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Update on Narrow Gauge Crossing at Colfax being closed

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  • Pat Rylance
    Hi folks, The Colfax City Counsel have on their agenda for tonight, 8/8/06 at 7pm in City Hall another motion regarding the closing of what they call Dinky
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 8 10:18 AM
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      Hi folks,

      The Colfax City Counsel have on their agenda for tonight, 8/8/06 at
      7pm in City Hall another motion regarding the closing of what they
      call Dinky Way Crossing, which was originally the NCNGRR crossing at
      Colfax.
      This is what is stated on the agenda:
      "Item #3: Dinky Way Cooperative Agreement
      By MOTION authorize the City to enter into a Cooperative Agreement
      with State of California Department of Transportation regarding the
      developement of the initial environmental documents regarding the
      possible closure of the Union Pacific Railroad crossing at Dinky Way."

      I would like to let you know my concerns about this, so here goes:

      Back in 8/10/04 I joined this group because of my emergency concern of
      The City of Colfax, coordinating with the Union Pacific RR to close the
      crossing at Dinky Ave., exactly where my road...Narrow Gauge Rd, starts.
      My road is the exact area where the NCNGRR tracks met with the Southern
      Pacific RR to unload their mining ore and other stuff. My road was the
      NCNGRR track line back when.
      At the time that I was alerted to the intentions of the Colfax City
      Counsel, I sent a message to the group and attended the evening
      counsel meeting. You can
      go back into the archives to read the discussion on this group at the
      time. Anyway, the purpose for the closure was that the counsel and
      UPRR had determined that it was a basically unused crossing and was no
      longer
      needed. To keep the crossing open, the UPRR would have to put up stop
      lights, and/or crossing bars, which they felt pointless under the
      circumstances. At the first meeting in August 04 that I attended, it was
      all but a done deal....they had intended to finalize the approval that
      night. Because I addressed the counsel regarding our Narrow Gauge Rd
      being a very actively used road and that the property owners (8) with
      at least 10-12 families living on these properties use that crossing
      on a daily basis, they decided to have further discussions on it. It
      would sound like they didn't know the road even existed. Well, that
      is not the case. One of the property owners knows the City Mgr quite
      well. On 8/17/01 the I-80 fire started right in front of my home along
      I-80 in 3 spots. It almost destroy our home & others.
      The city fire dept, and other agencies used the road to fight the
      fire, so they definitely know this road exists.

      I believe there is a secret agenda being planned and the property
      owners and public are being lied to! The real facts are that the
      Placer Sierra RR Heritage Society has decided to put a RR museum in
      Colfax at the old rail yard. They want to extend the area
      for this plan to the end of the old rail yard where Dinky Way and
      Narrow Gauge Rd meet the tracks. The plan shows the museum to reach to
      the 174 overhead crossing bridge. Therefore, to keep what they call
      the Dinky Way crossing open, would be a hinderance to them for their
      extensive museum plan.

      At the first meeting I attended, I stressed the issue of needing
      proper emergency vehicle access. Dinky Way could not handle such
      large equip.
      and Foresthill Ave which goes up to & through a quiet neighborhood
      and the streets are narrow, plus cars park on both sides of the road,
      so it would be very dangerous to have emergency vehicles to attempt to
      go thru that area....I am not only talking about fire trucks, I am
      talking about big haulers bringing in heavy equipment such at D-8 Cats
      and other equipment.....which they used in our fire. They had to use
      the railroad crossing to get the equipment here.

      Aside from the fire issue, Dinky Way and Foresthill Ave. (all meeting
      at the crossing in question) are steep hills, which in the winter time
      are inaccessable during snow season.....that means we would be totally
      blocked. Not everyone can afford a big 4x4, especially with the gas
      prices these days. This would bring in the health & safety concerns.

      Aside from that, to have to go into Colfax, which we do on a daily
      basis, would require us to go up to 174, cross the bridge, back down
      into Colfax. At the 8/04 meeting I brought up this concern, that at
      each end of the bridge the abutments are high. There have been
      several accidents on each end of that bridge for that reason alone.
      In fact, my granddaughter, with my 2 great-grandbabies almost pulled
      out in front of a fast moving truck about 3 weeks ago because of that
      very reason.
      Grandpa was in the back with the kids and yelled for her to stop or
      they could have all been killed. She did not see the truck because
      she was in a low small vehicle....which many on this road have. By the
      way, there has NEVER been an accident at the Dinky Way Crossing.

      Apparantly, the City of Colfax and others are intending to follow thru
      with the plan to close this road. I want you to know they will have a
      FIGHT ON THEIR HANDS. That crossing has been there since 1883. When
      the NCNGRR disbanded in 1942 and the tracks removed, properties were
      sold with right of way easements which are in my deed. This road and
      right of way are of historical value to the area and the property
      owners. Yet, they seem to be totally ignoring this issue.

      I am greatly concerned about this and will keep this group informed.

      I truly believe that the NCNGRR should be recognized as a valuable
      part of any RR museum in Colfax.....and I intend to see that it is
      acknowledged as such. I am definitely NOT opposed to the museum. I
      think it is a great venture for them to do and to the community, but
      NOT at the plan to close the crossing and endangering our lives and
      our livelihood.
      Pat
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