Monday, October 08, 2007

Rails or Trails again. And then some.

KPIX cbs channel 5 did a few stories on our area and other places in Northern California concerning the rail. video1 & This

I would like to see the railroad back in service for a few reasons: economic and environmental.

Economic-Many jobs would be created loading box cars with product here in Humboldt County. It is labor intensive work that would supply more manufacturing workers loading Pulp, Particleboard, Lumber, Gravel, Beer, Cattle etc.

Environmental- Each rail car of pulp leaving Humboldt takes 4 trucks off the road. (And by the way, no trucks hauling containers of pulp out of Humboldt are local) Less wear and tear on our highways, plus the safety benefit of getting those trucks off our 101 highway.

I would not like to see the railroad back in service for a few reasons: economic and environmental.

Economic- The price tag may be nearly how many million to have a serviceable rail? Can anybody agree? 60 Million? Is that just way too high? Or low? What is the possible price tag of another canyon disaster? Will private investors help or is this all on the public dole?

Environmental-What about the affect on the Eel River from future slides? (And they have and will happen!) Is it worth the risk? This process will have potential for diesel and oil spills on pristine waters. None of this will benefit public transportation.

As far as rails and trails? I would like to see us move forward with a plan to build a usable trail around the bay for bike and hike, leaving the future rail potential as a consideration for the trail. An excursion rail for bay travel would be great for tourists. Why wait for a potential nothing when we could have usable something?

29 comments:

Fred said...

As Richard warms us up for his next bid for Board of Supervisors???

Anonymous said...

No I don't think so, but he is making sense. Richard, why don't you guys just barge the containers down to Oakland? Seems the infrastructure would be way less to maintain.

Anonymous said...

Its more like 600 million according to FEMA, and that was 10 years ago. I'm sure the cost has not gone down.

Anonymous said...

Hey, a union guy on the green side of the railroad scene. Wow.

Anonymous said...

60 million is way too low. I've heard a billion-plus.

Anonymous said...

The price tag to repair the rail lines is cheep. Just one bridge on 101 is upwards of 200 million. The enviro cost of a full decomish of the rail road would stagger Bill Gates. Don't let reality sway you though.

Fred said...

Trains use bridges, too. Are they the same bridges everyone else uses?

Anonymous said...

"The enviro cost of a full decomish of the rail road would stagger Bill Gates."

What is that cost? Can you reference the report?

Anonymous said...

Passenger service will never again be an option. Barges now ! Lets start by repairing Redwood dock, Barging goods to and from Coos Bay, Oakland / S.F. and be prepard for the rail if and when it comes! Seems that is an idea brought forth by Carlos Quilez and now being claimed by Curless and Chucky! Time for a change! Vote Carlos and Pat!!! Oh, and by the way, barges draft way less so the dredging won't be so deep and we can still get the pulp ships, and we get to keep Fairhaven!!

Anonymous said...

Recall Larry Glass!

Anonymous said...

I recall Larry Glass as being the most capable of the current Eureka City Council.

Mike Buettner said...

Richard - Your questions on rail are a perfect example of why the NCRA has become its own worst enemy.

Their lack of a plan or any specifics about when, why and how the rail will once again come to Humboldt Bay has only stood to create divisiveness on the subject.

Take today's NCRA meeting at the Eureka City Hall. There were the usual suspects and a few more. All claiming the rail will return soon or not at all. Some quoting Charles Ollivier's recent comments that trains will here in 3 years and it will only cost $100k. Others saying railbanking is the answer as trains won't be here for 20 some years if ever.

But the NCRA does nothing to dispel rumors and misinformation leaving it to various factions to flaunt their bit of information.

It was interesting to hear the new NCRA board member Supervisor Judy Arnold from Marin. She was on the speaker phone. She spoke with intelligence and laughed noticeably when Ollivier admitted he was a dreamer.

Anonymous said...

Once you start barging you won't need the pulp ship.

sjh said...

The cost for the railroad depends greatly on:

1) what will you be shipping (lumber, containers people, or other)

2) how often (multiple trains a day will dramatically increase the cost) and

3) how well you actually fix it (band aid or permanent solution)

A reasonable range would be $60m to $200m. If we are guessing – I’d say $150m in today’s dollars - but it will take ten years for permitting.

If private dollars are to be used then you are almost guaranteed to have some sort of container shipping in the mix.

Historically, people movers (excursion or commuter) have never really covered their cost to operate, let alone the cost to construct.

Anonymous said...

FYI - FEMA estimated $650 million to repair the line. And that was several years ago. The container port would be some $500 million additional dollars.

Anonymous said...

To the Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 861 without my signature. Two years ago, I vetoed a substantially similar bill. I commend the efforts of the North Coast Railroad Authority over the last two years to clean up the environmental hazards along the rail line and bring closer the reality of the railroad actually performing again. However, these accomplishments do not change the reasons why I vetoed the previous bill. Since the Authority will not receive any less money of the $60 million in state Traffic Relief Plan funds they originally expected, the $5.5 million savings should revert back to the Transportation Investment Fund so that it can be allocated by the California Transportation Commission to other projects within the Transportation Congestion Relief Program.

Sincerely, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Anonymous said...

But Arnie, Ithought we were Pals, xxxooo's Rob

Anonymous said...

If any of you have toured the Eel River canyon and visibly seen the damage you would agree we will never see the rail again. The $60 million everyone is talking about is just the enviromental cleanup. Now Navato is sueing the rail they don't want it running through town.Barges would help but there would be some pulp ships because of market destinations. Now a rail from Mccann to Arcata or Korbel could work if the barging would ever start.

Anonymous said...

"there would be some pulp ships because of market destinations."

There is no destination that a container cant get to.

Anonymous said...

That's true to one degree but their are customers who will not except containers only break bulk.

Anonymous said...

12:16 you are a moron.

Anonymous said...

5:35 Why? This is true oh and thank you for showing your inteligence.

Anonymous said...

Those of us who actually RODE the train when passenger service was available know that the economic potential for passenger traffic from San Rafael is enormous. I can't understand why the rental car companies aren't involved. Think of the business THEY would pick up from rail passengers. Compared to the economic impact of the four trail walkers a year.

Anonymous said...

Passenger service from the south is not even in the NCRA's plans. Besides, a 14 hour trip one way? Oh yeah!

Anonymous said...

WHY? There. Accept. Intelligence.

Anonymous said...

14 hrs? No, more like 7 to San Rafael, which was the terminus.

Anonymous said...

When was that? Speeds on the 300 miles will never be over 45mph anywhere. 25-35mph most places with slows to 10mph others.

Anonymous said...

Passenger service is not coming back, period.

Anonymous said...

4 to 5 hundred mill to put the Eel repairs to bed. Not that bad compaired to the app.200 mill for one bridge on 101. Honesty seems to have no place in issues these days. Trains for moving product and people will be as necessary as the full developement of all forms of alternative energy as our energy needs rise,availability shrinks,costs rise, and let's not forget the little gorilla in the room. Cali's population is growing at around 40,000 a month. We need to get real about multi-model-transportation.