Progressive Rail Begins Operations on Santa Cruz Line

Progressive Rail Begins Operations on Santa Cruz Line

Santa Cruz Line Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comSt. Paul & Pacific Railroad Co. LLC, a subsidiary of Progressive Rail Incorporated, took over operations from Iowa Pacific Holdings that has been operating on this line since 2012 and began operating on the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line to serve local businesses that depend on good reliable freight service by rail.

Santa Cruz Line Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.com“We are happy to welcome St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Co. as the new carrier on the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line,” said George Dondero, executive director for the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC). “They have a strong and dedicated team that is eager to become an integral part of the community while providing the highest quality of service to local rail customers.”

Santa Cruz Line Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comSt. Paul & Pacific will immediately begin providing freight service to existing customers on the line. Currently, there are four companies that ship and/or receive via rail on the line, Del Mar Food Products, Lineage Logistics, Agron Bioenergy, and Big Creek Lumber.

“Railroads have a proud tradition serving Watsonville. On behalf of the entire Progressive Rail team, we’re honored to be Santa Cruz County’s new connection to the North American rail network. With that comes a great degree of responsibility to be the safest, cleanest, and most financially-efficient mode of transportation to both domestic and foreign markets,” said Dave Fellon, president of Progressive Rail Inc. “We look forward to the many partnerships we will create as the operator of the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line.”

Santa Cruz Line Times Publishing Group Inc tpgonlinedaily.comProviding freight service to existing customers in Watsonville is part of Phase I of the operating agreement that the RTC has with St. Paul & Pacific Railroad parent company Progressive Rail. The agreement is broken up into two phases. Phase I allows Progressive Rail to provide freight service on the south end of the line to existing freight customers in Watsonville.

Phase two of the agreement activates after the RTC completes the Unified Corridor Study, expected to be released in the fall, and makes a decision on the future use of the rail line. If the RTC makes the decision to keep the tracks in place and pursue potential passenger rail service, which is consistent with its existing policy and its decisions over more than two decades, then the agreement will remain in place for 10 more years and will include the entire length of the rail line.

If the RTC makes the decision to remove the tracks beyond the Watsonville area, then Progressive Rail can opt out of the agreement.

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For more information, visit www.sccrtc.org

5 Responses to "Progressive Rail Begins Operations on Santa Cruz Line"

  1. Barry Scott  September 1, 2018 at 7:00 am

    This is great news! Four companies depend on rail service to move goods in and out of the south end of the county and Progressive Rail is already at work improving the line and moving those nasty tank cars our of town, left behind by Iowa Pacific.

    The rail line keeps trucks off the highway and will hopefully take passenger trips off the highway, too! With Monterey building an extension from Salinas through Pajaro to connect to San Jose, and our line connecting at Pajaro Junction, we’ll be able to get places without highway congestion in the way!

    Rail transit with a trail has the potential to take millions of trips off the streets and highway each year, I don’t see the problem.

    Funding? Environment? Please review Caltrans and the Coastal Commission documents below.
    Worldwide, rail is an environmental and economic winner that provides equitable transportation to the people who need it the most. Rail and Trail will become sorely needed alternatives to driving!

    Caltrans Rail Plan: http://tiny.cc/CSRP_exec_summary
    Coastal Commission letter in support of rail lines: http://tiny.cc/CCCMMM

    Caltrans seeks grow rail ridership to 12 times it’s current level by 2040 and the Coastal Commission in a February letter to AMBAG identified our regional rail network, including the Santa Cruz and Monterey Branch Lines, as valuable assets in reducing climate change and highway congestion while enhancing access to coastal features.

    http://www.railandtrail.org

    Reply
  2. Barry Scott  September 1, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Our rail lines are vital to businesses and rail transit with a trail has the potential to take millions of trips off the streets and highway each year.
    Caltrans includes our rail line in their vision for a robust rail transit network, and the Coastal Commission understands the value of rail lines as climate friendly alternatives to congested highways:
    Caltrans Rail Plan: http://tiny.cc/CSRP_exec_summary
    Coastal Commission letter in support of rail lines: http://tiny.cc/CCCMMM

    Caltrans seeks grow rail ridership to 12 times it’s current level by 2040 and the Coastal Commission in a February letter to AMBAG identified our regional rail network, including the Santa Cruz and Monterey Branch Lines, as valuable assets in reducing climate change and highway congestion while enhancing access to coastal features.

    It’s fabulous to see fewer and fewer tank cars with Progressive in charge, moving this out of town and out of sight. Welcome to town, Progressive Rail!

    http://www.railandtrail.org

    Reply
  3. John  September 1, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Great news. The branch line will finally be under the management of a serious railroad company.

    Reply
  4. Janie Sotio  September 1, 2018 at 11:59 am

    This is great news. I hear that some of the empty tank cars have already been removed to the Union Pacific yards in Pajaro. I look forward to Progressive’s association in the community and their vision for what can be accomplished.

    Reply
  5. Kathryn Steel Glynn  September 2, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Who and what companies support the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Co.?

    Reply

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