NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY
Talmage Road Suite M
707 463-3280 Phone
Mitch Stogner, Executive Director Allan Hemphill
Ukiah - April 27, 2006 – The California Transportation
Commission (CTC) today approved $7.8 million in
funding for the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA).
The funds, which are designated for NCRA
under the state’s Traffic Congestion Relief Program (TCRP), will be used to
begin repairing culverts, bridges, levees, and crossings along the NCRA’s 316
mile publicly-owned right-of-way, which extends from Eureka to Novato along highway 101
and eastward to Lombard.
Today’s CTC approval at its
meeting in Fresno comes on the heels of an April 21 letter from CTC Executive
Director, John Barna to NCRA which says in
part: “It is in the best interest of
NCRA and CTC and the State to see that the
railroad asset that you manage be maintained and that a viable rail operation
be established as soon as possible. To
that end, we concur with NCRA’s short-term strategic objective of establishing
an operating segment along the southern end of the line to Windsor by the end of
2007. In our view achieving this
objective is of paramount importance.”
“This signals the beginning of the
restoration work on the South-End which will lead to the return of rail service
in phases,” said NCRA Chair Allan Hemphill.
“The state is now clearly an active
partner in the effort to bring trains back to the Northwestern Pacific (NWP)
line,” he said.
NCRA Director and Humboldt County
Supervisor John Woolley emphasized that “this
is the first step in an overall plan to bring rail all the way North to the Port of Humboldt Bay.”
“The work will start on the southern end,
but we all agree that the success of this line is ultimately dependent on a
rail connection to the Port,” said Mendocino County Supervisor Hal Wagenet also a member of
the NCRA Board.
Woolley said “the CTC’s support was
driven by a lot of hard work and advocacy by State Senator Wes Chesbro,” a
leading proponent of North Coast rail service.
Woolley commended the CTC for “partnering
with us on a project that makes economic sense, environmental sense and saves
The North Coast Railroad Authority
(NCRA) was formed in 1989 by the California Legislature under the
North Coast Railroad Authority Act, Government Code Section 93000, et seq. The mission of the North Coast Railroad Authority is
to provide a unified & revitalized rail infrastructure meeting the freight
and passenger needs of the region; a first class service working in partnership
with others to build and sustain the economy of the region.