Iron Horse – Letter to Supervisors

Posted on 28. Mar, 2011 by in Uncategorized

March 26, 2011

Dear County Supervisors,

I have years of experience working with Railroads both building and dismantle unused rail lines. Iron Horse Preservation Society has worked closely with several Cities and Municipalities across the United States and has created trails that today are used by the public for recreation and alternative transportation. Agencies eventually reach a decision and find a direction for old rail assets and today trails are being created with increase efforts and enthusiasm. We are currently working on the East Coast and are engaged in Rails to Trails conversion.

I have followed the events in El Dorado County for years and I am encouraged that your county may make a decision regarding the future of the SPTC Corridor. I appreciated the time I spent with both Supervisor’s Knight and Nutting and enjoyed the discussion about your situation. I would like to repeat my suggestions that I made in the meeting a few weeks ago.

1) You made a good decision to Rail Bank your corridor and this will keep the corridor preserved for ever. This will allow the rails to be pulled, if you decide to do so and preserves that corridor for future rail use.

2) Make a decision to use your public investment of $2.7 Million dollars and do it in a way that will allow a majority to use the corridor. I am familiar with the Shingle Plan and believe this makes sense, by preserving some train use, as well as pulling some rails and creating a trail system from Shingle Springs to the County line with Folsom. I firmly recommend that Excursion runs are kept to 6 miles or less as this will make their success more likely. Volunteer train groups have great passion for trains, but you need to understand that the for profit professionals, who have moved on, would not take on this effort, because it will not be profitable and will be very difficult without major financing.

I would enjoy working with your County, the trail groups and the train groups to help build something wonderful. Pulling track for trails will usually lead to a residual value owed to the county and you will be able to direct this payback. We can put money and effort into trail development and I personally would like to make sure that the train efforts in your county will get off to a good start. I would really enjoy directing some work to rebuild track, possibly lay a spur or siding in the Train Park and make sure your train efforts start with some solid rails and ties. I have a professional crew and will have the machinery and assets available, on site, to do this sort of work. I have also offered a running Locomotive to the Feds for a $1 annual lease. Iron Horse is always in contact with rolling stock that needs a home and I can help to direct needed pieces to EDC.

Thanks for your consideration.
Iron Horse Preservation Society, Inc.

Joe Hattrup
Chief Operation Officer
501 (c) (3) not-for-profit Corporation

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