Monday, June 27, 2005

North Coast Railroad Authority

The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Walters, did a good job of slamming the North Coast Railroad Authority in today's commentary, using it as an example of how screwed up the state legislature is. I'll have to admit that I don't know much about the NCRA but I do agree with Walters that it's a sham.

I'll never understand why some insist on trying to get the old railroad up and running. Sure, it would be neat to have a railroad coming and going out of Eureka, but at what cost? What would the railroad be used for? This idea of passenger service is a pipe dream. Rail just isn't that popular a form of transportation anymore. The rail lines up here are likely even more expensive than lines elsewhere because every time we get more than an inch of rain a day, the tracks get damaged and it costs megabucks to repair. Let's drop this talk of getting the railroad running again until we have something up here that would make it worth the cost of maintaining the railroad.

Kudos to Dan Walters for making public knowledge of what a scam the North Coast Rairoad Authority is.


At 9:05 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

As much as I love trains, and am disgusted by the corporations that bought them out to shut them down to sell their cars, trucks, tires, and oil, I have to agree that it's time to give up the NCRA. There was a story a few years back in the Times Standard that I wish I had time to dig up. An engineer (not the train driving kind) quit working for the NCRA, and publically stated that the stretch of track that keeps sliding out is geologically incapable of supporting a track. I truly wish we could have train service again, especially with the price of gas, but I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon.

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd travel to San Francisco to visit friends if I could go by train. Hell, I'd probably travel to the Bay Area six or more times a year, compared to my current... uh, once every five years.

I don't fly (unless I pack my pocket-sized metal copy of the Bills of Rights), and driving is an equal pain. Meanwhile, a train would draw up a huge number of tourists for our annual festivals.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I don't think a train would draw enough tourists to make it worth the expense. Heck, I'd like to take a train ride down south just for the experience. I suspect, though, if the cost of a ticket reflected the actual cost of maintaining the rail line, the cost would be prohibitive for most.

Got me to wondering, though, just how long it would take for a train to make it to, say, Ukiah, as opposed to driving a car? I suspect a train might be slower since it wouldn't be able to match freeway speeds for most of its route.

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worth the expense? Umm, this is America. Most everything government does is not financially feasible and doesn't break even. If the US can give billions of dollars in corporate welfare and tax breaks, pay farmers not to grow on their land, send men and women to die in needless foreign wars, etc. they sure as hell can build a damn railroad.

The government does not operate on logic. It is ruled by corruption, greed and pandering. Unless you're attempting to reform the entire system, sit down and let the rest of the county try for its piece of pork. Lord knows, the north coast is high on the deserving end where government pork is concerned.

Don't even try to make this a "it's a waste of money" argument. It's a question of priorities. Do we want a rail link between the Bay Area and Humboldt County? If yes, then that's the answer, period. Such a link could only improve our local economy.

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its a waste of money only if corrupt buffons like former NCRA regent Dan 'tipsy' Hauser lose track of millions and fail to even keep the line open through Willits.

As Bruce Anderson said, "having proved himself completely incompetent, he was hired as Arcata's City Manager."


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