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  • Pat Rylance
    Hi Folks, I just joined this group today and desperately need help. I live on the old narrow gauge road in Colfax. A couple weeks ago I suddenly learned that
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 8, 2004
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      Hi Folks,
      I just joined this group today and desperately need help.
      I live on the old narrow gauge road in Colfax. A couple weeks ago I
      suddenly learned that the Colfax City Council was going to make a
      resolution to close the railroad crossing at the beginning of our road
      which is the crossing that connects Dinky Ave with Foresthill St, then
      crosses the Union Pacific tracks to the Boat Shop on Main Street.

      I was very concerned about this as the little crossing is used by all
      the residents on our road which is approx. 12 families on 7 parcels of
      land.
      The road, known as Narrow Gauge Rd in Colfax, was the Old Narrow Gauge
      Railroad and is where the historical Oilville is located along the road.

      The Council brought up the issue of closing the crossing at which time
      I spoke up with my concerns regarding this issue. Little did I know
      at the time that the closing of this crossing is a trade-off for the
      Placer County Railroad Heritage Society to relocate 2 engines and set
      up a big railroad museum behind what was known as TAPS (an auto parts
      store), which has been restored by contractor Gary Todd in Colfax to a
      very nice train depot with 3-4 small shops, which includes an ice
      cream parlor. During the discussion of closing the crossing, at no
      time until I addressed the council was the Narrow Gauge Rd ever
      brought up.

      It was my understanding when I left shortly after that issue was over
      that they were going to hold public meetings on this issue and this
      would take approx. 6 months. Well, the next issue was relating to
      bringing in a spur of rails, plus using the current existing rail that
      runs behind ACE Hardware warehouse to bring the engines and cars in.
      They would also be restoring the engines here as well. I think that
      they plan to put several spur tracks between the boat shop and the
      crossing in question and that may be one reason they want to close it.
      The Union Pacific does not want to have to pay money to put up
      crossing arms, so they are going to have the city do it.

      I am very much against the closing of this crossing and do not like
      that the restoration of a historical rail museum for Colfax doe not
      include the Narrow Gauge Railroad. The next meeting on this is this
      Tuesday night 8/10 at Colfax City Hall.

      Anyone who can be there to discuss this concern should do their utmost
      to be there......I need your help. If they are going to restore
      Colfax as a Railroad yard museum they should certainly make plans to
      include the Narrow Gauge Railroad. I think it would be unique to have
      a set of narrow gauge rails and hopefully an engine where our road
      begins, and to restore oilville. I think a historical visitors
      momument with photos and a bit of history both from Colfax & Grass
      Valley would certainly add to anything this society group is
      attempting to do here.

      I am NOT against the museum but am against the crossing being closed.
      In the winter that is our only way out, both Dinky Ave and Foresthill
      St are virtually impossible to drive on when icy or snow. To close
      the crossing would force us to go up Dinky to Hwy 174 and over the
      bridge or up Foresthill through the quiet neighborhood where children
      are constantly playing in the street. They were concerned for
      accidents at the crossing, but there has never been ONE accident there
      in the 40 years I have lived here. But there have been several
      accidents at both ends of the overhead bridge at Dinky and Main.

      I would appreciate any discussion on this.

      I might add here that the Colfax Depot Committee have been doing most
      of the discussion and planning regarding the closing. Had I not been
      at the meeting on 7/27 they would have made a resolution to close the
      crossing. There have not been any public imput to this issue nor have
      any property owners or residents on our road been informed of these
      issues. A private citizen in Colfax who was concerned took the effort
      to come and inform us of the 7/27 meeting and what the council had
      intended to do.

      Any comments and any help at the next meeting, 8/10 at 7 pm Colfax
      City Hall will be appreciated.

      Sincerely
      Pat
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