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NCRA Freight Rail

  • NCRA Freight Rail
  • NCRA Freight Rail
  • NCRA Freight Rail

Freight train service will resume along 62-miles of the Northwestern Pacific (NWP) railway between Napa County and Windsor following a $60 million effort to repair the closed rail line. The revived freight service will reduce transportation costs for North Bay businesses and agricultural interests and lower diesel and greenhouse gas emissions along Highway 101.

History’s First and Only Emergency Railroad Shutdown

In 1998, the Federal Railroad Adminstration (FRA) gave the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) an emergency order to repair and reopen The Southwest Pacific line. An Environmental Consent Decree (ECD) mandated the agency investigate and remediate releases, bring the rail line into regulatory compliance, and develop plans and procedures to resume operations. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) required an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to evaluate and mitigate the project’s potential impacts.

Achieving Environmental Compliance

To comply with the ECD, Kleinfelder completed a comprehensive regulatory review and environmental assessment of the entire rail line and developed a five-year plan to investigate, remediate, and develop operation and management procedures to address hazardous substances along the railway. Hazardous waste compliance was achieved by successfully inventorying and removing more than 1,000 hazardous and petroleum waste containers from 12 former maintenance sites. Throughout all of this, Kleinfelder satisfied the NCRA Board, state agencies, and CEQA requirements.

Project Results

Through interaction with regulatory agencies, the public, and the railroad operator, Kleinfelder helped its client satisfy compliance requirements and complete needed repairs to the NWP railway. By mobilizing personnel from more than 19 offices, Kleinfelder’s service resulted in the reopening of the southern 62 miles of track, ECD compliance, and lifting of the FRA emergency order.

Project Details

Northern California

North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA)

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