The former Southern Pacific Railroad Placerville Branch (now known as the Sacramento Placerville Transportation Corridor) is a unique regional treasure that has enormous potential as a scenic tourist railroad.
We’ve been operating excursion trains in Sacramento County and motorcar excursions to Latrobe for years, and El Dorado County is now considering allowing us to bring our trains to Latrobe.
Here’s why we think that’s the right choice.
Millions of dollars in economic benefit
A $210,000 study commissioned by El Dorado County in 2015 showed that excursion trains and a paved trail combined could generate up to $12.6M in net economic benefit every year with up to 50,000 train passengers versus only $300K of annual economic benefit from 20,000 combined rail/trail users with motorcar-only excursions and a natural trail.
Niles Canyon Railway, a similar nonprofit tourist railroad in the Bay Area, carries over 50,000 passengers on about the same length of track as Folsom to Latrobe.
A sustainable source of revenue
Our excursion trains generate recurring revenue from ticket sales to fund our operations as well as ongoing corridor improvements with zero funding from local government.
In 2013, SPTC-JPA approved a five-year agreement for us to operate excursion trains on the Placerville Branch in Sacramento County, and since then, we’ve raised over $100,000 in ticket revenue that we’ve reinvested into the corridor, equipment, and the community.
Bringing our trains to Latrobe will enable us to raise substantially more. Niles Canyon Railway generates over a million dollars in revenue every year.
More money for local communities
We donate a portion of the proceeds from every El Dorado County excursion to the community of Latrobe, but the low passenger-carrying capacity of our motorcars limits the amount of money that we can raise.
By allowing us to operate trains, we’ll be able to carry many more passengers on each trip and raise more money for El Dorado County communities like Latrobe.
County residents and businesses want our trains
About half of our passengers and one quarter of our volunteers live in El Dorado County, and many county residents and businesses like Nello Olivo Wines have expressed their support for our trains running in El Dorado County.
We’re asking for your support
If you support excursion trains in El Dorado County, please become an advocate for P&SVRR, and express your support for our trains in El Dorado County.