Reported by Chris Flescher, Associate Director, RailPAC — One very important thing is that the UP railroad has approved the proposed station track layouts for Pajaro, Castroville, and Salinas.
There is a water company that people call Cal Am. I think the full name is something like California American Water. They are proposing a desalination plant in Moss Landing. They are interested in building a pipeline from the plant to a storage reservoir in Seaside. The pipeline would be about 20 miles long, and 10 miles could potentially go in the TAMC-owned rail right-of-way. The water company will have an appraisal of the easement value in a month, and TAMC will also conduct an appraisal. TAMC negotiated subsurface easement rights when buying the r-o-w from UP, and the water pipeline could be a source of revenue for TAMC. There is also a desire to see if anything else could go in the same tunnel as the water pipe, like fiber optic cables.
There are new cost estimates for the projects, and this time they are in current, or future (adjusted for inflation) dollars. The older ones were in constant 2005 dollars.
The Caltrain Gilroy-Salinas is considered one project, with the most significant costs being the intermodal station in Salinas, and the rail layover facility (which would be near the Salinas station).
For Castroville-Monterey, there are 3 possible projects. One is Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), one is LRT, and one is having both in the same corridor, which appears to be feasible, since it is 100 feet wide in many places.
TAMC approved sending a letter (maybe to the state or federal government), asking to put the city of Soledad “back on the map”, so that city would be in line to get money for a train station, and service, in the future.
Currently, MST and SC Metro (the Santa Cruz transit agency), are studying BRT between Monterey and Santa Cruz. This would be likely to use the r-o-w of the Castroville-Monterey “Coastal Branch Line”.
TAMC employees who are involved with passenger rail attended the BRT workshop (that was on Friday), in order to get a better idea of how a Monterey-SC BRT line would use the rail row.