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 Post subject: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Another railroad is having to deal with a trail group that wants it to go away.

The railroad:

http://www.santacruzrailway.com/

https://www.facebook.com/SantaCruzRailway

The group that wants the railroad to disappear (Facebook page is all I can find of it):

https://www.facebook.com/aptos.railtrail?fref=ts

Fortunately, there is a second trail group that wants rail and trail. This group seems to be dominant at the moment.

http://santacruztrail.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Cr ... 685?ref=hl

What stands out most about the anti-rail group is its apparent hatred--yes, HATRED--of the railroad. A strong source of this seems to come from a newspaper in the area--the Santa Cruz Sentinal--that is apparently of the so-called "conservative" bent that says trains are outmoded, dirty, noisy, oily, smell, etc.--:

https://www.facebook.com/aptos.railtrail?fref=ts

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hp ... e=562E1B99

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hp ... e=55E9A429

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hp ... e=56334733

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hp ... e=563219B5

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hp ... e=5624B5FD

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hp ... e=562134D4

Personally, I would love to send the railroad a steam locomotive--a whole operating roster, in fact, maybe three to five engines--from the east--with a nice trainload of coal, maybe about 75 to 125 cars or so--the lower figure is, I understand, about what Strasburg uses in a year.


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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 709
That Aptos bunch is really over the top.

60 trains a day.

Yeah, right.

It consists of a handful of malcontents, one of which is mouthy and takes
so many liberties with the truth that most locals ignore him.


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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Lincoln Penn wrote:
That Aptos bunch is really over the top.


Hrrrumph, that bunch doesn't sound much worse than the ARTA Snow and Green guys who are giving so much grief to the Adirondack Scenic.

It's not just heritage roads, by the way. The Florida East Coast has expressed interest in reviving higher-speed passenger service for today in southern Florida. The road hopes to make money on it, partially with additional real estate development driven by it--which is what makes money for a lot of private rail systems in Japan, and in fact is what Henry Flagler did a century ago with the FEC itself.

But some people don't like that. Check out what the opposition there looks like:

https://www.facebook.com/floridanotallaboard?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/citizensagains ... fl?fref=ts


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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
A fellow I know through Facebook thinks a lot of the trail opposition is generational. He recently posted this, with the request that it be anonymous for now:

Quote:
TRAIL VENTING:
The Rail to trail movement may have started out noble enough but recently went way "south" and very quickly. Many supporters of Rails To Trails are struck in some sort of area where they do not understand or can not see the value of trains and railroads.

I believe they are part of the "Lost Generations". Lost, since they never have seen wide spread rail transit and have been in bedded amongst the car culture (I do like my truck, by the way) so long that even though they portent to be green, they "can't see the train for [all] the automobiles". They can't understand the changes that revitalized rail service will bring. They see only "bike roads" and see that blindly (sorry for the pun there).

They don't seem to understand the transportation value of trains. Nor is the merit of preserving historic rail road corridors apparent to them. Tourism worth of railroads eludes their comprehension.

The organized R to T movement is now a corruption of what it should have been. The direction it has chosen is not one of cooperation and preservation, but one of Conquest and perversion. This course it is now taking must be diverted or halted. The zealous persecution of active and inactive (Not abandoned) Railroads must cease.

We should review abandoned Railways as their usefulness may once again become important as true transportation systems again. Rail is Revitalizing, and with it there are multiple levels of benefits.


I happen to agree with my friend's comments about much of this being generational.

I saw a lot of this first hand just over 20 years ago, when I was trying to promote a light rail/modern interurban alternative to a four-lane highway in my area. This proposal included the idea of a "dual purpose" transit line, one that would be both a tourist attraction and a working transit line. Part of that called for using replicas of classic high-speed interurban cars, along the lines of Cincinnati & Lake Erie Red Devils or Indiana Railroad high-speed cars. I put together a 17-page cost study on this that suggested, if done properly, the system would reduce the cost of construction by something like $60 million, largely because a two-track railroad is skinnier than a four-lane highway. I later found a number of mistakes I made, the biggest one being that I overestimated both the amount of highway mileage and the amount of railroad mileage that would have to be built (the old road that was being proposed for replacement had so much curvature that the distance to be traveled would be reduced by five miles or 10% on half of the route alone), but this didn't change anything like cost ratios--and nobody ever questioned those. Indeed, the Department of Tar--er, Transportation--actually acknowledged everything in my paper in the comments in its Environmental Impact Statement. This included multiple comments along the lines of "Rail service is certainly safe, but will not fit the transportation requirements of this area," and "Rail service is efficient, but will not fit the transportation requirements of this area." Really, there were several instances of that in the EIR, all apparently aimed at what I had to say.

About the generational aspect--when I was doing this and talking with people about this, I noticed a generational pattern. Those who liked this modern interurban proposal were, at the time, either under 40 or over 70; those who hated it were between 40 and 70. The latter even accused me of trying to take their cars away, of wanting to bring back the horse and buggy, and of trying to make the USA a Communist country. Some even seemed so angry as to almost seem threatening. A head of the state transportation department in question would later say, when he was working in another state and was speaking about a proposed light rail line across the Ohio from him in Cincinnati, that if cars had been around in the time of the Founding Fathers, that driving would have been part of the US Constitution.

An interesting thing that has since turned up (and which I was seeing during the lengthy time between the road proposal and its actual construction) is that others have made this same observation--and that everyone is now older. The group that was over 70 before is now over 90, the group that was between 40 and 70 is now between 60 and 90, and the youngest group is essentially under 65 (Gasp!! I just turned 60!)

My assessment of this is that the group over 70 and now over 90 is the last remnant of the generations that grew up prior to the Interstate highway era, and is nostalgic for how things used to be, including trains as part of the landscape, almost as much so as tap water. The younger crowd, under 40 before and under 65 now, grew up with cars as part of the landscape, and perhaps don't properly appreciate them, but are aware of their shortcomings, including environmental damage; in terms of generational labels, they are the later two-thirds of the Baby Boomers plus the Generation X and Generation Y crowd. The group in the middle, which would be primarily Depression babies, war babies, and the first third of the Baby Boomers, came of age at a time when trolleys were from Toonerville, when the big highway was the future, and when cars got bigger and faster and (for a while) even tried to look like fighter planes with high tail fins. That's important, because that is the generation that is largely still in leadership positions today--and it would have included that highway official who made those remarks about how driving should have been part of the Bill of Rights.

I'm not the only person to see this. An Amtrak marketing man, whom I knew through a civic organization we were members of, said his marketing department had observed and measured the same thing nationwide in regard to Amtrak. Those promoting modern light rail lines, high speed service in California and the FEC project in Florida have also made those same observations. It's also caught the eyes of the automobile industry, which sees that a lot of younger people who don't want cars, at least not at the level of their ancestors.


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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:31 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:47 pm
Posts: 89
Location: Portland, Or
Already sent a steam locomotive there last year. My engine is actually from Santa Cruz county! The anti rail folks lost a lot of ground during our event as the RTC board, Iowa pacific, and Roaring Camp sponsored the event. The whole town turned out to see SCPC 2 return home, great local news pr, etc. check out the videos on YouTube at:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F5qCEhvO1yE

And our trip through Aptos:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b9xwv7u9XJI

Fun times, check us out on Facebook at Santa Cruz Portland Cement 2 or:

http://Www.scpc2.com

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Stathi

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Efstathios I. Pappas, MS
Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad
spappas@cumbrestoltec.com
209 603 7363


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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:16 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:18 pm
Posts: 2069
uhmmm, a trail is really outdated, very low technology..barely...nothing there but trees, weeds, a laid out asphalt, you trying to make people get on their bikes or go ride a train instead? Anything of todays technology is layered on older technology concepts.

You got millions of dollars to waste to tear out a railroad and drag in a trail? you REALLY wanna spend money? Out of hatred?


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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:42 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
SouPac wrote:
Already sent a steam locomotive there last year. My engine is actually from Santa Cruz county! The anti rail folks lost a lot of ground during our event as the RTC board, Iowa pacific, and Roaring Camp sponsored the event. The whole town turned out to see SCPC 2 return home, great local news pr, etc. check out the videos on YouTube at:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=F5qCEhvO1yE

And our trip through Aptos:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b9xwv7u9XJI

Fun times, check us out on Facebook at Santa Cruz Portland Cement 2 or:

http://Www.scpc2.com


Fun times indeed!

And I notice conspicuously absent from the APTOS trail page! I would have thought those guys would have had something up about "noisy, smelly, smokey, obsolete" steam power on the line!

Ho, ho, ho, ho!!!

Thanks for the efforts and work, too!!


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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm
Posts: 663
Location: MA
The only reason that these people can consider a trail is because decated volenteers kept the ROW clear. Let them tear up tracks that have been left to rot with trees growing up through them.


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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:15 pm
Posts: 1260
Location: Henderson Nevada
I believe the Santa Cruz branch is relatively safe for now... the County used California state rail preservation bond money, which would make tearing out the tracks "problematic"

Between Iowa Pacific and some local groups we are likely to see some steam on the line...

The reality of social media is that anyone can start a facebook group page... and have the appearance of legitimacy. This is a pretty good example.

You joke about a bunch of coal burning locomotives, but it was the cement plant at Davenport (where Stati's locomotive came from) and coal shipments that kept the branch alive for a long time...

The Niles Canyon railway has to occasionally deal with proposed trails... in this case the idea of a two county park agency, East Bay Regional Park District. The park district, who's planning is frequently self serving and unilateral, found its efforts were to some extent blocked when the railroad was placed on the national register... and as a result Federal and state grants cannot be used in a way that has a negative effect on the historic nature of the site...

Randy

ps... I am a volunteer for EBRPD credited with over 10,000 hours...

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http://www.nevadasouthern.com/
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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:02 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3030
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Just something to read that's overall pretty positive--but some of the comments are kind of sour:

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/opinio ... qus_thread


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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:03 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:59 pm
Posts: 323
Location: western Maryland
" . . .--the Santa Cruz Sentinal--that is apparently of the so-called "conservative" bent . . ."

Well, thanks for the slanderous "hit job" on conservatives. Surely you jest. There is nothing in Santa Cruz County, including the newspaper and county government, that could even remotely be confused with ANYTHING conservative. The center piece of the faculty at UC Santa Cruz is Angela Davis. For those who don't remember Ms. Davis, she was convicted of smuggling a hand gun into a court room in her afro which led to 3 cops being murdered. She also ran for president of the United States as a communist. The reason she has a tenured position at UCSC is that she is a comfortable fit to their "bent".

As long as the railroad is in business, and the Surface Transportation Board has jurisdiction over the rail lines of America, there won't be a trail replacing rail in Santa Cruz County.

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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:46 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 457
wm303 wrote:
For those who don't remember Ms. Davis, she was convicted of smuggling a hand gun into a court room in her afro which led to 3 cops being murdered.


Your recollection is incorrect. Here's what actually happened:

Quote:
San Jose, Calif,, June 4--After just 13 hours of deliberations, an all-white jury found Angela Davis not guilty today of murder, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy charges.

The jury returned its verdict at 12:35 P.M., clearing the 28-year-old black militant of all charges against her. The announcement touched off a demonstrations so emotional that Judge Richard E. Arnason threatened to clear the courtroom.

Source: NY Times: Angela Davis Acquitted on All Charges (June 5, 1972)

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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:54 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:59 pm
Posts: 323
Location: western Maryland
She was involved and admitted so years later. Richard Nixon did not go to prison either, but he still committed the crime.

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 Post subject: Re: Rails vs. Trails in California
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:12 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2332
wm303 wrote:
Well, thanks for the slanderous "hit job" on conservatives.


I found it interesting that the apparent best hope for the Catskill rail vs trail fight is a GOP candidate. Pro-passenger rail (or tourist rail) GOP'ers are rare in the east, though they do exist. It would be nice to see "left or right" come secondary to "what's best for the community." Glimmer of hope, perhaps, that we can move beyond using a binary political structure to choose sides in preservation issues?

Rob

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