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END OF THE LINE? State Senator Mike McGuire Drafting Legislation to Dissolve North Coast Railroad Authority, Form ‘Great Redwood Trail Agency’ to Manage Humboldt, Mendocino Assets
So this means that all plans for a train around the bay are no longer existent? That would suck if that happened.
In response to Emilio...the bottom of the article to which the original post linked includes the following passages:
"In both drafts, the Great Redwood Trail Agency would be given the option of choosing to maintain rail infrastructure on the far northern end of the line, perhaps to lease to excursion operators or short-line freight operations. But it would not be part of the agency’s core mission."
It should be noted before getting this far the legislation would first transfer NCRA's assets north of Willits to California Department of Transportation for two years, then to the Great Redwood Trail Agency. The only difference between the "both drafts" mentioned in the above article is how the line south of Willits would be handled, one would convey it to SMART and the other to an as yet unidentified agency.
The following is a little farther down the article:
"Hank Seemann, Humboldt County’s deputy director of public works and the point person for the county’s various trail projects, told the Outpost this morning that he hadn’t yet had time to review McGuire’s draft legislation. When it was outlined for him, he said that it was too early to know how it might affect the county’s current top trail priority — the completion of the Humboldt Bay Trail between Eureka and Arcata.
Further down the road, though, the changes McGuire proposes could be expanding the regional trail system, Seemann said. It would likely make it much easier to take the trails down to King Salmon, College of the Redwoods — even down to Fortuna and beyond.
“Thinking about the future, it certainly could be a game-changer for expanding the Humboldt Bay Trail.” he said."
The first quote from the article seems to indicate that rails MIGHT be left in place on part of the north end for a tourist or freight railroad. However, I don't know enough about the Humbolt Bay Trail project to know if it envisions a trail only or a rail with trail- however, the latter would be tough to pull off, given the nature of a lot of the right-of-way in that stretch. It also doesn't get THA or anyone else involved any closer to access to however many millions of dollars it will take to get an excursion operation up and running around the bay.