The current topic is yet another round of consulting, planning, etc. for what amounts to a “cargo transit center.” The idea is to create business for a Boise train hub linked to trucks. At every step of the way, thinking people — including officials and former executives of the Union Pacific — have concluded it is not cost effective to build a truck/train transfer station in or near Boise. The legacy media needs to talk to the big road train people in Omaha to get a handle on why Boise is nothing more than a siding which provides a needed access to Motive Power’s manufacturing facility off Federal Way.
The Boise City Council needs to pull the emergency STOP! These fantasy dreams have gone on far too long and too much taxpayer money has been spent for ideas which have simply outlived their day and are not logically conceived. We have documents from as far back as 2007 showing the city had funded studies promising hundreds of thousands in railroad revenue–these claims were never realized and in our opinion the city is merely “shopping” for a consultant to give them what they want to hear.
In the current shot at garnering some public support, Team Dave has turned to Sven Berg at the DAILY PAPER to tout the latest incarnation of “Dave’s Magic Train.” This version has the Boise Valley Railroad, owned by a Kansas firm, seeking a private/public partnership.
The GUARDIAN has been on this for nearly a decade now. Six years ago we learned Boise City officials obtained a license to operate a city-owned railroad, following a PRESENTATION to the city council– and anyone else who would watch it. The Boise City Railroad never turned a wheel.
Nampa is the place for such a facility, on the mainline of the railroad. Boise simply doesn’t generate enough big bulk cargo like grain, lumber, coal, etc. Boise is a nice place, we are good people, we spend lots of money for products, but we simply don’t do it in carload or trainload amounts.
Here is an excerpt from the city-financed study:
“A total of 27 companies were surveyed in the region from a sample list of 60 large firms representing the target customer base. Very few (less than 5%) of the interviewees said they would entertain rail for outbound shipments and less than 20% said they were interested in using rail for inbound shipments (these were principally grains, feeds, liquids and lime products).” Yet, the study concluded it could work with a $15 million investment and a big time selling job on 47 acres of public land.
Message to the council: Politely tell Mayor Dave Bieter you won’t allow him anymore of OUR cash for something which would be built by the private sector if it was viable and needed.
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