NCRA, North Coast Railroad, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, THA

A fun day was to be had by all. The weather was good, not to hot, and not too cold. The trains were packed all day, and the children were given the opportunity to run the bell while in station. Not only was there the usual speeder ride, but also a rail cycle was there, inviting people to explore the rail a bit at their own pace and power. Those who came for the BBQ and other events packed the speeder. Likewise, the folks who came for the historic speeder ride to the tunnel, packed the BBQ, and other businesses. At the Loleta Bakery, there was not a single loaf to be found at the end of the day, despite extra loafs that were made for the event. I am still enjoying my loaf of Sweet Portuguese Bread.

I will be adding video, beware though, it was done on the iPhone without a tripod.

Loleta Speeder and Rail Cycle runs 8 July 2012

Part B Video



Problems with the local rail banking idea

There is many issues here.

The rail to trail from Arcata to Blue Lake has yet to turn a shovel.
The rail with trail within Arcata and to Bracutt has yet to turn a shovel. Both were submitted to NCRA board and approved long ago. There has been no plan for a trail from Bracutt to Eureka that was brought to the NCRA board for a vote. With no plan submitted, it cannot be approved. NCRA is not the bad guy here. There are proper ways to do things. The trail folks have not done so.

The four million mentioned in the plan is not the true cost of converting the rail to trail. There is an unbroken string of federal court cases stating rails to rails/rail banking is an unconstitutional taking of land. So in each court case, the government had to pay fair market value of the land for a new trail easement as though the railroad was never there, plus interest. Those costs have not been added to the 2007 plan. Link: http://www.mainjustice.com/2012/02/17/railbanking-flopping-in-the-courtroom/

The prism of the railroad is not a levee. It was not designed to hold back any water, and it will not do so. It was only designed to hold up the trains. There has been no costs added to the 2007 plan to make it a levee. Again those are added costs, and time to do so.

The short run for the tourist train from Samoa to Arcata is too short for the proposed Dinner train. It will also leave out the packed Fourth of July passenger train runs between Arcata and Eureka. Those runs brought our communities together with alternative transportation.

The East side of highway 101 might be a better place. I know you have to cross Indianola, various businesses, etc. However you open yourself up to whole new possibilities. It would then be cheaper to add in the old railroad right of ways to Bayside, Old Hansen Rd area, Freshwater, and the north side of Eureka. Indianola was a Railroad right of way. This way you have the main connecting trail, plus more to get people off of old Arcata Road. It allow for better access to the the wildlife refuge. It is more protected from the wind coming off the bay.

Rail banking is unneeded. The operator filed a notice of intent to use the railroad, and that alone preserves the right of way from reverting to private hands. The public was told the railroad has not been used for fifteen years. That is incorrect. There has been the movement of the railroad passenger car, and various groups of speeders. All that usage qualifies as railroad usage, preserving the right of way.

Now there is proposed usage of the railroad as a shortline in the intern, with eventual connection to the outside. With the proposed usage, the Surface Transportation Board will not the abandoning of the railroad. Rail banking requires abandonment of the railroad. Thus no rail banking will be allowed, even if the NCRA wanted to do so.




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