Capdiamont\’s Weblog

ER: NCRA gets final $3.4 million repair funds installment
Friday 15 Feb 2008, 08:14
Filed under: NCRA, Railroad

North Coast Railroad Authority officials announced Thursday that the California Transportation Commission approved the final installment of funding to repair rail line in the Napa area between Lombard and Windsor.

NCRA Chairman Allan Hemphill stated in a news release that the CTC approved at its meeting in Burlingame Wednesday to fund the $3.4 million necessary for the NCRA to complete repairs on its 62-mile stretch of railroad on its southern end.

Since November 2006, the CTC has paid $35.9 million to the NCRA to repair signal crossings, bridges, tracks, levees and to mitigate flood damage along the rail line, according to a news release.

Railroad contractors are waiting to continue with repairs on the remaining 40 percent repairs with the outcome of a Marin Superior Court hearing on March 11 related to a court case initiated by the city of Novato, which sued to stop the work arguing that the NCRA failed to adequately review the work in an Environmental Impact Report.

In a related matter, Hemphill said that the federal Surface Transportation Board has rejected an effort by the Friends of the Eel River to deny operating rights to NCRA’s contract operator Northwestern Pacific Co.

The environmental organization argued that NWP Co. should not be granted the right to operate trains on the line between Willits and Lombard until an EIR evaluating the impact of freight train operations is completed.

Hemphill said that the NCRA is developing a $2-to-$3 million EIR that addresses the impacts of freight train operations between Willits and Lombard that is expected to be released in draft form in the spring and certified in July, according to the release.

“The CTC’s final payment and the STB decision are great news,” Hemphill stated. “Both developments keep us on our schedule to have trains running between Windsor and the interchange (Lombard) by late summer 2008.”


1 Comment

More BS from Hemphill. The reality is that they won’t be able to finish their repairs until they complete an EIR. The other EIR on rail operations is also snarled, because if the judge rules that the “whole of the project” is all the way to Eureka, the operational EIR (that Hemphill claims will be done this summer) will have to address this issue as well.

Mitch Stogner was quoted in the PD as saying if the judge requires the EIR project definition to include restarting freight to Eureka, freight won’t be able to start-up for five years.

Comment by Tired of the bull

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