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The State

The Napa Valley Wine Train, center of a federal-state jurisdictional dispute, is being readied for a February start of passenger service in the famous wine region, a top train official said. “We’re preparing to operate as soon as we get our cars finished and ready to run,” said Wine Train President John C. McCormack. The train company and the state Public Utilities Commission are at odds over an order that the train submit to PUC regulation and that the train’s environmental effects be assessed to determine whether a full-scale environmental review is needed. The federal Interstate Commerce Commission sided with the train company in response to a PUC claim that it had the authority to regulate in-state train passenger service. The train’s owner, Vincent DeDomenico, said he envisions carrying 500,000 people a year among the vineyards. But the train’s opponents contend that the valley is jammed and does not need any more visitors.


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