A New Crossing For The Bear River

                            One of the more spectacular structures for the Northern Sierra Railway will be a new bridge over the Bear River. The Bear river is the Natural boundary between Nevada County and Placer County. The proposed survey location for the new bridge will be downriver from the existing rammed earth dam that forms Rollins Lake. The historical trestle  bridge (not shown due to copyright restrictions) that was part of the original NCNG (Nevada County Narrow Gage Railroad) was removed long ago, legend tells us, to provide steel for Gillette razors. An entirely new modern structure incorporating such features as a solar panel grid to help power the new electrified railway will be designed into a modern architectural wonder that will resemble the above photo only in as much as it will be a structure to support a train and span the river with zero hydrological impact. The train however, will be a state of the art ecologically friendly form of mobility that could operate entirely on locally produced petroleum free sustainable and renewable energy. The construction, maintenance and operation of the line will also contribute to the economic prosperity of the region for many generations to come.

This new railway will be a legacy that we will be proud to have created for future generations. Unlike the reckless expansion of highways that will bring more and more noise and air pollution to the region for the foreseeable future, a new quietly operating railway powered by renewable energy, providing numerous jobs and many other great benefits will preserve the picturesque qualities of the SR 174 corridor with minimal impact on the environment.

Sierra Rail Fan News


El Dorado County

Supervisors have held the line on preserving the old Southern Pacific Rail line for scenic excursions along the right of way maintained by the Joint Powers Authority (JPA) for the time being. Using a sensible approach to sharing the right of way for bike trails, horse trails, and the historic rail excursions from old town Folsom will continue to be a front line of preservation for hopeful future railway usage. But the battle continues.


California Still Lags

behind the rest of the world in railway development. Arguments under the Capitol dome in Sacramento continue to miss the mark by failing to identify the Tehachapi Pass as the bottleneck to break the political log jam that is inducing unneccessary cost and schedule delays in developing a modern rail system for our State.

  A Message from the Candidate  

Many people throw up their hands and decry that fools rush in on California railway development with no thought about the seismic concerns in California. What these same people have failed to notice is that in the recent massive earthquakes in Japan, a region also riddled with eartquake fault lines, not one single train was derailed directly from the 9.0 Richter quakes. The media was quick to illustrate the trains wrecked by the ensuing tsunamis with full color video footage into our homes. However, the fact that Japan's High Speed Rail system has emergency shutdown systems automatically triggered whenever a rail is displaced by a precisely measured minute amount has not been publicized. California could use the same technology for Rail Development in seismically active regions. The rail motion sensors cause electrical power to be shut off entirely in sections where the displacement is measured, bringing the trains to a halt via dynamic braking. Mechanical brakes are also applied if the vehicle exceeds a specified speed. That does not however prevent tsunamis.

  The Winter Wonderland

While the first phase of rail will be a short trolley connecting Grass Valley with Nevada City, route studies are underway which will eventually connect the Lake Tahoe region with Major Metropolitan areas nearby without the need to beg, borrow or lease railway from Union Pacific. These alternate rail routes will make it possible for people to have vacation destinations in the Sierra, including resorts like Squaw Valley.

The International Olympics Committe has already made it clear that the Lake Tahoe - Reno area could be considered for future Winter Olympics if, and only if rail connectivity is developed. Yet, myopic transportation planning agencies continue to ignore the benefits that rail development will have on their respective areas.

The environmental damage that is widely known regarding the Lake Tahoe basin would be greatly mitigated by a rail system connecting the region to other areas with greater capacity for processing waste and sewage via rail tank cars [Cahill & Goldman of UC Davis]

© 2010 Northern Sierra Railway

Northern Sierra Railway