Re: NCRA Votes to Railbank NWP Willits to Samoa
Author: Bob the Train Guy
Date: 02-22-2021 - 07:41
Why rebuild a railroad for $1-2 Billion (possibly with a trail) vs build a trail for $5 Billion. Truth is, the cost for the trail would exceed the cost of the rail line.
The current plan is to build a basic trail and leave the tracks and railroad stations (Dos Rios, Island Mountain, Fort Seward) in tact. The problem is, once you have environmentalists looking at creosote ties melting into the river, and the chemicals left to seep into the ground at the canyon yards, they are going to demand that the state clean it up. The first person to fall into the underground fuel tanks at island mountain is going to sue. Many reasons the canyon has not been a big deal, is that very few environmentalists have actually seen what has occurred in that canyon.
To top it off, the canyon is not built for mass hiking situations. I have done it, but I was prepared. The trail is going to attract people that dream of walking the great redwood trail. It brings the big issue that there is no real service between Dos Rios and fort seward. The state is going to need to upgrade the access road to the canyon, many of which are private property with gates for cattle. People are not going to just start at Willits and Alderpoint, they may want to start at Island Mountain. Its a mess to get down there.
Campgrounds need to be built so that people have a proper place to rest and re energize.
Simply put, because the railroad would not require PTC, CTC, or more than a couple crossing arms in the canyon, the costs are way down. How the canyon runs, prohibits tracks speeds, so the line could be rebuilt with 100% new ties and re-use most of the rails, to class 2 standards for less than 100 Million. the rest would be used to properly stabilize the canyon to prevent slides. 80% of the canyon is suitable for rail and requires no ground stabilization.
California doesnt know the can of worms they opened with turning the canyon into a trail. My honest opinion is that the State in 1998 should have took control of the canyon, and funded the NCRA with enough money each year to keep the line clear an in an exempt track condition state with the ability to run a hyrailer for inspections.
It was sad to see the state buy out the line and trash it. You dont buy a house and trash it like that do you?