Monday, October 29, 2007

Rail Passenger Service Infeasible

I thought that was a pretty interesting piece Aaron Antrim had published in the Eureka Reporter this morning. I guess the gist of what he's trying to say is that passenger service never really has been considered by the powers that be in all the talk of resuming rail service in Humboldt County.

He also puts some facts and figures behind what myself and others have been saying for some time: Passenger rail service won't be cost effective up here. Of course, as I've said before, I don't think freight rail service would be cost effective up here, either.

54 Comments:

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

Those who oppose a railroad and port connection between Humboldt and the rest of the world are living in transportation dark ages and want us all to follow them into economic and trade deficiency darkness with them because why? Their livelihoods do not depend on the movement of major amounts of goods and services to support them. Grant checks in the mail for teachers and researchers, students in an endless economic supply from HSU for boutique businesses catering to them, and of course, all of SoHum which is supported by pot growers. So who needs a rail-line for them? They've got HSU within walking distance and bike trails while SoHummers have their SUVs--who needs a railroad service?

Meanwhile, the rest of Humboldt County languishes in economic depression as more major jobs are lost due to the successes of those who don't need economic growth to survive in Humboldt County--they have their grants and shops and pot.

I dare any of the anti-railroad folks to do a cost study of how much money taxpayers are forking over every year in Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, Napa, Marin Counties to fix their existing road systems. Let's see a comparison of money spent and saved between continually fixing the highways overworked with semi trucks and all the accompanying car and truck costs vs. a rail-system, a solar powered mono-rail system, up above the places where the ground is unstable.

Think of a real live social change movement to get away from cars. Think monorails, think commuter cars that can attach to mono-rail ferries, in short, start thinking ahead for a change instead of thinking politically at war with one another.

We can do it all if we work together.

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger Carol said...

Even in its heyday passenger service was minimal compared to freight. Why have a commuter train, when there are already buses available? The train just ends at SF bay, so how would people cross the bay? Ferry?

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephen,

No one opposes the train. Just that any rational thinking person can see it is not comming any time soon. So why not use the assets we have today for something positive?

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Aaron Antrim said...

Stephen,

I echo what "anonymous" says... I don't oppose the train, but it simply isn't coming here in the foreseeable future -- and that is a political and engineering reality.

Where will over one-half billion dollars come from to re-open the line? And the continual subsidy which will probably be necessary? Do you think other taxpayers and their representatives in California? are willing to shell that money out for our pet economic development project? Probably not.

Green Wheels is thinking ahead with ambitious and feasible goals for sustainable and balanced transportation. I hope you will check out our website at www.green-wheels.org to learn more.

 
At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the nation switches to trains so then will we. After, of course, all the other more populated places have their systems funded and built first. But until then lets do what we can with what we have.

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger capdiamont said...

Oh, please! Spare us that old chimera. That study was commissioned by FEMA with the avowed purpose of getting “the best answer money could buy.” FEMA was looking for a “permanent fix,” and, as it was hired to do, URS suggested a “permanent fix” for the Eel River Canyon. They proposed building a series of bridge-like structures along the entire length of the Eel River canyon which would, in their opinion, eliminate the need for annual roadway maintenance. Now there are several problems with that suggestion. However, given that a public policy decision has been made (whether rightly or wrongly is another matter), the remaining issues are mostly economic.

To justify an investment of $693 million, the annual maintenance expense avoided (expressed in constant 1998 dollars, of course) would have to average $69.3 million per year, i.e., $69.3 million per year discounted at a nominal rate of 10.0% per year over a hundred years. However, NWP’s average annual maintenance expense over the 80+ years it operated – including 1937(or 1939?), 1955, 1964 and all lesser catastrophes – is nowhere near $69.3 million per year. Given the fragmentary numbers available, an educated guess might place the long-term average (in 1998 dollars) in the range of $10 to $15 million per year. Back out amortization of disaster related costs (since NCRA can probably continue to call on FEMA for free disaster relief capital) and you are left with something in the range of $6 to $9 million per year – still an awesome $20,000 to $30,000 per mile per year – depending on level of use.

A more fundamental problem with the FEMA solution is with the study itself. URS Greiner Woodward Clyde (now known simply as the URS Division of URS Corporation) was, and is, a highly-regarded public works engineering firm that specializes in state and federal government infrastructure projects. They “plan and design bridges, highways, mass transit systems and airports.” See their website [www.urscorp.com]. Even today, except for one project for CSX in Chicago, URS rail work is principally public transit related. In short: they do rapid transit; heavy rail is simply not their best-known bag. That observation was also true in 1998.

More to the point, another study, also done in 1998, by Shannon and Wilson of Seattle, the preeminent railroad geotechnical engineering firm (and a geotechnical consultant to every major railroad in North America with geologic challenges) estimated the Eel River Canyon repair and stabilization costs at about $75 million to $90 million, depending on the cost of rip rap. That program would not yield a “permanent fix” for the canyon, but, in S&W’s expert opinion, their program would slow the rate of earth movement to the point an orderly annual program could deal with the remaining winter-time issues in a cost-effective way. Catastrophe would remain problems for NCRA and FEMA.

 
At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add my voice(vote) to those who haven't seen an economic, political, or environmental case to revive the train as it was previously design.

That's not a comment on trains in general, just this particular train route that was designed as cheaply as possible as a expedient way to carry lumber to the market. During the 18th century, the time it was built, there was a train craze in the country and many ill advised routes were laid, to be later abandoned.

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger capdiamont said...

So why keep quoting the "half a billion"? It seems green wheels isn't about forward thinking, but anything to derail the railroad.

Where is green wheels time line of getting the trail in? The problems with their plan are, NCRA has a mandate to restore the railroad. To change that mandate, requires a legislative act, not easy. According to the surface transportation board, the process of rail banking or rails to trails, is one of abandonment. To simply rip of the tracks without going through the legal process, is illegal. To get funding for either process, there must be no plan to restore the railroad with in twenty years, ie 2027. There is reality folks.

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger Aaron Antrim said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Mike Buettner said...

Abandonment can be don for portions of the NCRA's ROW.

One example:

Operate the line south of Willits where it is much easier to maintain and there is is "some" local shipping.

Abandon Willits to Arcata and allow the trail with rail banking.

Give the section from Arcata to Samoa to the Heritage Assoc. for excursion rail.

 
At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Mike Buettner said...

Hey CapD... not going to credit your post to the author or just claiming it for yourself?

 
At 2:06 PM, Blogger Aaron Antrim said...

Despite few folks saying that rail is more feasible, engineering-wise, than I think, no one has offered to let me see the 1998 Shannon and Wilson Report. If you have access to this report, I would very much like to read it.

I have been able to secure a scanned copy of the FEMA report, from which we have derived the figure of over "half a billion."

There are other considerations besides the (high) cost of railroad restoration, of course, such as what it would haul.

The NCRA's mandate may be to restore rail service, but this does not mean they should ignore any questions of railroad feasibility, and to avoid candid and honest discussion about the railroad. There is a lot of confusion about the railroad in our community -- for example, many folks don't even realize it wouldn't involve passenger service. The NCRA isn't doing it's part to educate the public. For example, at the NCRA meeting I wrote about, people were mentioning light rail during public comment, and the board members did not bother to respond that light rail was not being discussed and would interfere with current plans.

In my view, the NCRA's goal of bringing rail service to the south end of the line is feasible and worthwhile. As for the north end, that is an order of magnitude more costly.

We hear a lot about the NCRA's mandate to restore rail service. I am working to bring the NCRA and the public discussion around it, closer in line with reality. If this can't change the NCRA's actions in the near-term, it will help to facilitate a change in the NCRA's mandate at the state level.

In my view, railbanking is within the NCRA's mandate. It would restore public trust in the agency so they might have a better chance of actually getting funding for worthwhile projects on the south end. I would have been writing letters in support of the funding allocation that the Gov. vetoed if they weren't so badly in need of reform.

Green Wheels supports rail projects where feasible. We are for the intelligent use of public funds and resources, which we do not see the NCRA supporting at this time.

 
At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Mike Buettner said...

CapD's source

Read the follow-ups.

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Looks like a cut and paste job, if you ask me.. Thanks, Mike, for pointing that out.

 
At 2:32 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

I looked at green-wheels website and see that they aren't supporting any rail system as if railroads and their tremendous economic efficiency of moving goods and people vs. cars and trucks never entered their minds.

Look at the latest E.R. column on rail efficiency: "A freight train moves a ton of goods 423 miles on a single gallon of fuel! Trains use 75 percent less diesel fuel than most trucks. They produce 80 percent less carbon, the greenhouse gases that threaten our entire way of life.

Trucks emit about 10 times more pollutants than trains. And, every railcar displaces four large trucks on the freeways and surface roads."

It's amazing so-called "greenies" are ignoring the railroad possibilities just because they can't think creatively ahead, only retrospectively compelling others to become bogged down in old solutions that we can go beyond if we only start using our community creative talent.

Solar Rail, steam engines, local tourist trains as well as shipping major goods in and out of Humboldt County efficiently.

So, when is anyone going to show the cost comparisons county and state between our annual highway up-keep vs. building a modern solar rail mass transit mass commodity movement system statewide?

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger Fred said...

""A freight train moves a ton of goods 423 miles on a single gallon of fuel! Trains use 75 percent less diesel fuel than most trucks.".

I find that a bit tough to swallow.

 
At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But what you fail to realize is that there isn't anything to ship from Humboldt that would benefit from the train. That is unless you think we need to pass all that crap from China headed for the rest of the U.S. through Eureka.

 
At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Mike Buettner said...

The figures used to associate good environmentalism with freight rail expect the trains to use new more efficient engines on nice straight track. Slow the train down and chug around the curves of the Eel and things change.

You can't mandate shippers to use rail. If they ship truckloads to the end destination (lumber to lumberyards like Home Depot) will they want to take on the costs and hassle of offloading somewhere south from rail to truck just to finish the trip?

 
At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I might add take 2-3 times longer to get there?

 
At 3:23 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Stephen,
The local mass transit solution we (Green Wheels) are pushing for is called Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
While rail does move heavy freight more efficient than trucks on rubber tires, it is not quite as efficient as buses for moving passengers.
Buses can offer more frequent, and more flexible service (with more local and express options) and has much lower operating costs. The main porblems with buses are social stigma, and that they get stuck in the same traffic congestion that all the single occupant drivers are stuck in.
BRT is essentially a set of strategies for getting buses unstuck, using signal prioritization, queue jumps and dedicated lanes. Distinct, more widley spaced "stations" and pre-board ticket purchase can speed boarding times and add some branding cache to attract riders.
Eugene's new system which just started up in January, increased ridership by 75% so far.
Here is a link to an article in our most recent newsletter.
http://green-wheels.org/node/166
Thanks for helping me to notice it was a little buried. We will try to make BRT info easier to find on our site.

 
At 3:39 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Think retro and of course there's no solution. Why not think of solving the problem instead of using past mistakes, out-dated rail technology, and for once, really do the research on what we are paying up the yin yang for our present highway system. I mean just look at the money boondoggle going into the 101 highway dividers between CR and Hwy 36. Tons of money going into continuous wall theoretically saving 10 people's lives per year in head-on crashes because of present out-moded car technology that isn't using modern electronics available on airplanes that can avoid crashes. Think of all that oil going onto the ground and into the rivers yet we don't want to pay for a solar rail system that doesn't need a drop of foreign oil.

Don't get me wrong. I think bicycles are great and want to see more horses and buggies too, along with a Skunk-type old-fashioned steam train going around Humboldt Bay down to Garberville and out to Shelter Cove and down to Willits and out to Mendocino and so forth..

But for Humboldt County's mainstream economic breadwinners, we must keep Humboldt County economically competitive and that means moving major amounts of goods in and out of the area. We've got trees and always will have them growing here and that means wood products. We have California' suppliers of gravel. And yes, we have tons of fresh water to export-a sheet up to 4 feet deep of water covers Humboldt County every year, we only capture a tiny fraction of what falls on our land--that's a gigantic amount of water and the world will thirst for it until they convert to desalinization of sea water.

We can follow Prog regression into making Humboldt County a backwater for retirees and liberals from the big cities and pot growers, or we can turn our economy around and use our creative talents to make a prosperous community for everyone here.

 
At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Stephen, just because you want it to be so doesn't make it so. Theres no good economic case for rail shipment of lumber from HumCo, along the presenently identified right of way. Putting rails down the middle of Hwy 101 might be economic, but thats not what the public wants.

And long haul passenger rail just isn't consistent with how people want to live. People, your fellow citizens, whose votes matter, now want to spend their money on highway infrastructure rather than passenger rail. Its their choice and you should respect that.

Make your best arguments and convince the skeptics if you can. But if you can't, don't denigrate other people with name calling simply because they don't agree with your assessment of the way things should be. Respect is a two way street(or railroad), you have to give it in order to earn it.

 
At 4:22 PM, Blogger Fred said...

"Theres no good economic case for rail shipment of lumber from HumCo, along the presently identified right of way.".

I just thought of something,and actually turned on the computer again to post this:

I'm wondering what the give and take was back during the logging heydey, as far as how much the railroad was subsidized, as opposed to how much it brought in?

Let's go back to 1970, when the railroad was in full force(ok, maybe we should go back earlier): How much money was brought in to the county, and how much money was spent by the county, to pay for the rail line to be able to ship lumber(and whatever else)via rail?

Do the numbers add up to an advantage for Humboldt? I'm sure they probably do, if the rest of the state threw their dollars in, but I'm not sure that's fair to consider money taken from other people. Was it cost effective for anyone that didn't work for the railroad or lumber industry back then?

I don't know.

 
At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Narration said...

One of the most interesting Humboldt County debates of last few years, seen from afar anyway.

Interesting what your articles spark, Fred.

Kind regards,
Narration

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger Aaron Antrim said...

Since the conversation has brought up commuter service and Bus rapid transit, I posted my piece on Bus Rapid transit on the Green Wheels website.

You can learn more here:
Bus rapid transit: ambitious and worthwhile for Humboldt County

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Here's my challenge to those who refuse to consider cost-effective, environmentally effective, rail transport.

Show us a comparison of actual establishing and yearly operating costs (including vehicle cost, upkeep and insurance, police, ambulances, hospital costs to the community) for maintaining hwy 101 vs. starting from scratch building a two-tier solar-powered mono-rail system for shipping container goods and people and car ferries from Humboldt Bay to San Francisco Bay.

I want to see cost comparisons which so far I haven't seen because anti-rail people are using an out-dated rail system to begin with . And sorry, green-wheels but your whole approach is aimed at people like yourselves, students, teachers, boutique store owners, and not aimed at the mainstream Humboldt County citizen. It's just another instance of Prog myopia that disregards the needs of the average work-a-day person or those of us who have to get by on disability incomes.

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

I agree that this is an interesting discussion (in the sense of interesting discussions at political meetings in places with socialist economies). What freight, precisely would a rail line haul from Humboldt County? The timber industry has for all practical purposes been shut down due mostly to the enviros; and the head shops in Arcata and Sohum do not produce enough paraphernalia or trinkets per year to fill a 40' container. Export water? The profitable plan to do so via bladder and tug boat was fought tooth and nail by the area's enviros. As for hauling from the port, why unload cargo and ship by rail to major distribution points in the bay area or south when the ships can access those local ports directly? If it (the rail line) were economically feasible the evil and greedy corporations would rush their junk bonds to market to finance it. Otherwise it is folly to expect that out of the area taxpayers will willingly part with their hard earned cash to fulfill the pipe (pun alert) dreams of local socialists to subsidize a mini Amtrack. As for "solar rail", I, as one who lived with solar energy off grid for 10 years would like to see the engineering and economic feasibility studies for that science fiction project. Too many starry eyed socialists in the area devote their energies toward conjuring up schemes to expend resources seized from productive taxpayers by government force. Too bad the reading of Adam Smith is neglected these days in favor of Karl Marx.

 
At 6:49 PM, Blogger capdiamont said...

Fred: subsidized how, or by whom?

Wow, bit certainly gave me time correct myself, feel better?

The NCRA has never been talking about passenger rail. Why should it spend time and energy fending off such ideas?

Your avoiding my questions, what is the time line for the trail, rail with trail, vs rail banking/rails to trails? Where is your funding going to come from?

There used to be a time, with 4th of july runs between Eureka, and Arcata with brought the citys more together. It was fun, to take, and be a conductor for.

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Cap wrote: "Fred: subsidized how, or by whom?".

That's what I'm asking you, or whomever else is in favor of a subsidized railway. I'm sure it was subsidized, at least partially, back during the heydey of logging. How much did it cost, and who ended up gaining from the subsidy?

I don't know. Maybe it's worth the subsidy, maybe it's not. Until we get some numbers, no way of knowing.

Heck, even after we get some numbers, how can we tell if it was worth it?

 
At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The NCRA has never been talking about passenger rail. Why should it spend time and energy fending off such ideas?"

Because the likes of Ollivier and Woolley invoke the idea to get votes!

 
At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There used to be a time, with 4th of july runs between Eureka, and Arcata with brought the citys more together. It was fun, to take, and be a conductor for."

Trying to revive your past glory!

 
At 8:19 PM, Blogger capdiamont said...

When have they invoked the idea for Humboldt County?

You can say what you like 8:10, but those runs brought many people and is an example of what we can do again.

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger Aaron Antrim said...

Fred:

Here's a brief answer to your earlier question about the railroad's financial history.

It has not always been a public railroad. Private companies originally built the railroad and they have owned it for most of its history. In 1984, Southern Pacific, then owner, was denied an abandonment application. They sold to the Northwestern Pacific Acquiring Corporation, which became the Eureka Southern. They were unable to reduce costs or increase traffic to earn a steady profit, filing for bankruptcy in 1986. In 1992, the NCRA was formed and acquired the railroad. It operated until 1996, I think.

The railroad was self-sustaining in the timber heyday, since which it has steadily become less and less able to sustain itself financially.

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger capdiamont said...

Actually The NWP was jointly owned by both Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe. The logo on the Eureka Station was the Santa Fe. Southern Pacific bought out Santa Fe's share.

http://www.nwprrhs.org/history.htm

 
At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"example of what we can do again"

Any other examples of what we can do again?

 
At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait... first you say "The NCRA has never been talking about passenger rail. Why should it spend time and energy fending off such ideas?"

Then you say "There used to be a time, with 4th of july runs between Eureka, and Arcata"...as an "example of what we can do again."

So if NCRA won't even talk about it, why are you?

 
At 10:14 PM, Blogger capdiamont said...

There is a difference between passenger rail, and excursion. NCRA is willing to talk excursion. They are not willing to talk commuter. I never heard them talk about commuter rail up here.

 
At 11:07 PM, Blogger Carson Park Ranger said...

"Too bad the reading of Adam Smith is neglected these days in favor of Karl Marx."

Too bad Zorba lives in the wrong century.

 
At 7:44 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Aaron wrote, "Here's a brief answer to your earlier question about the railroad's financial history....".

Thanks, Aaron. Hard to believe the railroad didn't receive some sort of subsidy even though privately owned. Many privately owned businesses do, or so I'm told.

 
At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't hear NCRA talking about excursion rail.

 
At 11:01 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

We have HSU. We have CR. We have some of the most creative minds in California living here. And we can't figure out how to stop using oil-burning cars and trucks and tons of asphalt? We can't figure how to make a rail line that is above the moving earth? We can't figure how to harness solar energy that hits California everyday in so much quantity along a solar-cell ladden monorail that there would be more free energy to run people and goods around the state? We can't harness the tides? We can't harness hydro-fuel cells?

Why not?

And Humboldt Bay, what is the historic state of that bay before Europeans got here? What is the sediment load into the bay since logging and subdivision development started? Is there more sediment flowing in now than before 1850? If so, don't we have a responsibility to decrease the sediment flow and get rid of the excess sediment in the bay by dredging it out? Or do we want to let the bay keep filling up with sediment?

We really need to know the history of the bay prior to 1850 to know how to proceed with port development to meet modern human community needs as well as the ecological needs of the natural community there.

 
At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can do all that and a trail today won't be in the way when it all comes to pass.

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The timber industry has for all practical purposes been shut down due mostly to the enviros;"

What a deluded, moronic statement.

Read abook, would'da?

Might want to start with the 'Texas Savings and Loan debacle'.

2 to 3 percent old-growth remains.
Too much for ya?

 
At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Buffered from ocean waves and storms by the Samoa Peninsula/ North Spit and the South Spit, Humboldt Bay is a sheltered, generally shallow, coastal water body that is open to the ocean yet nearly surrounded by land. For more than a century, the natural attributes that have supported the use of the Bay as a harbor – including the entrance, the water channels, and shoreline – have been modified, expanded, stabilized, and maintained in order to develop the Bay for safe moorings, commerce, and multi-modal transportation connections."

http://www.humboldtbay.org/harbordistrict/documents/hbmp2007/s2-c2_harbor.pdf

 
At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"have been modified"

Like dreging from 17' to 48' deep and building massive jetties.

 
At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I guess it was "naturally made" for sailing ships.

 
At 6:27 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Here's what I'm getting at: I've heard that in the late 1800's ships came up the Eel River to Scotia. Did they? What was the river depth? What was Humboldt Bay's depth before serious logging and subdivision development in Humboldt County increased the sediment load by a factor of...10? 100? 1000?

If we want to keep the harbor from silting up we'll need to trap more of the sediment loads before they arrive at the bay. Two natural by-products will be produced: clays and water. And gravel of course. All items that we can sit on building bigger and bigger piles and filling more holding tanks and reservoirs or we can use creating community buildings or even sell if we have a surplus: Like bricks, like concrete products, and like water.

Some people think "Nature" means no humans allowed, or if allowed, only as passive spectators, "eco-tourists", but humankind didn't get where are today because we were made as voyeurs and consumers. We interact with the environment and because there are so many of us, we have great responsibility to see that our human interaction is beneficial to the life of the land-all of it-human species too.

 
At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Referring to Fred's question about how rail used to function back in the day, the few old timers around who ran and managed the railroad need to be brought into this debate.

Sherman Hanan, Arcata resident who now spends most of his time in Florida (where he says they were smart and turned a bunch of rails to trails, which he loves to ride his bike on), used to program all the rail loads coming into and leaving the county for decades. He seems to be pretty candid about his take on it: that rail to/from Humboldt never did work economically in the lumber heyday and it never will.

 
At 11:49 PM, Blogger Stephen said...

Well, hell, shucks then let's all just forget about how efficient and environmentally sensible it is to move people and goods by rail and stick with our good ol' boy trucks and slick cars and asphalt highways needing fixing continually soaking up billions of our dollars and polluting our world in the process.

Dead heads won't solve our problems..

 
At 12:39 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

BTW, Fred, you've got the wrong link to my blog spot. This is the link:

http://steve-lewis.blogspot.com/

 
At 6:48 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I've fixed the link, Steve. Thanks for the heads up.

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

Thanks, Fred.

 
At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:27 schooners used to go all the way to McCann and pick up goods. But you know blaming all the fill on logging and development think about the '55 and '64 floods how much sediment do you think came then?

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

That's very true. The Eel River has always carried the most sediment load of any California river. We tend to forget Nature's role here in Humboldt County which holds the U.S. record I think for declared natural disasters. Flooding, earthquakes, forest fires are our our middle name.

A note: that Ferndale Bridge has got to be one of the most durable bridges ever built and never let anyone take it down!

 

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