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NCRA approves return of freight trains to North Bay

The North Coast Railroad Authority took final steps Monday to restore freight service in Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties, but it still needs agreement from Novato before trains roll.

The rail authority wants to change terms of a court settlement with Novato, which sued in 2007 to stop the trains. Novato city leaders are scheduled to consider the issue next week.

Freight trains coming to Petaluma


There's been no cargo service on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad since 2001, when federal transportation regulators halted traffic on the storm-damaged route.

Last month, the Federal Railroad Administration lifted its embargo, after the authority spent $68 million to repair a 62-mile stretch of track between Windsor and Napa County.

The rail authority has leased the segment to a private operator, NWP Co., which will provide the freight service. The line remains closed north of Windsor.

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