VENTURA, PIRU : County Loan Sought to Buy Old Rail Line

Ventura County supervisors today will consider approving a $7.5-million interest-free loan to assist a local transportation agency in acquiring an old rail line that runs between Ventura and Piru.

The Ventura County Transportation Commission has requested the 90-day loan in order to purchase the century-old, 32-mile rail corridor from the Southern Pacific Transportation Co., officials said.

The money will be reimbursed with state and federal grants distributed to local governments.

The commission is purchasing the rail line in partnership with the cities of Ventura, Santa Paula, Fillmore and the county.

Transportation officials want to use a portion of the rail line for public transit and some adjoining property for bike trails.

Ultimately, officials said they hope to see commuter trains running between Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita and the beaches of Ventura.

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