Capdiamont\’s Weblog

The $400 million Eel River trail

Madrone estimates the trail would cost between $300 million and $400 million to build

That is a quote from the trail adviser, unlike Sims who used any person from the audience.

A railroad easement is there until the railroad is abandoned. It doesn’t matter if the line has been inactive for twenty-five years or more.

The railroad is not required to use creosoted wood. Other alternatives are concrete, steel, plastic, rubber, and other wood resistant to rot.

We rail advocates understand it will be a long hard path.

With  ever increasing fuel costs, there is a rising need for the railroad. The railroad can haul one ton of freight for an average of 426 miles on one gallon of fuel. A truck on the other hand hauls one ton of freight for about an average of 118 miles on one gallon of fuel. With rising tensions and population around the world, do we really want to be stuck with a less efficient transportation?

Security is of paramount importance, so ERTA promotes use of technology here. A “trail card” system with solar-powdered automated trail stations could be located at all of the approx. 15 main ERT access points from paved roads. The cards could have a proximity sensor function, so that if someone gets lost, we would know which section they last passed through. It is much easier to search 5 or10 miles than it is 162 miles. All trail users could be required to provide next of kin contacts and planned date of arrival at a given access point. There could be different types of trail cards, like single or multiple day-use as well as annual or lifetime passes, for locals or frequent users.

How many people do they really think is going to pay for trail use? Enough for $400 million in costs, not to mention maintenance costs? Does he really think anyone will use this security card, let alone MJ Growers? I’m sure DEA will not subpena the records.

BTW, NCRA said the rails, etc is theirs, and will be used for the rest of the system if this is railbanked. So if you are counting on $400 million from scrapping the relatively small amount, forget it. Also the scrap won’t even add up to what they need.


Flooding at NWP/NCRA Schellville Depot area, other NWP railroad news
Tuesday 19 Jan 2010, 10:17
Filed under: Mendocino, NCRA, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, Schellville, Sonoma, Willits

Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports flooding closed highway 121 at Eight st since mid morning. It doesn’t take much to flood in this area, per the article. This intersection is right by the depot there. No reports of it actually flooding the railroad, or actual damages yet to the railroad. However drainage was improved in this area as part of getting the railroad running again. It might help to provide a bypass channel for the flood waters through the horseshoe part of the creek. Map here.

NVR reports The Skunk Train filed for bankruptcy. They plan on to keep running. Thanks to the NWP Network for the heads-up.

UPDATE 20 Jan 2010, 10:24: Reports of crossing arm problems, no known damage yet.

UPDATE 22 Jan 2010, 00:22: Report from someone who have views photos of area; no damage to railroad. Improvements greatly helped.

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NWP area railroad news, with some notable railroad supporter deaths
Wednesday 28 Oct 2009, 10:50
Filed under: bicycle, Mendocino, NCRA, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, SMART, trails, Willits

Some sad news this week.

Willits news: Ruth Rockefeller: Community loses a venerable citizen

After her retirement from teaching, she took on the failing Northwestern Pacific Railroad; preserving the railroad became her passion. She was the first woman to be elected chairman for the North Coast Railroad Authority in 1998 when she was 80 years old. The plaque she received for this honor was presented to her by the board of directors chairman, who said: “Whoever thought an 80 year old school teacher would be actively managing the NCRA, but there’s nothing like this little old schoolmarm.”

Ruth was very proud of that award and worked diligently to the end of her life to save the railroad.

Former Tiburon mayor and rail backer Ellman dies

Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit booster George Ellman died last month, but he is not done with the rail project just yet.

His ashes will be on the first SMART train scheduled to roll down the tracks in 2014, a request made by Mr. Ellman before his death.

NorCal History Blog: Getting to work at Falk

I talked to Bill Rich yesterday, and the folks at HSU are getting ready to start digging at the historic town site of Falk.

Cloverdale seeks to link downtown to the train station

Cloverdale is considering building a bike and pedestrian path to its rail station in anticipation of eventual commuter train service.

The path is being proposed as a way to link the downtown to the station on the opposite side of the freeway.

The bike/pedestrian path, dubbed the Cloverdale Greenway project, could replace two of the four vehicle lanes on Citrus Fair Drive that run under Highway 101 and connect the west of town to the station on the east.

Not local related, but still a little fun. World’s smallest model train.

Thanks, all for your support. It was one of those things that was hard to get, was good info on the railroad. Every monthly meeting they have a presentation with photos of progress on the railroad. However, they haven’t posted a single 2009 presentation yet. I keep saying, they need to show what they have done, it is a pr thing.

Willits Woodstock appears to be defunct – Ukiah Daily Journal
Friday 1 May 2009, 06:44
Filed under: Mendocino, Willits

Willits Woodstock appears to be defunct – Ukiah Daily Journal.

Nash Gonzales, county planning and building services director, said Thursday he still had not received any kind of documentation from Rosco Smith or anyone involved with the Monsoon Entertainment’s proposed ReBirth festival meant to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Woodstock in Willits.

“I’ve gotten no communications from them, not a thing,” said Gonzales. “I was waiting. It’s been forgotten I guess. I was hoping they’d come in and we could at least talk, but at this point I think it’s not going to happen.”

CalTrans gives up on full mitigation in Little Lake Valley – The Willits News
Thursday 16 Apr 2009, 05:57
Filed under: Mendocino, Willits

CalTrans gives up on full mitigation in Little Lake Valley – The Willits News.

When CalTrans planned to mitigate the environmental impact of the Willits bypass on Little Lake Valley wetlands, it apparently failed to look at the valley during the rainy season.

Due to this oversight, CalTrans no longer believes it can create enough new seasonal wetlands inside Little Lake Valley to properly mitigate all the wetland impacts the bypass will cause and must now seek mitigation properties elsewhere.

Whether these issues can be resolved and permits obtained to meet current construction deadlines is not yet known.

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Visiting Roots – The Willits News
Monday 6 Apr 2009, 06:36
Filed under: Mendocino, Railroad, Willits

Visiting Roots – The Willits News.

In the misty afternoon of March 4, the kids from First Steps Daycare and their accompanying adults visited the Roots of Motive Power facility, rode a historic train and toured the Mendocino County Museum.

The group was able to board one of Roots’ antique trains, complete with a coal-burning stove and viewing deck. They rode the train around the baseball fields located on the north side of Commercial Street.

The kids gleefully laughed and were sometimes startled with the train’s creaks, jerks and “chugga-chuggas” as it made its way around the track.

Mitigation concerns over bypass – The Willits News
Thursday 5 Mar 2009, 10:27
Filed under: Mendocino, Willits

Mitigation concerns over bypass – The Willits News.

While the mechanical design and right of way acquisition for the Highway 101 Willits bypass is on schedule to allow the contract to go out for bid early next year, the environmental mitigation has hit a snag.

CalTrans has only located 27 of the 65 total acres of replacement seasonal wetlands that must be mitigated before the project can move forward as planned.

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