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Here is a link to a newspaper article on the Humboldt Eastern Railroad.

Unbelievable!  They think they can build this thing for ten billion dollars!  Ha!  By at least two guesstimates that I’ve found, a permanent repair and fix for the Eel River Canyon line could well cost one-tenth of that amount. And, a new line to Red Bluff would still be subject to the ravages of Mother Nature in a bad winter.

So why are they doing this?  Can anyone on this list speculate?  Is it a ploy to somehow prod the State into action in fixing the old line?  Or is the whole thing just a scam.  If it were a scam, wouldn’t the entrepreneurs set themselves up for lawsuits?

But I’ll say this much.   To date no one has returned my e-mails.  I might get my nerve up and try and call that Bill Bertrain guy.  Does anybody know him?

You know, I know this sounds crazy, but I almost feel strong enough about this that I might just send them 10 grand – or would if I truly believed that it might help save this railroad in some small way.


Fred M. Cain

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I wouldn't send them a penny Fred.  It sounds good but not going to happen.  The whole idea stems from Humboldt being a 1 day shorter route by sea to the Asian ports.  Following the old NWP route "south" would negate that time savings, so you build a direct route to the Central Valley and Red Bluff and don't lose a day. With west coast ports busting st the seams the need for another port is there but not sure Humboldt Bay is the answer.  Just too much money 


I found an e-mail address for Bill Bertrain online yesterday and sent him an e-mail but I'm not 100% sure if it's a good e-mail address or not.  It did not bounce at any rate.  I asked him how they plan to raise the $10 million and if they were selling shares or not.  I then asked him how much a single share would cost.  Guess what?  No response.  I don't see how they could be either very motivated or organized if they don't even respond to public interest.

At this point I am certainly open to taking your advice.  

If their idea is to cut a day off of shipping, I don't see how they could do that.  If they were to send double stacks east to Red Bluff or Redding, those containers would still have to venture south to Roseville before they could head east or north to Portland then east over the BNSF to Chicago.  Wouldn't that still be somewhat circuitous? 

If SMART does rebuild the line as far as Willits, freights could probably operate at speeds of up to 60MPH through there.  So a rebuilt NWP line from Eureka might still be able to save time.  I suspect that shipping companies want flexibility and the option of being able to use a number of west coast ports so they would probably support a new seaport at Humboldt Bay.  But here's the rub.  They need and demand reliability.  They would not be happy if told that the line is washed out and will be at least three months until the weather clears to make repairs.  Oh, man!  That'd go over like a lead balloon! 


Fred M. Cain


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