Plans are underway for a community event to celebrate acquisition of the 32-mile Santa Cruz Branch Rail corridor that spans the county from Watsonville to Davenport. Funding to acquire this key corridor was secured by the Regional Transportation Commission primarily from voter-approved sources.
The celebration event will feature whistle stops in Watsonville, Capitola, Live Oak and the west side of Santa Cruz. More details about the event will be posted on the Rail Purchase page as they become available.
The potential transportation uses are wide ranging for the continuous, 130-year old rail corridor. The corridor passes within one mile (Per 2010 census tract data) of 50% of the county’s population, over 80 parks and 25 schools. In the short term it will be used for seasonal or special event passenger train events and continued/expanded freight rail goods movement. In the medium term, it could form the spine of the bicycle and pedestrian Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail (in addition to rail service and where there is sufficient right of way). In the longer term, expanded passenger rail and transit options within the corridor will be evaluated.