NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY 419 Talmage Road, Suite M Ukiah, Ca 95482 707-463-3280 Phone 510-915-2656 Executive Director Cellular 707-463-3282 Fax
Mitch Stogner, Executive Director Allan Hemphill, NCRA Chairman Ncra.firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
NCRA SELECTS OPERATOR
May 31, 2006 – North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) Chairman, Allan Hemphill, today announced the rail authority’s selection of NWP Inc. to be its railroad operator on the 316 mile line that parallels US Highway 101 between Eureka and Novato.
NWP Inc. is a soon-to-be incorporated California company consisting of Woodside Consulting Group of Palo Alto, Evergreen Natural Resources of Oroville, and Berg Holdings of Novato. Hemphill said that NWP Inc.’s CEO will be John H. Williams, current President of the Woodside Consulting Group. Hemphill said that Mr. Williams was instrumental in the establishment of the Caltrain rail service on the Peninsula and was the General Manager of the NCRA when it operated freight trains on the Eel River Division of the NWP line in the mid-1990’s.
“This team has the rail experience and the financial means to restore freight service on the North Coast,” said Hemphill.
Sonoma County District 4 Supervisor and NCRA Director, Paul Kelley said “as a long-time transportation advocate for widening Highway 101, I am excited about adding freight service as another transportation improvement.” Kelley said that the return of rail service to Sonoma County is “good for the economy, good for the environment and saves energy by removing hundreds of diesel trucks from 101.”
Kelley said that the goal is to begin making repairs to the line this summer and to restore train operations in phases “beginning at the point of interchange near Ignacio Blvd. and working north to Windsor.”
Hemphill said the initial lease with NWP Inc. will be for train operations between Lombard (near Napa) and Dos Rios (near Willits), with an option to add portions of the line through the Eel River Canyon and up to Eureka.
“The future success of this line is dependent on a rail connection to the Port of Humboldt Bay. We all understand that,” said Hemphill. He said the major commodities to be shipped on the NWP line include municipal solid waste, rock, forest products and, eventually, in-bound containers from the Port of Humboldt Bay.
“We are pleased to partner with the NCRA and look forward to the successful reopening of the railroad as quickly as possible. NWP is committed to investing in this venture, as we are confident the time is right to return the railroad to the profitability it enjoyed for many years. This line will be a strong economic factor along the Northcoast,” said John Williams, CEO of NWP Inc. Hemphill said that the NCRA and NWP Inc. will negotiate the details of the lease and operating agreement over the next 30-60 days.
The North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) was formed in 1989 by the California Legislature under the North Coast Railroad Authority Act, Government Code Section 93000, et seq. The mission of the North Coast Railroad Authority is to provide a unified & revitalized rail infrastructure meeting the freight and passenger needs of the region; a first class service working in partnership with others to build and sustain the economy of the region.