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Western Railroad Discussion > Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million


Date: 05/20/20 23:31
Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: weather

I spoke against this today at the SMART Board meeting so I can not be objective so here is the story in the Marin IJ Newspaper.

https://www.marinij.com/2020/05/20/smart-to-acquire-north-bay-freight-operation/

Press Democrat:  ​https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/10977486-181/smart-approves-multimillion-dollar-plan-to



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/20 08:47 by weather.



Date: 05/21/20 01:10
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: Dk

I want this to end well for freight. And freight being part of a public entity surly allows for more funding and possibly to expand. But my gut feeling is this is just a way to axe it all together. Smart says it’s not profitable and boom. Done and dusted. Freight gone and shiny rails all for their overpriced passenger trains

Posted from iPhone



Date: 05/21/20 08:00
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: icancmp193

One would like to think that the public entity, SMART, would take this opportunity to operate and perhaps expand the NWP freight service to enhance their bottom line, especially in these difficult times for revenue, but.....NAH, probably not. Although I do not know any of the parties involved, I would suspect that operating the freight service long-term is not in their mind set.

TJY



Date: 05/21/20 08:11
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: railstiesballast

Another great American tale.  One person pockets some cash and the region's infrastructure takes a hit.
Back when I worked at Metrolink (until 2006) and for some consulting work until about 2012, I found that middle to high level transit officials, managers, engineers, and planners had a consistent aversion to "freight railroads".  They were basically too simple minded to grasp that a railroad infrastructure can do more than one thing.  Intellectual complexity was something to be avoided as they focus on one set of goals and objectives.
My two recommendations would be to first, "do no harm" and continue to support the customers and preserve the ability to handle freight because we never know what the future of transprtation will be and second, to preserve the freight franchise because it gives the owner added weight in negotiations with other agencies.  In southern California the fact that in particular the San Diego line carried freight won arguments against extending sidings past reluctant neighborhoods.  Of course the longer sidings have become miles long multple main lines opening up passenger scheduling opportunities but the freight argument carried the day.



Date: 05/21/20 08:44
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: pdt

Unfortunately, it seems that anyone who is smart enought to walk and talk at the same time, doesnt want to waste time in politics.
I wont be surprised if down the line we hear...."the freight business wasnt profitable (whether it was or not) , and interfered with our ability to efficiently serve the public with frequent, high speed, low emissions convenient rail passenger service, as mandated to us (by ourselves).

I get so tired of hearing crap like that.   Ever hopeful, tho.  Maybe someone at SMART will have a financial interest in the local businesses, and that will save the day.
The usual interest is "How can I make a boatload of quick money by tearing down an industrial plant, and putting up a bunch of condo's.

Ive seen this so many times....its very disenheartening.  "American Greed"



Date: 05/21/20 09:56
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: 4451Puff

As a Sonoma County taxpayer whose tax dollars are what keeps S.M.A.R.T. operating, why doesn’t myself & the rest of the residents of Sonoma/Marin have a say on this? (and by “have a say”, I mean at the election booth, not the laughable “public comment” period during open meetings) I’m as nostalgic as anyone else to see what little freight traffic there still is plying the former grand “Redwood Empire Route”, but why is it the business of S.M.A.R.T. To take over? For that matter, why doesn’t S.M.A.R.T. buy a McDonalds franchise? If NWP Co. cant stay in business & goes away (I have no idea on the state of their books) it’s a real bummer, but not the business of S.M.A.R.T. to get into. Some of that $4M would be better spent cutting down the 4’ tall grass growing on the ROW in the Alexander Valley & around the Cloverdale depot. 

Desmond Praetzel, “4451 Puff”



Date: 05/21/20 10:01
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: callum_out

SMART, who isn't, will do everything it can to discontinue freight service, it doesn't see it as a public good. The only
thing that can save the freight business is a management change at SMART.

Out +



Date: 05/21/20 12:26
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: mococomike

Curious as to who will pay better? Will a NWP engineer be paid the same as SMART train operator?



Date: 05/21/20 14:19
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: hawker95

Sale isn't final yet, it still has to be negotiated.



Date: 05/21/20 14:20
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: Macster

mococomike Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Curious as to who will pay better? Will a NWP
> engineer be paid the same as SMART train operator?

Passenger service typically gets paid more than freight service.



Date: 05/21/20 15:29
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: DFWJIM

Interesting that Mr.Bosco says that the NWP "makes profits in the hundreds of thousands of dollars".



Date: 05/21/20 15:39
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: BobL

The Marin and Sonoma voters spoke two months ago on extending the SMART portion of the sales tax and they rejected the proposal.  Wasn't even close.

4451Puff Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As a Sonoma County taxpayer whose tax dollars are
> what keeps S.M.A.R.T. operating, why doesn’t
> myself & the rest of the residents of Sonoma/Marin
> have a say on this? (and by “have a say”, I
> mean at the election booth, not the laughable
> “public comment” period during open meetings)
> I’m as nostalgic as anyone else to see what
> little freight traffic there still is plying the
> former grand “Redwood Empire Route”, but why
> is it the business of S.M.A.R.T. To take over? For
> that matter, why doesn’t S.M.A.R.T. buy a
> McDonalds franchise? If NWP Co. cant stay in
> business & goes away (I have no idea on the state
> of their books) it’s a real bummer, but not the
> business of S.M.A.R.T. to get into. Some of that
> $4M would be better spent cutting down the 4’
> tall grass growing on the ROW in the Alexander
> Valley & around the Cloverdale depot. 
>
> Desmond Praetzel, “4451 Puff”



Date: 05/21/20 23:33
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: pdt

IMHO the whole SMART extension isnt about smart, its about taxes.  Ppl just get tired of another "small" tax increase every year (or so), no matter what its for.
Tax initiatives have been voted down here on the central coast too, no matter what they are for.  Government has too much of a reputation for wasting money,  Everyone has heard stories of politicians having nice dinners, cadillac insurance policies, voting themselves raises.  The worst of it is at the top levels of govt, but it doesnt foster trust. Contracts awarded to compaines who pay to play.  And use of tax money to "make jobs"

Im a progressive, not a howard jarvis tax person at all (I hate them) , but i have to live within my means, and after several years of small sales tax increases every year, I just feel like enough is enough.    And everything does NOT have to be built to the gold standard.  How about low level platforms and no gantlet tracks needed?  How about encouraging freight service to help the local economy, nd contribute to the bottom line.  And have n enough sense to built an easy transfer from the train to the ferry.

Even I, as a progressive and rail advocate, would have said, "no",  Live within your means, and show me you know what u are doing.

As for NWP pres Bosco. apparently he is just another politician, happy to get the big payday, and get out of RR biz and sit on his porch sipping mai-tai's.

I could be wrong, but thats how it looks from where I'm sitting.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/20 17:10 by pdt.



Date: 05/22/20 09:40
Re: Bosco sells NWP to SMART for $4 million
Author: 4451Puff

BobL Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The Marin and Sonoma voters spoke two months ago
> on extending the SMART portion of the sales tax
> and they rejected the proposal.  
>
> 4451Puff Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > As a Sonoma County taxpayer whose tax dollars
> are
> > what keeps S.M.A.R.T. operating, why doesn’t
> > myself & the rest of the residents of
> Sonoma/Marin
> > have a say on this?....................

EXACTLY, and the tax didn’t pass, despite the doom & gloom predictions from S.M.A.R.T. about service cuts. (Not to mention the shenanigans of ridership numbers being kept secret until the local newspaper excercized their FOIA rights)
The tax didn’t pass, yet now they’re going to spend tax dollars they supposedly don’t have to buy another business? And how does that benefit the passengers of S.M.A.R.T., or the residents of northern Sonoma County who are still waiting for the service that was promised when the initial tax was passed 13 years ago? At least mowing the ROW north of Windsor to Cloverdale would be a novel gesture... 

Desmond Praetzel, “4451 Puff”



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