Multiple agencies, which make up the UpState RailConnect Committee, are looking to get a feasibility study complete for a railroad project connecting Humboldt Bay to a national rail connection in the Sacramento Valley. They still need funding to complete that study.
The UpState RailConnect Committee is made up of officials with the City of Eureka, County of Humboldt, Trinity County, Tehama County, the Upstate California Economic Development Council and the Northern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association
The East-West Rail is designed to allow the City of Eureka to take advantage of additional economic opportunities by establishing a more direct connection with the rest of the country. Once the UpState RailConnect Committee can get the money for the study, they will hire a consultant to complete it, which would take about a year. Committee members are looking for funding from possible private sources, state and federal grants. Also, the committee has made presentations in Humboldt, Trinity and Tehama Counties to get community feedback on what needs to be included in the feasibility study.
"Humboldt Bay is the only deep water Harbor in the State of California that doesn't have an active rail connection to it. And that's been the source of several missed business opportunities here that could of generated millions of dollars in economic value to our area and for the creation of hundreds of jobs," said David Hull, a member of the UpState RailConnect Committee.
On behalf of the Upstate RailConnect Committee, Trinity County officials recently applied for an almost $350,000 grant for the study. They will not know if their application is approved until the middle of the summer.