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El Dorado Community May Lose Vital Heritage Railway to Bike Enthusiasts | Community

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El Dorado Community May Lose Vital Heritage Railway to Bike Enthusiasts
El Dorado Community May Lose Vital Heritage Railway to Bike Enthusiasts

Today the El Dorado Board of Supervisors will discuss at their regular meeting the option of removing a portion of the historic railroad, known as the "Placerville Branch", which runs from Shingle Springs to the county line on the 1865 route from Folsom. The meeting will be held at 2pm at  330 Fair Lane , Placerville CA , 95667.

At this meeting two groups will be pleading their cases.

First, The Placerville and Sacramento Valley Railroad (P&SVRR), a 501 (c) 3 not for profit corporation, who is dedicated to protect, preserve and develop the historical railway by operating a community heritage railroad from Folsom to the end of the track in Diamond Springs.  This group has already been successful in securing a 5-year operating license with the Sacramento – Placerville Transportation Corridor Joint Powers Authority (SPTC-JPA), who owns the corridor, through member partners of the Folsom, El Dorado and Sacramento Historical Railroad Association and are successfully operating over sections of the rail line now. They are asking the board to ratify their 5-year license to continue operations and prevent the most beautiful section of  the railway from being ripped out.

Second, is a group who has put continual pressure on the Board, known as the " Friends of the El Dorado Trail". Representatives, of which proclaim ‘no train in our back yard’, are campaigning to rip out the rails for a class one bike trail. This initiative would be funded by taxpayer money during a time of recession and only cater to a fraction of the population, whereas the P&SVRR heritage railroad is privately funded and would be able to accommodate all residents no matter what their physical capabilities.

Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad Solution:

Ratify the 5-year license with the P&SVRR. Monitor the progress of the rail development. In the meantime, suggest the trail lobby manage the Camino trail to gain relevant experience. If the railroad does fail, at least by then the trails group will possess the skills and knowledge to effectively manage a trail along the corridor and reduce the exposure of EDC to associated costs. If the railroad succeeds, partner to develop a "Rails and Trails" initiative that would further develop the existing mountain bike and equestrian trails within the corridor (alongside the rails) therefore maximizing the overall use while achieving the greatest potential for economic benefit.

Source: Philip S. Rose, President, Placerville & Sacramento Valley Railroad
               Michelle Gallegos