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One issue that has struck me in our discussions about the reopening of the NWP is that limited or no traffic exists in the northern half. This is because many of the industries that supported the railroad are gone. I think we have to think about the issue in reverse. In the olden days towns would fight and almost go to war with each other to get the track laid to their town because the citizens new the railroad brought business, industry, and money. In other words if you built rail the money would come. Is it possible that if the rebuilding of the line was looked as a way to catalyze growth instead of depending on pre existing business from a depressed area there would be more traction to rebuild? In other words if the rail was rebuilt businesses that died after the rail left would revive and the economy would begin to thrive? Thoughts?

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Comment by jbriogrande on September 20, 2013 at 10:42am


   Chas.....the Eel River Canyon was the nail in the coffin.  You have some great ideas and sentiment, but this is not the same thing as a new railroad, it is an old railroad being rebuilt.  If the canyon were stable,...we could begin discussing Port possibilities for the Eureka Basin.  Unfortunately, the soil in the Eel watershed will not allow a railroad to exist.  A railroad would be a good thing to have up in Eureka, for freight access to the Bay Area, and Eastern Points, and undoubtedly over time....traffic you stated....grow.  Even the Roto-Rooter couldn't fix the plug known as the Eel River Canyon laying in the middle of the NWP or North Coast access to Eureka/Fortuna/Arcata.  Good thoughts,....from you... on the subject.   Sincerely,   J B

Comment by Bob Hayes on September 19, 2013 at 9:58pm

How about the rolling casino concept, Bob? Check Carl O'Connors' Standard Structures discussions

in the Forum section. You may have some novel ideas to add.

Comment by Bob Cleek on September 19, 2013 at 7:25pm

Maybe we can get those "cigar store Indians" fronting for the Vegas gambling corporations that opened that casino in Rohnert Park to start running "gambler's specials" from Sacramento or San Jose.  To hear them tell it, that casino is going to be as big as anything on the Vegas Strip.  Somehow, though, "What happens in Rohnert Park, stays in Rohnert Park," just doesn't have the same ring!

Comment by Chad Gustafson on September 19, 2013 at 2:36pm

Although I like your thinking, the one thing that strikes me is that the railroad if it were to rebuild would have at least a year before any of those companies would look at them. Theres too much time and no movement between rebuilding and the local business actually shipping by them, thus most likely making the railroad spend money its not making on maintenance for a long period of time.

Comment by Andrew F. Laverdiere on September 19, 2013 at 2:11pm

In past times, railroads were the only serious method of transportation of freight and bulk goods in the days of horse and buggies and dirt roads, so its not really a good yardstick to compare with today, what with 18 wheelers, and a relatively built up asphalt road and highway system available providing a much cheaper and efficient way of shipping goods.

But that doesn't address the 40 years of post industrial collapse since the time of Nixon's destruction of the Bretton Woods monetary system and the introduction of Globalization, which, until it is reversed, means continued stagnation and depression.

Comment by Chas Davis on September 19, 2013 at 1:39pm

Mike, I agree with your thoughts and value your opinion. I can't say you are wrong. However I just think that certain projects are expensive and probably won't have a payback/profit short term but are very good for the community and the economy in general. Railroad profits are cyclical in general and have long capital investment payback periods. Certain projects should be built regardless of the profit/money making projections. The Golden Gate Bridge would never have been built if its potential profit was the biggest issue.

Comment by Mike Davis on September 19, 2013 at 1:14pm
I like your thinking, however, think from the perspective of the government or a private investor. Would you risk your hard earned money to rebuild a rail line that has had a not so good recent past? Plus there is no guarantee that business will return if the rail line is restored.

IMHO I would only risk my money (if a had any) after I had seen some positive results; I.E. if the railroad restores service on the south end first and business returned as a result, then I would be willing to see if it could be done on the north end.

JMTCW, Mike Davis

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