Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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Comment by Richard C. Brand on April 15, 2019 at 11:59pm

Michael, SMART surely cannot and should not pay because they have a requirement to us tax payers to expand the passenger service line north.  I have also spoken out to the Board that even given the recent State bills, that freight is not within its Core Competency.

But still my city is overwhelmed on 101 by overloaded 18 wheeled trucks and again that is a CalTrans road maintenance issue.  What is probably the biggest hindrance is the RoW needing to cross the bicycle path.  I have found the bicycle coalition here very strong but a freight spur will most likely be only in use late at night.

BTW now that I live here I can tell you that locals will not let the SMART board change their objective to build out north to Cloverdale before considering any build out east to Napa and AmTrak.  That is because SMART is in the process of going to us voters to request an extension of the sales tax addition to maintain their needed the equipment, maintenance of way and to keep the existing system operable. 

This one State senator from the north coast may come in to propose all of these changes to NCRA but we in Sonoma and Marin County have many more voters than he has.

While NCRA may have their issues with RoW ownership, any change to NWP continuing freight service other with new customers, is unlikely.  And I can assure you that I will fight any such changes at the SMART BoD meetings.


Comment by Michael H Harrison on April 15, 2019 at 6:59am

No one is going to pay for a switch and it may be unlikely that SMART will want to. A new switch and PTC modifications cost $300,000 per SMART, not including the cost of the grading work and track laying. Then we add permits, and possible movement of utilities and the fact that the spur will cross the proposed trail, meaning that they would have to install equipment for a crossing. At a minimum for a crossing, there would have to be crossbucks, Paint, Concrete panels, not to mention how the trail would have to be adjusted. 

NWP  would be better off just installing a transload in Santa Rosa for smaller customers if the business warrants. If Santa Rosa warrants a transload then the best location would be at the old Wye. It is next to the SMART Track and it is on the side of the Santa Rosa North Station's gauntlet track, making it easy for freight to enter and exit.

Comment by Richard C. Brand on April 14, 2019 at 6:56pm

Should not be fully funded by Mead but funded primarily by CalTrans.  The roads are being pulverized by these extra long and heavy trucks.  Example is the Richmond San Rafael bridge which is literally crumbling.

Sonoma County is especially bad as we have no weigh station on 101 northbound.

Comment by Jason Peterich on April 13, 2019 at 3:55pm
Easier said than done... Switches are incredibly expensive to install, especially this day and age. It would cost Mead Clark a fortune.
Comment by Richard C. Brand on April 13, 2019 at 11:16am

That's why there should be a spur into Mead Clark.  They supply a lot of lumber for the area rebuild.

Comment by Chad Glover on April 12, 2019 at 9:18pm

Richard,  there has been nothing at Windsor since the fires.  The whole place was full of concrete and metal debris from the fires 

Comment by Richard C. Brand on April 12, 2019 at 3:52pm


Is that transload still in place?  I never see any centerbeams anymore in the consist.  Also the "freight" rails at the Santa Rosa platform are rusty.

Comment by Al Merkrebs on April 12, 2019 at 12:46pm

I just found these maps too, thanks to this thread.

They are all here:

This was done 9 years ago! Yes, thank you Mark and Dave S.!

Comment by Jennifer on April 12, 2019 at 11:12am

Indeed these maps are incredibly cool.  Just discovered them myself thanks to Chad's post.  Thanks as well to Mark and Dave for the  maps and their organization.

This links to an old map that I really love that shows the old trackage in Santa Rosa and the wye.

Comment by Michael H Harrison on April 12, 2019 at 10:22am

Jason - This SPINS maps are priceless that Mark uploaded. I use them all the time for reference and to see how the railroad has changed thru the years. 

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