Rail authority still testing bridges
The Northwestern Pacific Railroad is load testing bridges between Schellville and Petaluma. Freight service won't start for at least a couple of weeks.
It will be at least a couple of weeks before the Northwestern Pacific Railroad is running freight trains through Schellville and the southern part of the Valley.
Currently, the railroad is running an engine and two loaded cars between Schellville and Petaluma to do load testing on the bridges in anticipation of starting service.
A local media source put out an erroneous report Friday that the railroad had started its freight service.
Mitch Stogner, executive director of the North Coast Railroad Authority, said the freight trains wouldn't start running until it receives approval from Novato - and that wouldn't happen until Novato's council meeting on July 12.
When the freights do start running, Stogner said, they would run about three times a week.
Since 2007, the rail authority has invested more than $60 million to repair 56 crossing signals, replace 50,000 crossties and 23,000 tons of ballast, shore-up levees in Schellville, repair 43 rail bridges, and 3 movable bridges that traverse the Napa and Petaluma rivers between Windsor and the train connection with the Union Pacific (Brazos Junction/Lombard) located south of Napa.