NORTH COAST RAILROAD AUTHORITY

RAILROAD REHABILITATION PROJECT

COMBINED SCOPE OF WORK NARRATIVE

 

 

 

PHASING

The activities to be undertaken with this scope of work will be phased as outlined below. The basic premise is to first restore the railroad to minimum Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) standards (Class 1) to allow freight traffic to resume. Immediately upon reopening freight service upgrading and additional rehab activities will commence to re-establish historic service levels of FRA Class 2 and Class 3.  Some activities may be taken out of phase and additional work related to drainage and winterization may occur earlier than envisioned in order to meet the goal of restoring freight service as soon as possible between Willits and the Southerly terminus at Lombard.

 

PHASE I

Track raising, realignment, and tie replacement from Lombard to Willits to correct the defects that led to the closure of the railroad by the FRA in November of 1998. This will only provide Class 1 standards that limit train speed to only10 MPH. Signal and grade crossing protection rehabilitation is included. This work will not utilize any of the ISTEA and TCI funds and has been progressing since February 1999. It is anticipated that freight service from Lombard to Petaluma will be restored by the end of October, and to Willits in December. To date more than 12,000 ties have been replaced utilizing funding from NWPRA, FEMA, and Prop. 116. It is anticipated that the work to provide Class 1 standards on as much of the railroad as possible north of Willits will commence by the end of the year utilizing FEMA funds. As weather permits this work will continue next spring with that portion of the major earthwork and drainage projects needed for initial opening. Reopening of the entire line is expected by late summer 2000.

 

PHASE II

Conduct preliminary engineering activities, including field reconnaissance, comprehensive assessment, prioritization of work and cost estimates. Provide preliminary environmental assessment to identify significant issues to address under the requirements of CEQA/NEPA. Examine the feasibility of construction of the project in geographic segments and develop strategies accordingly where feasible. For Willits south much of this activity took place in preparation for the Phase I work that is nearly complete. Additional engineering and environmental work will be required at specific locations where activities other that “track” work is required. These activities include slope stabilization, drainage improvements, structure repair and related activities. North of Willits the environmental clearance is well underway for the work needed to restore to Class 1 standards. A preliminary scope of work has been developed and is being refined with respect to anticipated cost. Particular attention is being given to the additional cost of work at remote sites. Considerable additional engineering and environmental work is required at sites that involve significant earthwork and drainage activities. It is anticipated that north of Willits this much of this activity will be conducted concurrently with the initial opening work contained in Phase I.

 

 

 

PHASE III

Completion of environmental documentation, securing appropriate environmental clearance, and identification of rights of way needs.

 

PHASE IV

Preparation of final engineering, completion of PS&E and contract documents. Obtain all

necessary permits and acquire rights of way. Advertise and select contractors.

 

PHASE V

Construct improvements in accordance with the final design. Activities will include additional track rehabilitation to replace ties, replace and realign rail, resurfacing, ballast installation, and structure repair. This work will bring the Willits south portion of the railroad to FRA Class 3 standards and north of Willits to at least Class 2.

 

PHASE VI

Continued track, bridge and tunnel rehabilitation north of Willits will take place, as funds become available. The recently adopted Business Plan envisions a positive cash flow with additional revenues derived from re-established freight service and aggressively managed properties.  In light of the more pressing needs of track restoration and rehabilitation the NCRA Board will reconsider planned rehab of rolling stock.

 

SOURCES AND USES OF FUNDS

The North Coast Railroad Authority proposes to use the following funding to accomplish this project:

 

·       1994-95 TRANSIT CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUNDS (TCI)

Residual amounts from the approved 1994-95 TCI funds programmed by the CTC.

 

·       1995-96 TCI FUNDS

Total funds from the approved the 1995-96  TCI funds programmed by the CTC.

 

·       UNALLOCATED TCI FUNDS

A total of $811,000 in TCI funds designated for NCRA remains unallocated. This scope of work and the Business Plan assume that all of these funds will be allocated to Q-Fund debt service.

 

 

 

·       PROPOSITION 116

Residual Proposition 116 funds are being utilized on the railroad south of Willits to assist with the opening anticipated in late 1999. Much of this work has been accomplished and invoices are being prepared for reimbursement.

 

·       INTERMODAL SURFACE TRANSPORTATION EFFICIENCY ACT(ISTEA)

The $8.6 million allocated to NCRA as a demonstration project in ISTEA.

 

·       ASSET SALE

Sale of the Ukiah Depot to the Mendocino Transit Authority is currently in negotiation with a firm commitment expected in 1999 and actual sale for approximately $450,000 expected in 2000. These funds are allocated to Q-Fund debt service.

 

·       NWPRA

An initial allocation of $250,000 in rental income was received from the Northwestern Pacific Railroad authority and expended in 1999. An additional $600,000 is anticipated in years 2000-2002.

 

·       FEMA/OES

The Business Plan identifies a total estimated funding amount of $20.7 million

 

·       OTHER FUNDS

Other sources of funding includes the following:

Estimated NCRA property revenues--$1,567,000

AB 2782 for Phase 1--$165,000

FHWA Section 130 for Phase 1--$89,000