Update on Narrow Gauge Crossing at Colfax being closed
- 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
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
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
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
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