Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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Could reopening the line between Cloverdale and Redwood Valley be less expensive?

I know this might be a far fetched idea, but would reactivating the corridor between Redwood Valley and Cloverdale be less expensive than trying to reopen the line to South Fork? Judging by the pictures I've seen of the Russian River Canyon, all the tracks need is ballast filled in and brush removed. The tunnels are in great shape too, (Except tunnel #4, was that the one that caught fire?) but could that be fixed? Also, maybe CWR could take advantage of this as well, and run their trains south to Redwood Valley, and back up the grade. That would be something to see.  

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Comment by Bob Cleek on August 13, 2018 at 2:14pm

None of it is far-fetched at all. If the State of California would invest in maintaining its rail infrastructure but a small fraction of what it spends on highways on a mile for mile proportion, the ROW all the way to Arcata could be functioning and the folks that live in the areas served enjoy the economic benefits of that. The same goes for the federal government. The entire expense of restoring service connecting to the Port of Humboldt could be deducted from the defense budget and wouldn't even be noticed. Unfortunately, it seems the elected representatives whose districts suffer from being cut off from the national rail system are more interested in taking credit for building hiking and biking trails than making it possible for the economy of their constituents' communities to survive.

Comment by Emilio Galo on August 13, 2018 at 12:50pm

Hey Richard, sorry for the late response, I haven't been on this site in a long time. NCRA in itself needs to pay off all its debts before they can even consider reopening the line. As for SMART, I have no idea if they are planning on moving north to Ukiah or Willits. I tooka look around the area, and it seems there are customers left that would probably like to have rail traffic again, maybe a trash train or something related to that would work. 

Comment by Richard C. Brand on March 22, 2018 at 10:55am


Any ideas on how this renovation would be financed?  AFAK that section of the RoW is owned by NCRA and they have no funds.

Comment by Emilio Galo on March 21, 2018 at 1:48pm

I too would like to see CWR put some money into restoring the trackage south from Willits. What needs to be done exactly? I know there's a big washout at Laughlin, but are there any other problematic spots south of Willits? 

Comment by Ian B. on March 21, 2018 at 10:52am

I mean, if Sierra Northern is willing to put money into restoring trackage from Willits southward to meet at Redwood Valley, its entirely possible. Freight from Willits could travel southward again, and all the old equipment stranded at Willits could be removed. Sadly this is pretty far fetched.

I would be very interested in seeing the line rebuilt, and this plan seems to be the most practical.

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