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A draft agreement for a new rail service operator along the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line in California is now available for public view, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC) announced late last week.The commission will consider the draft agreement at a June 14 meeting in Watsonville, California.The SCCRTC purchased the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line in 2012 from Union Pacific Railroad. UP retained the easement for freight rail service operations and then transferred that easement to a new rail service operator selected by the SCCRTC. The commission went through a public process to seek a new rail operator and selected Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay Railway, a company of Iowa Pacific Holdings. Currently, Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay Railway can no longer meet all of the requirements of the operating agreement with the SCCRTC. As a result, the SCCRTC began the process to select a new rail service operator and in December 2017 chose Progressive Rail Inc.
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