Rail Line Purchase

Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line AcquisitionRailroad Along Coastline

Purchase Completed

On October 12, 2012 — after more than ten years of extensive due diligence and negotiations — the RTC closed escrow for the acquisition of the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line (Branch Line) from Union Pacific thereby placing a new transportation corridor in public ownership and beginning a new era of mobility options and opportunities.

A community event to commemorate public ownership and demonstrate potential use of the corridor called Right on Track: Rail Corridor Ribbon Cutting was held on  November 17 at locations throughout the county.

Acquisition of this key transportation corridor will allow greater transportation options to the more than 80 parks, 25 schools and over half of the county’s population who live in census blocks within 1 mile of the corridor.


On May 6, 2010 the RTC unanimously decided to purchase the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line for $14.2 million. On January 19, 2011, the RTC secured approval and funding from the California Transportation Commission for purchase of the Branch Line. On May 17, 2012, the RTC selected Iowa Pacific Holdings to operate freight and tourist passenger service on the Branch Line.

RTC Contact

Luis Mendez
Deputy Director
(831) 460-3200