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California SB-1029 has a better than 50/50 chance to pass this year

   There are many changes to the Northwestern Pacific Right of Way.

    1) Ends NCRA

    2) Smart will have the right of way all the way up Willits.

    3) SMART will takeover all of the freight operations on its Right of Way.

    4) The Right of Way thru Eel river Canyon will be turned in a trail. 

    5) The north end will be turned over to Cal Trans.

  The legislature is amending it as we speak. No word from GOV Brown.

  Lots to talk about here. Myself I haven't made up my mind yet. 

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Yes, section 17 is particularly interesting:

The sum of four million dollars ($4,000,000) is hereby appropriated to the State Transportation Agency from the Public Transportation Account for rail improvements on the corridor owned by the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District and the North Coast Railroad Authority. These moneys shall be allocated to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District for the acquisition of freight rights and equipment from the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company to ensure efficient provision of goods movement requirements in the corridor in the context of growing passenger service. Following a signed baseline agreement between the State Transportation Agency and the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District that articulates deliverables, the anticipated expenditure schedule, and reporting requirements, the Secretary of Transportation may transfer these moneys to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District pursuant to the provisions of the baseline agreement. These moneys shall not be transferred to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District for the acquisition of freight rights and equipment from the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company unless the terms and conditions of the baseline agreement have been approved by both the Secretary of Transportation and the Director of Finance. If these moneys are not transferred to the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District within two years of the chaptering of this act, these moneys shall be returned to the Public Transportation Account.

What I am confused about is why we are dissolving a government agency to create one. I would think it would be easier and faster to redirect the current NCRA into an agency that is directed to support trails and future trail needs, for example "North Coast Rail and Trail Authority. Then nothing has to be transferred. It seems more complicated to shutdown one agency transfer everything to a brand new agency. 

I don't think the canyon should be a trail, I think that is dumb. It will cost just as much to maintain the trail. It doesn't cost much to put the track back, the cost comes from having to put the dirt back.

 The real problem with the NCRA happened at its inception. The bill creating the NCRA was signed into law but the bill to create a solid funding source was vetoed. I think the GOV was that guy from San Diego. 

I agree with that! NCRA should have gotten enough to maintain the property and security of publicly owned land. Anything less than keeping the tracks to exempt standards just wasted the states money in the long run. The state bought a railroad and drove the value down.

I’m curious to know if it relates to the pretty big debt that the NCRA has... does it disapear with the shutdown, or would that debt be passed to SMART? I seem to remember the dissolution of the debt part of the initial bill. If the NCRA was reorganzised, instead of removed, I think the debt would stick wifh them...?

  It appears that a committee is to be setup to evaluate all assets and liabilities. A report is due July 1 2020 that will make recommendations. The legislature will have to make those hard choices at that point.

This bill has cleared both legislative chambers on the last day of this session. It is in the proof reading office. Next stop is the Governor's Office. He have until SEP 30 to sign or veto.

Looks like NWP gets bought out. And SMART gets what it wants
Yup although smart would be smart to keep the freight going and make a deal with Genesee Wyoming (California northern ) to keep freight going and make money off of it.

 California SB-1029, the redwood trail bill, was signed by the Governor on 12SEP2018.

It now resides in the Secretary of States Office. 

  Sorry, I got this wrong. I was looking at a bill that was approved in 2016 with the same number.

The bill is still on the governors desk.

  However SMART today approved several contracts that will extend the rail line to Windsor.

  On 29SEP2018 Governor Brown signed SB-1029. A lot of this bill will affect how SMART grows in total miles served. Moreover how SMART manages freight traffic on it's right of way. 

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