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TAMC Rail Policy Committee Meeting Report

February 7, 2011 Meeting

Reported by Chris Flescher, Associate Director

Pipeline and Branch Line

The Marina Coast Water District and California American Water have requested a letter of support from TAMC for a Coastal Development Permit, to be obtained from the California Coastal Commission, for the Monterey Bay Regional Desalination Project.  A portion of the project (a water pipeline) will be located on the Monterey Branch Line (MBL) right of way.

An appraisal of the property used for the desalination project will be conducted in the coming months.  TAMC will be compensated for the use of the property.  These funds will be used to cover a portion of the operations and maintenance of the light rail service on the corridor.

When TAMC bought the MBL from Union Pacific, they also bought the utility easement rights.  This is something that Union Pacific does not usually sell.

The proposed letter will include the following:

  1. TAMC understands and supports the portion of the project that is to be located on the MBL right of way.
  2. TAMC, the Marina Coast Water District, and California American Water are working on an agreement that provides the foundation for construction and operations of the Monterey Bay Regional Desalination Project.
  3. TAMC will be compensated for the property used on the MBL right of way.
  4. The Marina Coast Water District and California American Water will work with TAMC to coordinate construction of the light rail and pipeline as well as potentially provide a service road for the light rail where the pipeline will be laid.

Commuter Rail to Salinas

TAMC is working with the Salinas Redevelopment Agency on a draft of a memorandum of understanding for the Salinas Intermodal Transportation Center.  TAMC representatives and City staff made presentations on the project to the City Council (January 11) and its Design Review Board (January 24).  One needed piece of land in Salinas (for the layover facility) is in escrow, and the cleanup process is underway.

The FTA has assigned an environmental specialist to look at the Salinas rail project.  That person will examine TAMC’s environmental documents, which should help TAMC in getting all the documents completed.

On February 2, TAMC staff met with Capitol Corridor, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, Caltrain, and Caltrans staff to discuss the project, including how to coordinate the schedules of the various trains.  Caltrain may end service to Gilroy and weekend service due to financial problems.  They would like to keep serving Gilroy if they can afford to do so.

Rail Tour

On March 3, there will be a tour on the southbound Coast Starlight, making stops in San Jose, Salinas, and a special stop in Soledad. The trip is sponsored by TAMC, the Coast Rail Coordinating Council, and the City of Soledad.  This will be on the same route as the proposed commuter rail to Salinas and Coast Daylight services.