Dinner train could chug between Santa...

Dinner train could chug between Santa Cruz, Davenport

There are 94 comments on the Santa Cruz Sentinel story from Feb 12, 2010, titled Dinner train could chug between Santa Cruz, Davenport. In it, Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that:

County transportation leaders are proposing a dinner train between Santa Cruz and Davenport in hopes of expediting state funds to buy the county's 32-mile rail line.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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deja vu

San Jose, CA

#86 Feb 12, 2010
bs_spotter wrote:
If the transit authorities are serious about rail transit, then resurrect the "Sun Tan Special", the train between SC and SJ. I bet 10,000 SC residents would take this train daily if given the option.
Sierra's Mike Hart knows a thing or two about this. Much of the capital and energy that went into Sierra came from an earlier effort to reopen a route "under the hill." False rumors of a toll over 17 to pay for it and the invention by the County of the need for a "level four permit" for transfer between rail and trucks carrying sand stopped it dead.
Blank check

Watsonville, CA

#87 Feb 12, 2010
You must be kidding me. Santa Cruz County can't even fund emergency services such as fire and law. Lets make sure our needed services are working in this County before we even think of a pipe dream like this.
Where do you want your tax dollars spent?
On a train track or on a fire engine that pulls up infront of your house in a time of need?
faye

San Francisco, CA

#88 Feb 12, 2010
Hey! I know..have all the hikers and bikers taxed first to pay as you go; with them paying for all the retrofitting first...and when they are tired of paying for their entertainment, and after a few ancient trestles fall into the ocean or onto land below...they may decide the current bike lanes are just fine.

Yep, a dinner train...that's it. How much to retrofit a boxcar into dining seats and another into a full kitchen for a 15 min. meal leaving you in Davenport, which btw, has a nice restaurant now which wouldn't make a dime from the R.R. Restaurant.

Do NOT Buy this financial mess.
Robbie

AOL

#89 Feb 12, 2010
Sierra RR spends $2 million and we taxpayers spend $14.2 million for the corridor AND an additional $5 million for track upgrade (that's the deal with the UP), and we get to maintain the whole line forever .. and it is all for the benefit of Sierra RR .. a PRIVATE company. And I'll believe the Sierra $2 million when I see it. Face it, we are all getting hosed by OUR elected representatives on the RTC so that they can satisfy this blind drive they have for that corridor. Do they think it is going any where? Why now, why at all? The UP will abandon it and the price will drop like a stone. Does anyone on the RTC read the news?.. we're broke .. there is a financial crisis going on ..HELLO ! I can't imagine anyone with an ounce of fiscal sense even thinking of the purchase of this property. As someone said, if it is such a great thing, let Sierra RR buy the whole deal. Oh I forgot .. we taxpayers are dumb enough to buy it for them. Time to say NO !! E-mail the RTC and tell them NO.

Since: May 08

Santa Cruz, CA

#90 Feb 12, 2010
Why can't Sierra run a dinner train now, if that's what they want to do?

Why does Santa Cruz have to buy the train line first? With money the state does not have, and the train line will cost the taxpayers a great deal more than the purchase price.

People need to get over the idea that we need to spend every government dollar there's a grant for, whether there is actually money in some fund or not.
couple thoughts

San Jose, CA

#91 Feb 12, 2010
Xanthippe wrote:
Why can't Sierra run a dinner train now, if that's what they want to do?
Why does Santa Cruz have to buy the train line first? With money the state does not have, and the train line will cost the taxpayers a great deal more than the purchase price.
People need to get over the idea that we need to spend every government dollar there's a grant for, whether there is actually money in some fund or not.
The County is playing Sierra to get the RTC money. "Look at "our" train!" if Sierra can run a successful operation, the county would like to take the credit for it. Sierra's dinner deal will run from Santa Cruz to Davenport, while the county wants the other 20 something miles of the line to Watsonville Junction.

Sierra knows how to run a business, the county knows how to run a bureaucracy.

CEMEX was never really an issue with Sierra, since Sierra could never handle all the inbound coal traffic with just one 2000hp locomotive.

Sierra can run a dinner train without the county's "help." The county should not be in the railroad business.

The real cost?

The "trail" will be far, far more expensive than 14.2 million dollars. Never mind the grade crossing conundrum.
JFS

Pahoa, HI

#92 Feb 13, 2010
The surf line dinner train, cool.
Weewillywanker

United States

#93 Feb 13, 2010
Now we can take the new dinner train to a carbon neutral cement plant, all on a bankrupt states borrowed dime. We can call the it the "Utopian Express".
Un-Expected

United States

#94 Feb 13, 2010
I thought I would read about a "dinner train"? Instead it's ALL about the money!
Figures...

It's why the state is broke...
Rocket J Squirrel

Soquel, CA

#95 Feb 13, 2010
Since it doesn't seem rail freight really penciled out, does it really make sense that the Reflux Express will either?
Coulrophobia

Alviso, CA

#97 Feb 13, 2010
Mojo95062 wrote:
<quoted text>
Um, 11 miles one way. Maximum authorized speed is 10 miles per hour. At 10 miles per hour, it takes six minutes to travel one mile. that would be one hour and six minutes one way. Let's call it two hours twelve minutes straight travel time for the round trip.
Still too short to provide a relaxed meal, with wine service and frills. Their other dinner trains (Sierra) travel around 32 miles (3.5-4 hours). And the minimum Napa dinner train trip is three hours. The only way to any money off a dinner is to charge a premium price, which means providing premium food and drink, carefully presented. You have to keep in mind that there are fewer servers on a train and a smaller kitchen staff than at a restaurant, so it takes longer to serve passengers. I don't know about you, but it wouldn't be attractive to me to get on a train and immediately have food placed in front of me -- to have the meal hastily deposited and quickly collected, as if I were on an airplane.

It might appeal to tour groups and conference attendees, who already are in the right mind frame for this kind of thing (sit now, eat now, finish now, don't think....).

Price for a meal on one the SN trains: around fifty dollars. For the Napa train:$94 and up, except for a discount car that costs about fifty dollars for lunch. This is a relatively expensive thing geared toward tourists and other visitors. It's not for the locals.

SN does do theme trains (mystery parties, Easter egg hunts), but the Davenport loop is too short even for that. It takes about 45 minutes to get every one organized.
Coulrophobia

Alviso, CA

#98 Feb 13, 2010
Weewillywanker wrote:
Now we can take the new dinner train to a carbon neutral cement plant, all on a bankrupt states borrowed dime. We can call the it the "Utopian Express".
And what will offset all the carbon produced by that pollutant-spewing train?

“This is only a test of the ...”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#100 Feb 25, 2010
Does anyone have a projected cost to repair and maintain the approximately 38 bridges/trestles on this stretch of the railroad line??

This isn't ONLY about train costs..its about maintaining the 38 trestles too.
dkelly

San Mateo, CA

#101 Oct 16, 2010
I really hope this idea flies. Anytime you can get people OUT of their individuals cars to explore the natural beauty around us is a Plus in my view. It would be wrongheaded to abandon a rail line. We need more mass transportation here not less...
Using and improving an existing rail line makes complete sense to me.

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