Placeholder Image Marc Albert/KRCB
Partly completed line at the Windsor depot.

It won't be 'all the live-long day,' more like regular eight hour shifts, but they will be working on the railroad. Some huge news for north county commuters and rail fans.

"We now have the Windsor extension fully funded," said Julia Gonzalez, spokesperson for the North Bay's passenger train, SMART.

The California Transportation Commission has announced it would release $30 million to SMART to extend the line, and adjacent pathway, about four miles north of its current terminus near Charles Schulz-Sonoma County Airport.

Gonzalez said workers won't be starting at square one.

"A fair amount of work has already been completed towards the Windsor extension," Gonzalez said.

That includes new drainage culverts, removing overgrowth from the right of way, building short track segments and amassing stacks of concrete railroad ties delivered trackside, patiently awaiting installation.

Work got underway back in 2019, but was stopped in its tracks by a Howard Jarvis Taxpayer's Association lawsuit over toll increases on Bay Area bridges.

Gonzalez said roughly 30 percent of the extension's work is complete and that more construction should commence in a matter of months.

"The public can expect to see construction crews beginning work in late 2023. We're estimating that we're going to be able to begin passenger service to the Town of Windsor in 2025," Gonzalez said.

As for promised extensions further north, those are also coming along.

Placeholder ImageMarc Albert/KRCB
Looking southward from the Windsor station.

"We also have funding to complete some critical components of the Healdsburg extension, which include the bridge that spans the Russian River. It is one of the most expensive portions of that extension and it's also one of the most complicated in terms of the engineering," Gonzalez said.

Both the Healdsburg extension and the Cloverdale terminal were included in the recently released draft 2040 state rail plan, possibly hinting at significant interest in Sacramento to completing the line as approved by voters.


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