UKIAH --  Existing freight service will continue between Napa and Sonoma counties while construction on the first phase of the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit line is underway over the next two to three years, according to the North Coast Railroad Authority. 

“It will require enormous teamwork and coordination with SMART and its contractors, but our freight operator, the NWP Co., will continue to seamlessly operate freight trains during SMART construction,” North Coast Railroad Authority Chairman Clif Clendenen Clendenen said.

The railroad authority completed repairs to the first 62 miles of the Northwestern Pacific line from Napa to Windsor last year, he said. NWP Co. has been running freight trains on the line two to three times per week since July.

When all phases of the SMART project are complete, passenger trains will share the single track with freight from Novato to Cloverdale.

“Passenger and freight trains have successfully shared track for decades throughout this country,” Mr. Clendenen said. “We are committed to working collaboratively with SMART to make optimal use of the NWP line,” he said.