Bid for North Coast Railroad

By The Associated Press
Wednesday June 12, 2002

EUREKA – An Illinois railroad consultant has submitted a formal proposal to take over the North Coast Railroad and get it back in business within a year. 

Ted Niemeyer, a railroad engineering consultant with Niemeyer and Associates in Chicago, sent the proposal to the North Coast Railroad Authority, which requested it after hearing Niemayer’s offer earlier this year. 

Niemeyer wants to take over ownership, as well as the roughly $42 million restoration grant the authority has left from a state award two years ago. 

Niemeyer said he’ll have the entire northern end of the railroad up and running within one year, or would return ownership to the authority. 

North Coast officials said Monday they’re encouraged by the offer, but need answers to additional questions, including where he plans to get the rest of the money to restore the line. 

Some experts put the total cost at more than $100 million. 

It also isn’t yet clear whether the authority even has the right to sell the railroad. 

Niemeyer, a devout Christian, said his interest in buying the railroad came from a revelation he had earlier this year. 

“It’s worth exploring,” said Arcata City Manager Dan Hauser. “I think a lot of people have been afraid that someone would come in and liquidate it. Under this deal, that couldn’t happen.”