By Luke Lindroth
I film and photograph trains as a hobby and run a YouTube channel to share my videos of trains. I have closely followed this topic for about two years now. I am a staunch supporter of preserving the tracks along the Santa Cruz Branch Line. But the process has been mangled by the Regional Transportation Commission and there is a clear attempt by Greenway to erase history. I want to try and provide some insight on a more unique view on this topic and offer my own opinion using facts, not fabrications.
For one, Santa Cruz Greenway is not telling the truth when talking about the Santa Cruz Branch Line. For example, they claim that the three previous operators of the Santa Cruz Branch opted out of their contract because it was unprofitable. Only one of those companies did go out because the line wasn’t profitable, and that was Sierra Northern. Iowa Pacific got caught in a Ponzi Scheme and had no money. They filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and went out of business by 2020. Progressive Rail had added two additional customers that joined in 2018 and 2019 on the line before COVID-19 hit. Since nobody was able to ship, there were no profits.
Just because COVID-19 shut down another carrier doesn’t mean that the line is unprofitable. Not to mention, San Lorenzo Lumber is interested in the possibility of Roaring Camp shipping via Felton to Watsonville according to Roaring Camp’s manager whom I had a conversation with. The only reason why they haven’t started is…