All aboard! Freight begins to roll

[caption id="attachment_37085" align="alignright" width="360" caption="Karl Garai, Standard Structures truss manager, stands beside the Northwest Pacific Railroad engine that delivered the first load of lumber to the company in Windsor."][/caption]

NORTH BAY -- Regularly scheduled freight rail service is once again a reality in Marin and Sonoma counties bringing with it a lower cost alternative for businesses compared to trucks for shipping raw materials in, and finished goods out, of the region.

Cost savings associated with rail shipments can be as much as 50 percent per ton and one rail car has the capacity to replace four trucks, making this a highly desirable, energy saving “green” substitute for trucks on local highways.

With the arrival of five cars of grain at the Hunt & Behrens Feed Mill in Petaluma on July 13, and the first shipment of lumber to Standard Structures in Windsor on July 15, the 10-year interruption in freight rail service in the North Bay is officially over.

A growing number of firms are in the process of negotiating agreements with the Northwestern Pacific Railroad (NWP) to do the same.  The list already includes Dairyman’s Feed and Supply and Petaluma Poultry with a dozen or more other companies exploring the possibility along the first 62 miles of track.

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