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Historic Rail Line Files Bankruptcy

The owners of the Skunk Train have filed for bankruptcy to save the historic North Coast railroad.

Railroad officials say the 117-year-old train will keep running on a limited schedule … even though financial woes are forcing them to seek protection from creditors.

The train carries about 65,000 tourists a year through the redwood forests from Fort Bragg to Willits and back. It´s one of a handful of historic railroads still running in the U.S. … and it´s the country´s last rail mail carrier.

The Skunk used to carry passengers by day and lumber by night. Financial problems began about four years ago after the Northern Pacific Railroad … the source of the train´s freight business … stopped operations. California Western Railroad Board Chairman John Mayfield says passenger revenues are not enough to support the train, which was named for the strong odor of its early gasoline-powered cars.