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
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
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.