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Eureka Businessman Rob Arkley interviewed on East-West Rail & scraping railcars @ the Balloon Track, among other things

He sounds very confident that this will go through...


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He seems very confident in this project, but even the NCRA engineer says it will be nearly impossible. (I AM A PROPONENT, but I'm also a skeptic.) 

He also mentioned the Fairhaven business park- 300 acres that will be worthy of the rail alone. 

But i know some of it went up in flames today- Wonder if any of this involves his business.

I wish Mr. Arkley the best of luck in his endeavors to build the East-West corridor - it's good to see anyone in the private sector attempting to build on such a grand scale.

If any of the stranded cars or equipment up there are still useful, it would be extremely beneficial for them to have the "line around the bay" to shuttle materials in from staging and haul waste and fill out. If they can extend the line down towards the levee, the dirt and rock could be used to help mitigate the erosion that's been happening there - maybe even widen it enough for the proposed trail alongside the ROW.

I'm a THA volunteer, and I hope more than anything to see the rails, and right of way restored around the bay- Opportunities for a freight belt line, tourist train, and one day, maybe a real rail connection. 

Interesting stuff. Here is another article on the subject. As with most online articles, some of the most interesting points are made in the reader comments at the end.

I know I will irk some Humboldt Co. residents by saying this, but the idea of turning the existing line around the bay into a tourist train is just ridiculous. First of all, who is going to pay for it? Second, who is going to want to travel to Humboldt County to ride on a train from Eureka to Korbel? The same 50 people who come to visit Old Town Eureka in the summer months?

And a freight belt line? What freight? Marijuana? Grow lights?

Maybe my view is skewed having lived in the Bay Area for so long. I lived in Humboldt for 5 years and I know how it is. When you live there it is the whole world to you, naturally. But when you finally move away you realize how insignificant the place has become. The entire County has about two-thirds of the population of Santa Rosa. San Francisco might have been built by Humboldt redwood, but those days are over. It's geographically isolated and unless the area has something that urban areas need, a rail line will never happen. I admit I don't know a thing about the economics of the shipping industry, but until our existing ports reach a tipping point of overcapacity, there is no way this thing makes sense.

That being said, I think it's a good thing that people are talking about it now and not when it's already too late. As a commuter, the thing that drives me crazy is that it took this long to expand the 101 through the North Bay. It took almost 10 years to complete SR and RP, and Petaluma has barely even started. They should have widened her 30 years ago. And when it's all said and done, the extra lane is a carpool lane that 90% of the traffic isn't allowed to use! WTF?

Having worked on the passenger trains in Humboldt during Eureka Southern times I can tell you they were well used. We have more population now than then.  They brought in movie companies. They will bring in people, and get some people to stay longer. That is what they call the multiplier effect. Yes studies have been done.

I am pretty sure we have way more than 50 people who visit old town in the summer months. I also sure we have more freight to ship than marijuana and grow lights.

But thanks for your input.

I am not irked, but it does bother me greatly that people out side of this county feel that the only thing in this county is marijuana. And having lived here for 5 years you 'know how it is'...maybe you were hanging around the wrong people?


Well, if California goes the way of Washington and Colorado, who knows?  Maybe there will be a need for regularly scheduled "Marakesh Express" armored train to ship all that valuable produce out across the country.  Sort of like a modern day Pacific Fruit Express!

Connecting Eureka to the national rail network is at this time a very long shot, but projections for the future may indicate otherwise.  When SMART ;bought the NWP ROW south of the Ignacio Wye years ago, a lot of people thought they were crazy. (Some shortsighted die-hards still do.)  However, as population and traffic increased, making mass transit an imperitive, SMART was possible only because of the many millions of dollars (billions, maybe) that were saved by the foresight of buying the most expensive part of the system, the ROW, at rock bottom prices decades before.


Similarly, the NWP ROW from Willits to Eureka may not seem worth preserving at present, but it may very well be essential in the years to come.  The US West Coast container terminals were at or over capacity as the recession hit.  A lot of Pacific Rim US bound cargo is coming into Mexican terminals, which have been built to accommodate the overflow.  Containers are offloaded at Southern Mexican terminals at Acapulco, Manzanillo,  and so on, and shipped direct by rail to the US Midwest (sometimes full of all sorts of goodies: courtesy of the Mexican cartels, which control some of the terminals.)  When the economy gets a bit stronger, as it seems to be doing, the US will be buying a lot more of that Chinese junk they sell in Walmart.  Eureka is maybe a day closer to China than Oakland and more to Long Beach, and much closer than Mexico.  This means big savings in shipping costs.  The Port of Humbolt is about the only deepwater port left on the West Coast with the developable space to accommodate a new major container terminal.  If the trade and economic pressures continue to grow, that development is quite likely to happen, at which point connecting Eureka to the national rail network will be a prerequisite.


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