EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's column comes from Karena Pushnik, senior transportation planner and public outreach coordinator for the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission. Today she's pleased to announce festivities surrounding the purchase of the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line.

Join your family, friends, and neighbors for the Right on Track: Rail Corridor Ribbon Cutting event on Nov. 17, rain or shine!

A decade in the making, the 32-mile Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line is now in public ownership!

The rail corridor offers a range of mobility options and opportunities that will serve current and future generations.

Brought to you by the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, Saturday's community event includes five whistle stops throughout the community and free train rides.

The RTC and Santa Cruz & Monterey Bay Railway will offer free preview train rides for a short jaunt up the coast and back available from the Westside Santa Cruz Whistle Stop every hour between 2-6 p.m. Reserved seat tickets will be available online from the RTC event website, sccrtc.org/rail, and a limited number of tickets will also given away at each of the Whistle Stops. Standby seats will be available on a first come, first served basis in the train boarding area at the Santa Cruz Whistle Stop. The themes whistle stops will occur between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and will include live music, refreshments and a history lesson.

Award-winning local historian Sandy Lydon will provide a free lecture and slide show at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16 in Room 450 at the Aptos Cabrillo College location titled "Wrestling the Octopus: How Santa Cruz Railroad fought the mighty Southern Pacific and forever changed Santa Cruz County." Seating is limited to 250 and doors will open one hour before the show. In addition, other local historians, Norman Poitevin and Carolyn Swift, and history museums, Pajaro Valley Historical Association, Aptos Museum, Capitola Museum, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, have images and artifacts on display and for discussion at each of the whistle stops.

For more information about this event and other Regional Transportation Commission projects/programs, please visit www.sccrtc.org .

Downtown Santa Cruz paving project

Weather permitting, Santa Cruz Public Works will perform a much-needed rehabilitation project this week at the intersections of Cedar and Locust streets, as well as Cedar at Church and along Lincoln, between Cedar and Center streets.

Cedar will be closed on the north side of its intersection at Locust for concrete work today and Tuesday. Locust will remain open.

Both the intersections of Cedar and Locust, and Cedar and Church, as well as the block of Lincoln Street from Cedar Street to Center Street will be closed Thursday and Friday.

The work will take place between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day. Expect detours and delays during the road closers. Motorists and cyclists are encouraged to avoid the area.

The city appreciates the public's cooperation.

For information, call Tony Lau at 831-420-5177.

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IF YOU GO


Saturday's 'Right on Track' celebration is offering five whistle stops along the rail line from Watsonville to Santa Cruz. There will be live music, an opportunity to learn about the rail line's rich history and enjoy refreshments. Each stop will have its own local flavor and feature a give-away for free train ride tickets. The whistle stops are:

WATSONVILLE: 9 to 10 a.m. at the old depot at Beach and Walker Streets. Co-hosts: Graniterock, Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce, city of Watsonville
APTOS: 10 to 11 a.m. near Bayview Hote. Co-host: County of Santa Cruz.
CAPITOLA: 11 to Noon next to the Old Train Depot at Monterey and Park Avenues. Co-host: City of Capitola.
LIVE OAK: Noon to 1 p.m. behind Simpkins Family Swim Center. Co-host: County of Santa Cruz.
WESTSIDE SANTA CRUZ: 1 to 6 p.m. (train ride location) off Ingalls Street, between Swift and Fair. Co-hosts:  Swift Street Courtyard, Swift Street Commons, Friends of the Rail & Trail, Ecology Action.


Source: Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission