Truth: Within the 32 miles of the corridor, 31.7 miles are currently wide enough for both rail AND a paved trail that is 12-16 feet wide, wider than other local trails such as Arana Gulch. Adjacent public land is available for use on the narrowest 0.3 miles of the corridor to provide the minimum required width.
Myth: “Railbanking” is a solution.
Truth: Railbanking is a deeply flawed concept. Not once, anywhere, has railbanking been used to rip out tracks, replace them with a paved path, then later remove the path and put tracks back, and restart rail service.
Myth: There isn’t money available for the Rail Trail.
Truth: The Rail Trail is essentially fully funded thanks to voter-approved Measure D, local fundraising commitments, and matching funds from state and federal government sources. Future rail service could be funded through a combination of State SB-1 and Measure D funds.
- The City Councils of Santa Cruz and Watsonville approved moving forward with the first segments of the Rail Trail.
- The Scotts Valley City Council rescinded their prior endorsement of the Greenway proposal.
- The California Coastal Commission provided written expression of support for building the Rail Trail ASAP.
- Measure D funds were determined to be a potential source of matching funds to replace or renovate the Capitola trestle to include both rail AND trail, which would avoid routing the trail through the Village.
- Instead of an all-new bridge crossing the San Lorenzo River, engineers have designed a new cantilevered structure to support the Rail Trail from the existing train trestle bridge, saving millions of dollars.
- The Caltrans 2018 State Rail Plan clearly identifies the Santa Cruz County rail line as part of the statewide system.
- New endorsements and letters to Friends of Rail/Trail show increased community support.