.Letter to the Editor: No Deception in D

A letter to the editor of Good Times

Re: “A County Divided” (GT, 6/18): I would much rather have a beautiful, peaceful greenway along that publicly owned scenic corridor, with separate paths for vehicles and pedestrians, than an industrially ugly and dangerously disruptive narrow partial path next to a train line that will never be built. 

There is nothing “deceptive” about railbanking, a federal designation to preserve the possibility of building a new train line there (the old rails are coming out regardless) if you can ever sell the public on an incredibly expensive and unwise proposal for that. (Electric light rail for transportation should go down the middle of the freeway, paid for by the feds and the state.) The reason why railbanked old freight lines are rarely turned back into trains is because people around the country love greenways (I enjoy them when I visit my friends in New York). 

Steven Robins


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  1. Measure D does not authorize or fund anything.

    In addition, the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line that runs from Pajaro to Davenport is an active rail line. Passenger trains currently run from Felton to Santa Cruz and freight trains operate daily between Pajaro and Watsonville. There are five active rail customers in Watsonville.

    The last trains to operate between Watsonville and Santa Cruz ceased in 2017 when the line washed out between Watsonville and Santa Cruz. Currently there are two rail customers waiting for rail service to resume between Watsonville and Santa Cruz. The washouts have been repaired, but the RTC is still contractually obligated to make more repairs to reopen rail traffic between Watsonville and Santa Cruz.

    Progressive Rail’s CEO, publically stated this month that they are firmly against measure D and will fight abandonment that would allow railbanking. They are also working with businesses that want rail service in Santa Cruz. There is no way the Surface Transportation Board will allow an adverse abandonment filing by the RTC to proceed.

    The bottom line is there is not a path to railbanking.

  2. No Don, no passenger rail since 1959. Do the math, and it’s not eighty years. Also, we need public transportation more than anything else, and the Tig-M proved it could work here. There is no cost of building overhead wires or a third rail. Upgrade the tracks to class two, finish the trail, fix or replace some of the trestles, and get all that done ASAP and get the funding to do it from the Feds and State!


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