Latest Info From SCC Friends of Rail & Trail

Latest Info From SCC Friends of Rail & Trail

Rail/Trail Myths

Rail & Trail Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comMyth: There isn’t room for both rail AND trail.

Truth: Within the 32 miles of the corridor, 31.7 miles are currently wide enough for both rail AND a paved trail that is 12-16 feet wide, wider than other local trails such as Arana Gulch. Adjacent public land is available for use on the narrowest 0.3 miles of the corridor to provide the minimum required width.

Myth: “Railbanking” is a solution.

Truth: Railbanking is a deeply flawed concept. Not once, anywhere, has railbanking been used to rip out tracks, replace them with a paved path, then later remove the path and put tracks back, and restart rail service.

Myth: There isn’t money available for the Rail Trail.

Truth: The Rail Trail is essentially fully funded thanks to voter-approved Measure D, local fundraising commitments, and matching funds from state and federal government sources. Future rail service could be funded through a combination of State SB-1 and Measure D funds.


Rail & Trail Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comAction on the Rail Trail project with several key milestones in recent months helping to propel the project forward. Here are the highlights:

  • The City Councils of Santa Cruz and Watsonville approved moving forward with the first segments of the Rail Trail.
  • The Scotts Valley City Council rescinded their prior endorsement of the Greenway proposal.
  • The California Coastal Commission provided written expression of support for building the Rail Trail ASAP.
  • Measure D funds were determined to be a potential source of matching funds to replace or renovate the Capitola trestle to include both rail AND trail, which would avoid routing the trail through the Village.
  • Instead of an all-new bridge crossing the San Lorenzo River, engineers have designed a new cantilevered structure to support the Rail Trail from the existing train trestle bridge, saving millions of dollars.
  • The Caltrans 2018 State Rail Plan clearly identifies the Santa Cruz County rail line as part of the statewide system.
  • New endorsements and letters to Friends of Rail/Trail show increased community support.

3 Responses to "Latest Info From SCC Friends of Rail & Trail"

  1. Marcia White  June 25, 2018 at 8:03 am
    the width of the trail in the rail & trail proposal is at the very minimum and would put bikes and pedestrians at risk. 8 to 12 feet in 2 way traffic means 4 to 6 feet in each direction means single file bike and pedestrian traffic with passing done cautiously. Good luck with that!

    The rail banking system may or may not be an actually “banking system”. If the economics of adding or re-claiming rail lines and service is not profitable then rail service will not be, has not been, “re-claimed”.

  2. Don Honda  June 25, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    It’s unfortunate that each one of the above talking points is either erroneous or misleading. It is unfortunate that FORT continues to use these tactics.

    A simple Google search will bear out the facts in each case. Most egregious is that Measure D only funded the “rail” part in the sense of studying options for future transportation needs including trail only and maintaining the line.

    2016 Measure D: Transportation Improvement Expenditure Plan for Santa Cruz County
    A-1 Santa Cruz County 2016 Measure D: Transportation Improvement Expenditure Plan
    – Approved by over 2/3 of Santa Cruz County voters on November 8, 2016

  3. Don Honda  June 25, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Also, the above picture is nowhere near to what a rail and trail next to each other on Santa Cruz’s Branch Line would ever look like. This is most disingenuous.


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