Right on Track

Right on Track
Rail Corridor Ribbon Cutting

crowd watching train

A community event to commemorate public ownership and demonstrate potential use of the rail corridor

On Saturday, November 17, 2012, the RTC joined the community of Santa Cruz County to commemorate the public ownership of the Santa Cruz Branch Rail line. At five whistle stops in communities along the line, hundreds of citizens joined together to learn about the range of mobility options and opportunities for the 32-mile rail corridor and to witness Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway/Iowa Pacific’s train roll through the county. Over a thousand people took free train rides from the West side of Santa Cruz up the coast. A rainy morning turned in to a beautiful day for riding the train!

Many thanks to all of the event sponsors, co-hosts, presenters, speakers, and volunteers that made this event possible!

Ribbon Cuttings/Whistle Stops

Each event had its own local flavor and featured history, music, light refreshments, train whistles and a ticket give-away.

  • 9 to 10 am WATSONVILLE
    At the old depot at Beach and Walker Streets
    Music: Aptos High School Choir
    Historian: Regan Huerta, Pajaro Valley Historical Association
    Presenters: State Assemblyman Luis Alejo, Watsonville Mayor/RTC Commissioner Eduardo Montesino, RTC Director George Dondero
    Co-hosts: Graniterock, Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce & City of Watsonville
    Volunteers: Watsonville Rotary Interact Students
  • 10 to 11 am APTOS
    Near Bayview Hotel
    Music: Constellation Barbershop Quartet
    Historian: Sandy Lydon
    Presenters: Supervisor Elect Zach Friend, County Supervisor/RTC Commissioner Ellen Pirie, RTC Director George Dondero
    Co-hosts: County of Santa Cruz, Talmadge Construction, Seacliff Improvement Association, Big Creek Lumber, Santa Cruz Cycling Club, Aptos Village Merchants
    Other Activities: Lucile Aldridge Look-Alikes
  • 11 to Noon CAPITOLA
    Next to the Old Train Depot at Monterey and Park Avenues
    Music: Gold Standard Barbershop Quartet
    Historian: Carolyn Swift, Capitola Museum
    Presenters: RTC Commission Chair and Capitola Councilmember Kirby Nicol, Capitola Mayor Michael Termini, Capitola Councilmember Dennis Norton
    Co-hosts: City of Capitola, Capitola Soquel Chamber of Commerce
    Other Activities: Tours of historic depot site (Depot Inn)
  • Noon to 1 pm LIVE OAK
    Behind Simpkins Family Swim Center
    Music: Soquel High Jazz Band
    Historian: Norman Poitevin
    Presenters: Supervisor/RTC Commissioner John Leopold, RTC Director George Dondero
    Co-hosts: County of Santa Cruz, Live Oak Neighbors, Live Oak Family Resource Center, People Power, Chanticleer Park Neighbors, Live Oak Off Leash Advocates, Boys & Girls Club
    Activities: Fun art for kids
    Off Ingalls Street, between Swift and Fair
    Music: Kuzanga Marimba Band, Trout Fishing in America
    Historian: Sandy Lydon
    Congressman Sam Farr, Supervisor/RTC Commissioner Neal Coonerty, Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway President Ed Ellis, RTC Director George Dondero, Santa Cruz Mayor/RTC Commissioner Don Lane
    Swift Street Courtyard, Swift Street Commons, Friends of the Rail & Trail & Ecology Action
    Bicycle Valets:
    People Power

crowd at Right on Track event

Free Train Rides

The RTC and Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway offered free preview train rides for a short jaunt up the coast and back from the Westside Santa Cruz Whistle Stop every hour between 2 and 6 pm on Saturday, November 17.

Related Events organized by others

  • Friday, November 16, 7:00 pm, Room 450, Cabrillo College, Aptos, FREE
  • Saturday, November 17, 7:00 am, FREE
    • People Power and Green Ways to School bike ride from Verve Coffee on 41st Avenue to Watsonville, then stopping at each of the Whistle Stops.
  • Saturday, November 17, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, at all whistle stops, admission fee
    • Sold Out: Bus tour shadowing the train to all five whistle stops including history commentary by Sandy Lydon
  • Saturday, November 17, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Depot Inn, Capitola, FREE
    • Guided tours historic former train station originally built in 1901! The depot was converted to an inn in 1990.
  • Sunday, November 18, 8:30am – 6:00 pm, various locations, admission fee
    • Sold Out: Rail Walk – Hop-Off/Hop-On Railwalk Adventure – Walking and bus tour with Sandy Lydon, estimated 5 aggregate mile walk in parts.
  • Friday, November 23 –January 6, admission fee
    • Train to Christmas Town – The Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway unveils its newest holiday train ride called “The Train to Christmas Town.” Along the hour-long ride departing from Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, passengers are served hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies, talk with characters from the just-published holiday book, visit Christmas Town, and listen to a new musical score created specifically for the event by four-time Grammy nominated band Trout Fishing in America.

Event Sponsors:

Event Co-hosts:

  • Aptos High School Choir
  • Aptos High School Mountain Bike Team
  • Aptos History Museum, John Hibble
  • Aptos Village Merchants
  • Big Creek Lumber
  • Capitola Soquel Chamber of Commerce
  • Capitola Museum, Carolyn Swift
  • Catto’s Graphics
  • Chanticleer Park Neighbors
  • City of Capitola
  • City of Santa Cruz
  • City of Watsonville
  • C&N Tractors
  • County of Santa Cruz
  • Design for Community
  • Live Oak Family Resource Center
  • Live Oak Neighbors
  • Live Oak Off Leash Advocates (LOOLA)
  • Martinelli’s Apple Cider
  • Miller & Owen law firm
  • Monte Vista School
  • Newman’s Own Organics
  • Norm Poitevin, local historian
  • Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • People Power
  • Print Smith
  • Safeway
  • Sandy Lydon, local historian
  • Seacliff Homeowners Association
  • Soquel High School
  • Swift Street Courtyard
  • Swift Street Commons
  • Santa Cruz Boys & Girls Club
  • Santa Cruz Cycling Club
  • Soquel High School
  • Talmage Construction
  • Testorff Construction

Find out more about acquisition of the rail corridor.

RTC Contact

Karena Pushnik
Senior Transportation Planner
(831) 460 3200