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This is my first attempt at a blog, so here goes! Welcome, Folks! OK, I had an idea, what kinds of loads could be on the NWP in the near future? We know they have covered hoppers of grain for the two feed mills, and lumber for Standard Structures, but what's next? How about gravel export, a container port on Humboldt Bay, maybe wind turbine parts for the planned project on Bear River Ridge? I want your thoughts, what do you think the road will haul, assuming it gets through the Eel Canyon someday?





Zachary M. Toler

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Comment by jbriogrande on April 10, 2012 at 6:29pm

 Richard,....I remember the gravel and sand moving on the NWP back then.  It appears that all of the sand and gravel business locally is back on the trucks.  No large cement plants to either haul to either,...... like the ones in San rafael that you remember.  Gravel seems to be out of the picture now, except for ballast trains which will be coming along through Lombard on the CFNR, and then onto the NWP.

Comment by Richard A Custer on April 10, 2012 at 5:39pm

Adding to my comment before I think the sand and gravel business for the NWP is all gone between Healdsburg,Ca. and San Rafael,Ca. but I could be wrong it's once my opinion.

Comment by Richard A Custer on April 10, 2012 at 4:44pm

As a former NWP brakeman from 1968 to 1983 the NWP shipped sand and gravel from Healdsburg,Ca. and Windsor,Ca. to Petaluma,Ca. setting out 4 to 6 cars sometimes. Then on to Novato,Ca. setting out 4 cars sometimes, then on to Ignacio,Ca. setting out 4 to 10 cars or more sometimes. And then the rest on to San Rafael,Ca. to the 3 cement plants located there. With one SD-9 plus caboose plus 20 cars of sand and gravel was the limit over the hill into San Rafael,Ca. without doubling. With the salmon and steelhead restrictions in the river plus the enviromentalist lobbying for more protection against mining in the river, how many cement plants are left in the area too?

Comment by Carl O'Connor on April 10, 2012 at 11:38am

What about syar industries in healdsburg? I know at one time they had tracks into the plant but does anyone have any idea if they will be shipping gravel from that plant on rail?


Comment by jbriogrande on April 10, 2012 at 8:37am


  Prospects look like scattered shipments of wine goods,....bulk wine, cardboard, bottles, labeling devices and other machinery.  Gravel, and rock....lumber....Grain obviously.....paper goods, ....produce of one type or another, and what ever else the head honchos can dig up.  The Eel would be be too risky, and would be a money drain on the outfit.  Hopefully a lumber reload can be established in Willits, and some industry established North of Santa Rosa, whether it be in Fort Bragg, Ukiah, Cloverdale, or Willits.  Railroads are very good at hauling bulk commodities, and that is basically what the NWP will need to be successful.  Gravel from the Eel may eventually become a real possibility, but environmentalists will have their share of input on that matter.  Good questions Zach!

Comment by Bob Burns on August 27, 2011 at 6:45pm
Good read thanks Zachary thanks for the link!
Comment by Zachary M. Toler on August 27, 2011 at 6:00pm
Comment by Bob Burns on August 14, 2011 at 7:04pm


     I really don't know, it wouldn't take much to put trackage into their Vinegerg site - HOWEVER G&W the trucking company doesn't exist any longer. I'm not sure if they , G&W,  are just wharehousing Sebastiani wine for shipment by truck. I was next door a couple of weeks ago ( looking at a couple of Navy PBR's) and saw a truck backing into a loading dock on the south side. They're in the phone book I don't know who runs the outfit anylonger, 2 of the owners (mother and daughter) live in Reno, the son lives on the East Coast, I'm told. The other daughter may run the business in Vineberg.

Bob Burns

Comment by Carl O'Connor on August 14, 2011 at 6:14pm
Do you think that G & W would be interested in shipping by rail?
Comment by Bob Burns on August 14, 2011 at 5:11pm

Those previously mentioned, plus scrap iron. I see various wharehouses with spurs from Petaluma to Santa Rosa. I'm surprised Willowbrook Feeds on Ely Rd in Petaluma isn't getting there grain in by rail, they have the trackage and rail pits. Been there with corn loads by truck out of the Port of Sacto and Dixon. Back in the 1970's I hauled a fair amount of booze and wine around the Bay Area and to LA. At that time shipping rates were regulated by the CA Public Utilities Commission. The compnay that I subhauled for Groskopf & Wieder out of Sonoma, mostly hauled at RAIL RATES which were cheaper than truck rates. They did this to compete with the railroads but also many of the delivery points didn't have rail service so the wine would have had to been transfered to a truck at some point. G&W was allowed to haul Sebastiani wine at the cheaper rail rates because Sebastiani still had a siding into thier Sonoma wharehouse at the time. Later most of the trucks were banned from going to the winery so G&W built a shipping wharehoue at Vineberg. The NWP tracks end just south of that wharehouse now I think.


Bob Burns

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