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Letter: Trains returning to Napa?

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“Trains in the county once carried residents to work and visitors to play. Today, they carry freight and Napa Valley Wine Train guests who dine while on wine country excursions, but not commuters.”

Barry Eberling’s interesting article — Could Napa County have a railroad revolution? (published Aug. 28) — focuses on the train history of the Napa Valley and its surrounding areas. It brings back memories of almost four decades ago.

Alvin Lee Block and I met with Ken Dixon of Southern Pacific on June 2, 1983, voicing our interest in purchasing the soon to be abandoned railroad tracks through the Napa Valley.

Months of negotiations followed until Dec. 17, 1984 when our purchase bid was accepted by Southern Pacific.

Five more challenging years would elapse before the inaugural voyage from Napa to St. Helena took place in September of 1989.

From its earliest beginning, there was the hope that the train should not solely serve as a tourist attraction, but serve the valley’s communities as a means of transportation.

As commuters increasingly discover the ease of train travel in lieu of bumper to bumper highway traffic, the erstwhile vision of a commuter train might yet become reality.

Yvonne Frauenfelder

Santa Rosa

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