Roaring Camp running by boardwalk
The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Committee (RTC) has announced plans to force abandonment of Roaring Camp Railroads’ Felton Branch Rail Line, causing concern for the future of rail transportation in Santa Cruz County.
(Roaring Camp Railroads)
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Roaring Camp Railroad’s stance on the proposed abandonment of the Felton Branch Rail Line

Presented by Roaring Camp Railroads


Our team at, Roaring Camp Inc., has called upon the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) to reject their attempt to force abandonment of the Felton Branch Rail Line. We argue that forcing abandonment of the line would remove Roaring Camp’s right to utilize the rail line for freight use.

We believe that the right to freight use would also have a highly negative impact on our business and would represent the first step in a larger, special interests-fueled effort to end rail service in Santa Cruz County.

>> To learn more about Roaring Camp click here.

Our Roaring Camp CEO Melani Clark has raised many concerns about the integrity of the RTC’s proposal. She sees that serious harm would undoubtedly be done to our “local, family-run, women-owned business” as well as the local economy of Santa Cruz.

We believe that the RTC’s proposal represents an aggressive attack on our railroad and rail transportation in our county, fueled by special interests that are lobbying hard to end rail in Santa Cruz County, We encourage our community to join Roaring Camp in standing up against this poorly conceived, shortsighted move.

(Roaring Camp Railroads)

Abandoning the Felton Branch Rail Line will result in multiple adverse impacts, beginning with a permanent end to freight operations, which we believe removes rail service as an option for local businesses like us. Read Roaring Camp’s first recent public releases here. Then, our follow up statement on the freight vs. passenger rail, “railbanking,”and more here.

While Roaring Camp is under contract to provide freight service via an agreement with the freight operator, we’ve seen that because of the inaction by the RTC to repair two bridges, current freight service is prevented from running the full distance between Santa Cruz and Watsonville (and beyond). We believe, that responsibility for the lack of access to freight services for local businesses north of Watsonville rests with the RTC under its agreement with the freight operator.

The RTC’s proposal would threaten our tourist train operations, thus disrupting the local economy and tax base which is largely made up of contributions from the approximately 250,000 guests that Roaring Camp services per year (pre-pandemic).

Roaring Camp has decades of history providing rail service in Santa Cruz County. and we continue to be devoted to delivering quality transportation and recreation opportunities for local residents and businesses, as well as visitors.

We look forward to engaging with our community in the fight to stop the RTC’s attempt to force abandonment of the Felton Branch Rail Line.

(Roaring Camp Railroads)
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About Roaring Camp Inc.

Incorporated in 1958, privately held Roaring Camp, Inc. (Roaring Camp) operates two railroads, including the Redwood Forest Steam Train and the Santa Cruz Big Trees & Pacific Railway. Roaring Camp also owns the historic Felton Branch Rail Line, which is eight miles long and runs across a 1909 steel truss bridge and passes through a tunnel in Santa Cruz that was built in 1875. Norman Clark founded Roaring Camp and ran the business until his passing in 1985, after which his wife, Georgiana assumed ownership and management responsibilities. She was succeeded as CEO by Georgiana and Norman’s daughter, Melani Clark. Roaring Camp is a woman-owned business, with majority shareholders that include Melani Clark and her two sisters.