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At last week's SMART board meeting GM Mansourian discussed the hiway 37 raod washout and repair status of the rail line. The Chief Engineer provided an excellent presentation on the cause and the new work to fix the damage and get the line back into operation: http://sonomamarintrain.org/sites/default/files/Board/COC%20Documen...
In his report Mansourian announced that SMART would be contributing $100,000 towards the repair. He also announced that SMART and the NCRA were "co-owners" of the RoW as per FRA regulations.
Mr. Mansourian's comment surprised me and the way he phrased it was almost as if this was a change due to the directives in SB1039.
The public can make comments during the meeting public comment period, but questions are not answered by either the GM or the board.
There have been many discussions on this w-site about who owns what section(s) of the RoW. Does this co-ownership only apply to the Brazos section of the RoW or does it now apply to the full line as a part of 1039?
1039 definitely recommends a study on putting SMART passenger service onto Brazos over to connect with Amtrak. But there is no text in the bill suggesting co-ownership.
May be time for a public records filing.
I believe that the Schellville branch has been "owned" by SMART since SMART's inception. NCRA "owns" the line north of Healdsburg, but that came to an end recently with SB1039 and the dissolution of the NCRA. I think now SMART owns the whole line between Brazos and Willits and south to Larkspur. North of Willits is going to CalTrans I think.
When does SB1039 take effect? Maybe until it is effective NCRA remains a co-owner.
Great pictures in that PDF! Thanks for that link!
SB1039 seems to be up for grabs right now. The subject came up at both the NCRA mtg and SMART boards meetings but there was no clarity.
I've read thru it twice now and while I can understand the rails to trails part of it, the sections on the SMART portion of the RoW including Brazos and the transfer of freight ops to SMART don't make much sense at all. Poorly written IMHO.
Looks like they will have this fixed pretty quick. All they need to do is add fill and re-ballast the track, and replace a missing tie or two.
Good update with picture of the repair work in today's PD front page.
Video of NWP 2009, covered hoppers, and a caboose traveling over the repaired section adjacent to hwy. 37: