Growing tourism and economic development
The Placerville Branch corridor is a unique regional treasure that has enormous potential to grow our local economy by attracting visitors to our area. A 2015 study commissioned by El Dorado County showed that train excursions alongside a paved trail could provide up to $12.6M in net annual economic benefit and attract up to 850,000 users (50,000 rail users and 800,000 trail users).
Niles Canyon Railway, another nonprofit tourist railroad located in the Bay Area, generates over $1M in revenue and carries over 50,000 passengers annually.
Excursion trains produce the recurring revenue needed to fund equipment restoration and maintenance, operation costs, and ongoing improvements to the line with no funding from local government.
And, because we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, all profits are reinvested into the rail corridor and the community.
Rails allow anyone to experience the area’s beauty and history aboard trains, and a trail next to the rails allows pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians to enjoy the corridor too. With both in place, trains can also transport trail users to and from remote trail locations, making even more of the corridor available to more people.
Raising money for local communities
We donate a portion of our revenue directly to local communities.
Preserving California’s rich railroad history
We’re passionate about the role that railroads played in the development of our state and our nation, and we think the best way to interpret and preserve California’s rich railroad history is by operating historic trains.