Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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Does anybody know about trains returning to the Eureka area?

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  The short answer is maybe yes. With the passage of SB-1029, last session. The transportation Agency and the Natural Resources Agency are tasked with a report that is due before July 1,2020. This report will give the legislature many choices. Among them are a choice to have CALTRANS to start railroad service on the north end. If you want to get involved I suggest you begin by reading SB-1029 first. Many of your questions might be answered.

OK. Cool.

Not sure where you got that from, but I'm pretty sure they're tasking Caltrans with creating a Hiking/Biking trail and not a railroad. I know they were thinking about a tourist train in the Eureka area but not freight aside from the Pacific Northwest Railroad scam. Feel free to correct me with citations if I'm wrong.

 Check out SB-1029. I could be wrong. The state legislature will have to make the decisions after the report is completed.

Willits south should turn over to SMART but everything else is supposed to be railbanked and turned into a trail as far as I know. The wording in SB1029 is very thick and doesn't make sense unless you reread it like 20 times. Either way you look at it, the Eel river canyon is unstable and washout prone, it would take lunatics to try and rebuild a railroad (or trail) through there.

Would service on north end extend to Willits or from scotia to Arcata?? costs would be enormous to extend to Willits.

 There is a possibility that SMART could be the beneficiary of the Right-of-Way north of Cloverdale all way to and including Willits. Anything north of Willits will be the beginning of the Trail through Eel River Canyon. Since that is Mendocino County. That county would have to have an election to be included in the SMART System. The original SMART district is Marin and Petaluma counties only.


There is no "Petaluma" county in California.  And Mendocino County borders Sonoma County on the North and begins just north of Cloverdale.  SMART taking on the responsibility/ownership of additional RoW would have to go the voters of our counties.  I would vote against any such added responsibility as SMART is not staffed to support such an addition and does not need the distraction either.  That is why the NCRA was established in the first place and should either be reconstituted or the job turned over to the State transportation agency.

SB1029 is poorly written and should never have been approved by the State Senate.  

Richard Brand

Sonoma County   

You are absolutely right. There is no Petaluma County. What was I thinking?

  Poorly written or not it is the law. Many of the provisions will take years to work out.

The Smart Board is right in it's belief that the complete line from Larkspur to Cloverdale must be finished first. As for voting on more counties joining SMART that is up the voters in those counties. There is a procedure for adding Counties. It was written into the SMART charter.

Last Saturday, Mark McGuire was in Humboldt giving a presentation on the Great Redwood Trail.  He was very clear that "Trains will never run again north of Willits".  There was only talk of Railbanking. He even talked about this trail going all the way to Samoa.  While he did specifically mention his support for Timber Heritage's Speeder Crewcar runs, as recreational use, there was still talk of removing rails beyond Eureka.  If any more rail is removed around Humboldt Bay, THA's hopes of a working excursion train are done!  Mr. Mcquire's email is :     Please drop him an email "save the rails around Humboldt Bay"

That’s a shame. Do you think the tracks north of eureka will really be torn up?

Great suggestion Thad.  While its fun to sit at a PC or smart phone and exchange notes, wishing doesn't get you anywhere.

Write your legislators and tell them what you want.  If you REALLY want something, send them a $10 campaign donation with your note. 

That said it is encouraging to hear McGuire even touch the issue of trains to Willits.  Do I smell a Skunk? 


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