David Jackson is spearheading the Railtown Tracy project that would celebrate the history of the railroad in Tracy’s development with a downtown historical district and museum.
The first step in Jackson’s project is gaining the Train Town USA designation for Tracy from the Union Pacific Railroad.
Only a local chamber of commerce is allowed to apply for the designation with the railroad company.
Jackson went before the chamber board on June 25 to request their approval and support.
He is working to submit an essay to the chamber, which serves as the formal request to the railroad company.
Chamber president Sophia Valenzuela said the board’s 19 directors unanimously voted to support Jackson’s request.
“We are definitely in support of the project — it does validate the history of Tracy,” Valenzuela said.
Jackson intends to finalize the essay by next week, and it will be submitted with historical material from the chamber to complete the application.
Valenzuela said she thought the program could provide valuable insight in the rail history of the city.
“I think it’s a start to get the designation — some people may not be aware of the history of Tracy,” she said.
Valenzuela said other towns have railroad attractions that draw visitors, and this could be the start of a similar venture for Tracy.
She also said the Railtown Tracy project could help attract visitors to downtown, saying “downtown is still looking for an identity.”
Jackson’s plans for Railtown Tracy include a railroad museum, a train festival, weekend rail excursions from downtown Tracy and the transfer of Southern Pacific switch engine No. 1293 from Dr. Powers Park to downtown.
There is no deadline for Jackson to submit the essay to the chamber or for it to be sent to Union Pacific Railroad.
If the bid is approved by the railroad company, Tracy will receive signs to display the Rail Town USA designation in downtown and receive a proclamation from Union Pacific Railroad.