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SMART board weighs American vs. European rail cars | PressDemocrat.com | The Press Democrat | Santa Rosa, CA
Wednesday 24 Jun 2009, 10:28
Filed under: Marin, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, SMART, Sonoma, transit

SMART board weighs American vs. European rail cars | PressDemocrat.com | The Press Democrat | Santa Rosa, CA.

The board is choosing between heavy-weight, American-style rail cars that meet federal safety and pollution standards that take effect in 2012 and European-style cars that would require a waiver from federal railroad regulators. The European-designed cars could not run at the same time as freight trains.

The board on Wednesday also adopted a strategic plan that acknowledges there is a $155 million shortfall over the 20-year life of the SMART tax, caused by declines in sales tax revenue because of the recession.

The plan, however, clings to the 2014 completion and startup date of the rail system, hoping to make up the funding gap with state or federal funds.

Hames also told the board that for the next two years, the tax provides enough money to do the design and engineering work.

The shortfall would not be felt until bonds will be needed to be sold to begin construction, when it is hoped the economy has recovered and tax revenues increase.

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