Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How much for one Rail System, slightly used?

I see that the Rail and Port Infrastructure Taskforce (RAPIT) is hosting a Port Development seminar on Wednesday the 20th at 5:30pm at the Warfinger. I did not know they have formed a certifiable Political Action Committee. Good for them. It looks like most people are in agreement that you have to have Port Development to have a rail and visa verse. So I just have one question I can't seemed to get answered straight by anyone........

How much will it cost for us to have a workable railroad connecting us to the Port of Oakland and beyond? And by when? I have heard FEMA numbers of over 650 million to a BILLION for a workable rail system with probably over 5 years just for the Environmental Impact reports! But then I hear rumbling from the North Coast Railroad Authority - (NCRA) that the rail could be serviceable in 4 years at the cost of between 115-300 million. It seemed just a few years ago the NCRA floated numbers of about 60 million. Huge discrepancy. What funding limits do we have?

Someone help me here. Give me a concrete number to start the rail system back up and back it up with informational sources. Anyone! Help!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I doubt it's a billion. You could replace all the bridges, fix the canyon and re-lay a significant portion of the track with that kind of money.

And I think it's BS that any extensive EIR is needed for existing infrastructure.

Thats probably where the billion figure comes from. 300m for the rail, 700m to plant trees, study and mitigate the building of a rail system put in some 100 years ago.

BS.

Anonymous said...

Dave Hull will be there to tell the truth,seek out any valuable information and look out for the intrests of the dst. all the people,the harbor and be a classy public employee like he always does.

samoasoftball said...

so BS- FEMA is wrong then? What figure is right then?

Chris said...

The numbers I've seen are low ball of $250 million ($150 million to get it running again and an additinoal $100 million of capital improvements to follow). The narrative attached to those numbers talks about "living with landslides" which doesn't bode well for reliability if you are trying to market the port as a portal for international container shipping.

The 1998 FEMA number is really more like $500 or $550 million for Willits North to Humboldt Bay (The rest for the south end). In today's dollars when you adjust for inflation, that would be around $850 million, then figure there has been 10 additional years of deterioration. That puts you somewhat close to $1 billion for the high-ball number.

7:02,
If you've walked much of the canyon, you'll see that replacing the bridges (and tunnels, don't forget all the tunnels), fixing the canyon and relaying a significant portion of the track (and ties, don't forget the ties) is more or less what need to be done.

I need to post my photos.

samoasoftball said...

10:06pm Please do!

Anonymous said...

Sorry folks, but Goldman Sacks or some other capital firm is throwing a huge pile of money down in Ensenada. They're constructing a whole new rail line to the US, building a town and shipping facilities. Oh, and it can run year round.

Eureka lost out again. Google it.

Mike Buettner said...

It really boils down to who is paying. $150 million or a $ billion, it doesn't matter if the "operator" doesn't pay. The state will never give any of that. I doubt the feds would either.

If the operator has to pay then its another problem. Pay to make it last (FEMA $550-650 mil study) or pay ($150 mil) to get it to where it was before.

Who would buy GS deal if it wasn't built to last? Containers run on time or else.

Mike Buettner said...

More info here:
www. HumboldtBayWatch.org

Anonymous said...

They should do an EIR on the impact of just leaving the rail as is. Do you even know what chemicals those ties are soaked with? Rebuilding the rail is the most environmentally sensitive thing we could do! Too bad it makes no economic sense.

capdiamont said...

RAPIT website

Shannon & Wilson report on the NWP done in 1999. 73 Million to restore the railroad

Skeptic said...

Construction costs are soaring. If it costs a billion, how much will the RR need to bring in annually to justify the expense? Five percent? That's fifty million bucks a year needed to support the cost. Where is it going to come from? If we do re-build the railroad, what will sort of community impacts are involved with whatever is necessary to bring in these millions per year in revenue?

And why are we talking about this so much now? Is it all simply political framing? Or is there really some money ready, and if there is, where are the income projections?

Chris said...

8:13,
I think many people are talking about it now because the port is about to adopt a business plan that relies on return of the rail.

I'm interested in the issue because the Coastal Conservancy wants to spend $10 million on a trail project up here, and if we could railbank, that would be just about enough to build the Eureka Arcata Trail so bicyclists wouldn't have to ride on the 101 anymore.

Anonymous said...

Jeez. Loueez and that penciles out. What a f*%#@*g bunch of nuts. Rail is the future. Shipping is the future. Clean energy is the future. You hippies stuck in your anti world are fighting for isolation. You are the past. The sooner the rest of us get past you the better.

Anonymous said...

Adopting a business plan that relies on rail is idiotic.

The port should focus on getting wave power buoys out just off the coast that could be manufactured here. The waters outside Humboldt bay constitute the largest single field of prime wave energy grids on the west coast. Get Goldman Sachs to build an undersea transmission cable from here to San Francisco capable of 650mw. Start building the buoys here. Stop the rebuilding of the PG&E power station. Utilize the 1500-3000 Megawatts of power in the wave grid. Export the extra energy through the undersea cable and existing overland route. The wave buoys and undersea cable require a port, and maintenance boats.

This, in my humble opinion, is Humboldt Bays best hope. And the best way to make Humboldt green while creating sustainable high income jobs, some of the jobs requiring large boats and docking facilities.

Anonymous said...

What is idiotic is that you don't understand the plan is simply to try to market for plans that would need to be completely vetted before moving forward.

Anonymous said...

What is idiotic is that you don't understand the plan is simply to try to market for plans that would need to be completely vetted before moving forward.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you shut your fucking mouth!

Anonymous said...

5:34 as usual give you proggies enough rope and you will hang yourselves.

Anonymous said...

5:34 as usual give you proggies enough rope and you will hang yourselves.