Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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It seems like these groups are not going to give up until they get there way. Also they keep saying that they are concerned that the railroad is going to damage the eel river canyon despite the fact that the railroad has said over and over again the they both do not have immediate plans to operate on the section, and they don't have an environmental impact report for that section. The environmental groups seem completely oblivious to the fact that the railroad has said they are interested in only going to Willits for the time being.

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Of course not, they will do this because it's about grand standing and enviroterrorism. They will waste ALL of the state funding for a lost cause until they have no other alternative other then tying themselves to tracks.

They're not environmentalists, I am a big environmental guy, and a train guy, true environmentalists see the railroad as a way to help and preserve the environment, while helping the economy, look at who got the Skunk Train back up after the tunnel collapse, the Save the Redwood's League. No, these people are just out to make a name for themselves, they are the type that would back anybody or anything as long as it got their names in the paper or on tv, they are hypocrites, nothing more, nothing less.  If these groups want to know how REAL environmentalists roll, they should learn from this

Agreement Enables Tunnel Restoration, Restores Public Access, Protects Old-Growth Forest from Threat of Logging and Supports Regional Economic Vitality

Download Press Release PDF

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 18, 2013)—Save the Redwoods League, the only nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting ancient redwood forests throughout their natural range, announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Mendocino Railway, owners and operators of the famous Skunk Train, to provide $300,000 to acquire an option for purchase of a conservation easement that will permanently protect the ancient redwoods along the train's famous "Redwoods Route" including the Noyo River Watershed. Owners of the Mendocino Railway have indicated that they intend to use the funds from the option purchase, along with public donations, for repair of a tunnel that collapsed in April 2013. The conservation easement will be developed over a three-year period, enabling Save the Redwoods League and the Skunk Train to work together on a comprehensive plan to best protect the trees.

Repairs to the damaged tunnel will begin immediately. The first trains are expected to be up and running from Willits to Northspur in the first part of July with full service restored by mid-July.

The summer months are imperative economically to the train and also to the surrounding region, as many local businesses such as hotels, restaurants and shops rely on income resulting from visitors traveling to the area to ride the Skunk Train. The train carries approximately 45,000 visitors annually on its famous 40-mile "Redwoods Route" and adds an estimated $20 million annually to the Mendocino County economy. The Skunk Train attracts visitors from around the world, many who experience redwoods for the first time.

"We were pleased the owner of the Skunk Train contacted us about the tunnel, as he was concerned over potentially having to sell some of the Redwood trees to timber companies in order for the railway to survive," said Harry Pollack, COO and acting executive director of Save the Redwoods League. "Protecting the old-growth forest and historic access through the redwoods is directly in line with the League's mission."

"The Skunk Train is vital to the local economy, and without it, the whole area suffers," said Robert Pinoli, president of the Skunk Train. "Summer is our biggest season, and that's why I'm so grateful to Save the Redwoods League for quickly coming to the rescue, enabling us to have the train up and running, hopefully by the first or second week in July, and for working with us to permanently protect the redwoods. Our agreement will allow visitors to enjoy the redwoods now and for generations into the future."

Initially Pinoli appealed to the public for the funds needed to make the repairs and potentially faced the prospect of having to sell some of the trees to raise the money. The League quickly responded, offering to acquire a conservation easement that will permanently protect threatened redwood trees along the Skunk Train's railway corridor and in turn provide the immediate funding needed to repair the tunnel and restore public access to the redwood forest between Fort Bragg and Willits.

Save the Redwoods League and the Skunk Train/Mendocino Railway have a history of working together. In 2011, the League purchased the 426-acre Noyo River Redwoods to prevent the previous owner from harvesting the ancient trees under an approved Timber Harvest Plan. The Skunk Train's route winds through six miles of the Noyo River Redwoods, and the Train's owners were instrumental in helping the League raise funds to complete the purchase.

If this was a real problem with the way the railroad spent the money, wouldn't the state of California do something... The state must feel that the railroad followed their guidelines.  These groups don't want a railroad at all.  Back in the eureka southern time, I recall a group wanting to remove the railroad and highway 101 and force everyone to walk to eureka from willits... this is how extreme these people are.  I have a feeling that by the time the appeal is heard, that the railroad will already be in going further north.  

Hopefully your right michael,  Get the money and start doing the work to Willits. It's a joke that a handful of people "speak" for all of California.  It's funny that I cut a tree down in my front yard this weekend and in the back of my mind I wondered if I should have contacted the town of Windsor to see if I could :)

Until their religious fanaticism is addressed and publicly ridiculed, there's not much you can do.

Those people will never give up, no matter what you give them, they always want more

What bugs me most is they're not getting it. The NWP doesn't want to go to Humboldt, clearly its been stated plenty of times by the NWP, NCRA, even SMART at one point. That section of rail is gone, but they're still clinging to decades old information.

In my humble opinion, the whole situation is a mess. NCRA has no funding and only limited income. They have a couple of small leases for property and right of ways (cell towers etc). NWP is from what I read, not paying a rent, but that is because they have loaned so much to NCRA to get things going, and NCRA cannot pay them back so they use rent in lieu of payments. Other than a few turn key shippers, NWP is not getting any new shippers after two years except for a once in a blue moon transload in Windsor. NCRA owes legal fees to Neary that are astronomical and is so far in debt, you question their sustainability. In fact, several months back there was chatter that Neary might pull out do to lack of payments. NWP comes across as shoestring operation. Sure, three power units are enough in reality, but look at them. They never painted or renumbered 2009, 1922 is ok unit but paint looks so poor, and 1322 unpainted and doesn't even have NWP on it, but rather Santa Fe. This all appears John Williams is tentative about how long he will be able or willing to operate. When it all comes down to shippers, they must be smart enough to be cautious of investing in $200 foot spurs when they may be shut down in a year. My point is, as long as these enviro eccentrics keep throwing law suits to stop them out, the  negative press is out and shippers hear this stuff casting doubts and making it real hard for NWP to get (or promise) long term commitments. Shippers don't want to loose their relationship with their current carriers, only to have to try and replace or renew them in the near future. Then, the legal defenses cost so much it drains NCRA of any extra funds or pushes them in deeper with the legal debts. So as long as they keep filing appeals etc, I just see dark days for NCRA and NWP. Sometimes I think that is the long range plan. How much does it cost the enviros to file an appeal and have it pending for another year? During that time NCRA and NWP both suffer financially and I don't know how long that can continue. Again, that is probably part of the enviro eccentrics plan. It disgusts me to say the least that there is no recourse for either NCRA or NWP.  As much as I want to see rail service and as much value it has, if it went public tomorrow, I would be cautious to invest in it at this time. I think that is the way shippers are looking at it too. Sad, sad,sad

The NWP deserves a strong carrier. History has taught us that in economics, tough times will make make or break businesses. Sometimes it's just what is needed to make sure they can make the right decisions to make it through the natural seasons the wreak havoc on the line. It ain't going to be a picnic. If the operators have some good business sense and that classic ability to turn disadvantage into advantage, then you'll have the right operator for the long haul.

If they can't make a go of it with a few environmentalists doing what they do...then the certainly won't have what it takes to weather the next big rain storm.

Maybe that's harsh, but it's what forged the strong class 1 railroad's into what the are today.


Anyone know a lawyer who can file a counter suit against the enviro's for harming the economy? Bankrupt them for a change.

This is why I believe that everyone in this country be forced to join the military at 18. Such BS like this and the never ending wars that the current liberal govt keep on getting us into would be a thing of the past in this country.

Always wondered if the Enviro Nazi's really research the crooks they help vote into office.

Well to be fair the last administration got us in the current wars, I think President Obama is doing a good job, he got us out of Iraq,  dispatched Osama and we are almost out of Afghanistan.  Like I said on the environment, taking care of God's Earth is a good thing, and railroads are a good way of helping to preserve nature, the Save the Redwood's League thought so recently when they gave the Skunk Line the money to restore service by fixing the tunnel east of Fort Bragg. There are crazy hypocrites on every side, and these people are definitely it, they don't care about anything but hearing themselves talk, they'd support tearing trees down if they thought it would make a splash.

My views? Well, we are all strong FDR/Truman Democrats and Mormon, and have been both since the 1800's, and are a strong and longtime railroad/union family, so if you are wondering why I feel the way I do, there ya go :)  I do respect others views and political leanings as well, we may all disagree on how to get there, but we all do want to get there :)


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