The Sacramento Northern, the long-lost Railroad

SFGate – By Bill Buchanan – June 15, 2022

The Sacramento Northern, one of the Bay Area’s vanished electric railroads and a forerunner of BART. As late as 1940, the company operated trains from San Francisco and Oakland to Walnut Creek, Concord and points northeast all the way to Chico.

If you’d like to do more than imagine, head to the Western Railway Museum at Rio Vista Junction in Solano County. On nearly 6 miles of restored Sacramento Northern mainline, local electric railroad enthusiasts offer rides on 20th century railcars through country so rural it hardly seems like the Bay Area.

Above the seats, replicas of ads created for 20th century passengers pitch such attractions as the Herb Caen column in the San Francisco Chronicle, sea voyages to Hawaii and “Spur, ‘the finest soda I ever tasted!’”

It’s a Bay Area travel Wayback Machine.

The Sacramento Northern dropped dining car service in 1936. It ended its final Bay Area passenger trains in 1941. Freight service continued from Oakland to the Central Valley, but in 1954, the railroad’s ferry that carried trains across the upper Suisun Bay failed an inspection. The railroad scrapped it, severing the line’s direct connection between Contra Costa and Solano counties.

Read entire article & see pictures here

Posted by Teri Perticone

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