Believe it or not, the railroad was actually functioning less than 10 years ago. I have a few friends that worked for the North Coast Railroad Authority. One of my buddies was the last engineer who took product in the form of 16 cars southbound on February 11th 1998 and was stranded at Island Mountain. (Just a few miles East of Garberville) He was told to abandon the cargo and head back to Alderpoint for pickup. Then the Federal Railroad Administration red tagged the North end of the line because of shoddy bookkeeping and reporting on the repair work by short line operator Railways Inc. According to my sources, it was not the yearly slide and riverbed issues that shut the line, they had to deal with that every year and 1998 was not that drastic of a change from other years. It was the shortfall of funds Railways Inc. had for repairs. At the time, now bankrupted Railways Inc was led by Director John Darling. In 1997 the rail was able to survive on a shoe string budget of 1 million dollars for repairs and upkeep. Railroad workers in 1998 worked for over a month with just the hope of a future paycheck. Over 8 million dollars was earmarked for the rail by FEMA but were not dispersed because of the book keeping issues. Darling passed blame on NCRA for their weak bookkeeping. (Darling was taken to court by railroad workers for past due wages a few years later.)
Anyways, too bad this was not all settled a long time ago. The further the years move along, the more doubtful it becomes for rail service to come back.
Private Money for East-West Rail Study? - *This week's North Coast Journal looks at efforts of a group to come up with $300,000 of private money for yet another study on the feasibility of an east-...
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