SOS-Save our Skunk - Rebuild Tunnel #1

$57,250 of $300k goal

Raised by 452 people in 38 months
Robert Jason Pinoli   FORT BRAGG, CA

On April 11 the famed Skunk Train had a tunnel collapse. This tunnel was dug by hand in 1893 and we need to get it back open.

The risk of not completing is huge, without funding support we can't re-open the railroad. All of our equipment is stranded on the Fort Bragg side of our line meaning we can't even run operations from Willits.


Today, the Skunk Train is a major economic tourism driver in Mendocino County. Of the 40,000 plus visitor we carry annually we know that 80% come to our county to ride the Skunk Train and of that 90% of them stay an average of 2.3 nights.

The Challenges - We are still licking our wounds from being called to serve our community In 2011. For 37 days we transported law enforcement agencies multiple times per day in a manhunt for a murderer who was in the hiding in the forest. At the end of the manhunt we had spent / lost $200,000 in costs & revenue, and were unable to recouped a cent for stepping in to help. Now we need your help.


My name is Robert Jason Pinoli and I'm "The Chief Skunk" at the Skunk Train. This marks the start of my 21st season and today we need your help to raise $300,000 to fix a cave in at Tunnel #1. Tunnel #1 was completed in 1893 (dug by hand), and is a monument to Chinese & Italian immigrants who painstakingly worked in very tough conditions for six years. 


Why am I doing this? I am passionate about railroads particularly the Skunk Train - I've been ridding this train since I was 3 years old and its become my personal goal to ensure this living breathing 128 year-old piece of American history is preserved for future generations.

The route of the Skunk Train is 40 miles through the towering Redwoods and this tunnel is located just 4 miles East of our depot in Fort Bragg.
All money raised above our goal will be used for other projects, like a new roof on our Roundhouse, to restore a caboose and an vintage fleet of passenger coaches. We will gladly provide copies of the invoices for the public to see that all the funds raised have been applied to the tunnel first.

+ Read More
Update 1
37 months ago
Hi Folks - thanks so much for your support!

Between funds raised online, funds that have come in, and pledged funds we are nearing the 50% mark in our efforts to raise $300,000. In order to get the tunnel open and service restored we need your assistance - perhaps you can share our story with your friends.
+ Read More
Help spread the word!
 1.3K total shares
Roger Hunt
34 months ago

I love the Skunk! Just as soon as I can I will donate!

+ Read More
Don Borden
36 months ago

As of July 30, 2013 California Western Railroad (Skunk Train) moved equipment through their collapsed tunnel at Milepost 3.5, earlier this morning. Much passenger equipment is now moving east towards Willits, Calif. Equipment moved included Motor Rail Busses M-100 and M-300, GP-9 locomotive #65, and several passenger cars. Excursion train operations should begin tomorrow morning between Willits and Northspur, an approximate 37-mile roundtrip ride.

+ Read More
Don Borden
37 months ago

Sorry address below doesn't work. Basically San Francisco's Save the Redwoods League stepped up with fix-it money. The nonprofit conservation group purchased a $300,000 option to establish an easement protecting redwoods and ensuring public access along the 40-mile Skunk Train route in Mendocino County - exactly the amount the cash-strapped Mendocino Railway needed to fix the tunnel.

+ Read More
Shawn Cahill
37 months ago

Help this Train...........................

+ Read More
Bill Montgomery
38 months ago

A great local treasure. Hopefully everyone can afford a couple of bucks.

+ Read More
Kyle Pratt
38 months ago

I ridden this once in 1996. All I could do now is pray.

+ Read More
Andrew Crow
38 months ago

Save the Skunk Train! I have ridden this train a few times as a kid. Wish I could donate, but sharing this is the best I can do right now.

+ Read More

$57,250 of $300k goal

Raised by 452 people in 38 months
Created May 22, 2013
Robert Jason Pinoli  
  Community   FORT BRAGG, CA
$10
Count Me In
Darn, I wish I could move mountains to help you but things are tight for me. Would you add my name to the list of supporter on the website.
$25
SOS Key Chain
We'd like a Save Our Skunk (SOS) key chain when the dust settles and the Skunk can run again.
$50
One Rock
One Rock at a Time - I really want to help but can't quite make one of the other levels. Count me in as a supporter of your efforts and send me a tunnel rock.
$100
Hard Hat Club
Where did you get that hat? - Count me in one hard hat at a time, and send me one of them stylish creatures.
$300
Bronze Pass
Bronze Pass - Unlimited standard Half-Day train rides for pass holder and guest for the balance of 2013 and all the 2014 season.
$500
Tunnel Builder
Tunnel Builder - Attend the Grand Re-Opening of Tunnel #1, with a BBQ lunch and entertainment at Northspur. You'll get a hard hat too.
$750
Silver Pass
Unlimited standard Half-Day train rides for pass holder and guest through 2014 season. Upgrades to Parlor Class. 10% off tickets for companions.
$1,000
Const. Boss
Construction Supervisor - Attend the Grand Re-Opening Event, get a stylish hard hat, and have a tunnel set named after you.
$1,885
Gold Pass
Unlimited standard Half-Day train rides for pass holders life (non-transferable). Upgrades to Parlor Class on days it operates. 25% off tickets for companions.
$5,000
Adopt a Mile
40 of 40 left
Adpot your own mile of railroad track (5 year period), along with other perks.
$50,000
It's my Bridge
30 of 30 left
Adopt one of the railroads 30 bridges (5 year period), other perks apply.
$100,000
My Tunnel
2 of 2 left
That's my tunnel, we'll name one of the 2 tunnels after you (20 year max period) and give you a lifetime pass along with other perks.
$50
Anonymous
35 months ago
$100
Leonie Walker
35 months ago

From Kate O'Hanlan, MD & Léonie Walker

+ Read More
KE
$300
Katharine L Elliott
35 months ago

Thanks for all of your hard work, Robert!

+ Read More
$25
Anonymous
35 months ago
SM
$25
Sharon McGregor-Noel
36 months ago
BD
$50
Brad Dokken
36 months ago

My kids want to ride the train!

+ Read More
BC
$1,000
Brian Carlisle
36 months ago

The Skunk is a national treasure.

+ Read More
DF
$25
David Fruechting
36 months ago

I'll do what I can. I want to ride the train again.

+ Read More
$100
Anonymous
36 months ago
$300
Anonymous
36 months ago
Roger Hunt
34 months ago

I love the Skunk! Just as soon as I can I will donate!

+ Read More
Don Borden
36 months ago

As of July 30, 2013 California Western Railroad (Skunk Train) moved equipment through their collapsed tunnel at Milepost 3.5, earlier this morning. Much passenger equipment is now moving east towards Willits, Calif. Equipment moved included Motor Rail Busses M-100 and M-300, GP-9 locomotive #65, and several passenger cars. Excursion train operations should begin tomorrow morning between Willits and Northspur, an approximate 37-mile roundtrip ride.

+ Read More
Don Borden
37 months ago

Sorry address below doesn't work. Basically San Francisco's Save the Redwoods League stepped up with fix-it money. The nonprofit conservation group purchased a $300,000 option to establish an easement protecting redwoods and ensuring public access along the 40-mile Skunk Train route in Mendocino County - exactly the amount the cash-strapped Mendocino Railway needed to fix the tunnel.

+ Read More
Shawn Cahill
37 months ago

Help this Train...........................

+ Read More
Bill Montgomery
38 months ago

A great local treasure. Hopefully everyone can afford a couple of bucks.

+ Read More
Kyle Pratt
38 months ago

I ridden this once in 1996. All I could do now is pray.

+ Read More
Andrew Crow
38 months ago

Save the Skunk Train! I have ridden this train a few times as a kid. Wish I could donate, but sharing this is the best I can do right now.

+ Read More
  Use My Facebook Account
or
Or, use your email…
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
https://gofundme.com/SaveOurSkunk
or
 Send a Text Message
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now
 Share on Facebook