Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

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  by The EGE
 
Station construction is progressing.
800px-Larkspur_Landing_station_construction_facing_north,_November_2018.JPG
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  by The EGE
 
That's the future Larkspur Landing station, scheduled to open by the end of next year.
  by lpetrich
 
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit | Home
Sonoma–Marin Area Rail Transit - Wikipedia

What opened in 2017 was San Rafael - Sonoma County Airport.

Two stations opened on December 2019: Larkspur (extension) and Novato Downtown (infill). The Larkspur station is on a 2-mile extension from San Rafael, the previous southern end. It is about 1300 feet away from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.

The SMART site lists four additional stations: Petaluma North (infill), Windsor, Healdsburg, and Cloverdale (extension). The 3-mile extension from Sonoma County Airport to Windsor is currently under construction, but the other three are still in planning.

Windsor - 5.5 mi - Healdsburg - 17 mi - Cloverdale

Cloverdale is as far as they want to go, but the NWP line extends further northward to Ukiah and Willits, then further along Hwy. 101 to Outlet Creek and then north along the Eel River. It ends a little south of Ramsey, at least according to Google Maps. BTW, the line parallels Hwy. 101 for all of its length south of Willits.

Cloverdale - 30 mi - Ukiah - 23 mi - Willits - 58 mi - Ramsey
  by Jeff Smith
 
SMART's buying a Short Line: https://www.progressiverailroading.com/ ... ne--60542v
The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit's (SMART) board last week approved a California state-sponsored plan that calls for the agency to take ownership of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Co.

The complex agreement was years in the making, with the sale's framework established in a 2018 bill that provided SMART with $4 million to buy the railroad, its equipment and exclusive rights to its track from Larkspur to north of Cloverdale, The Press Democrat reported last week.
...
Under the plan, the insolvent state agency known as the North Coast Railroad Authority would be dissolved, ceding 21 miles of track not owned by SMART from downtown Healdsburg to the Mendocino County line to help one day complete the agency's planned 70-mile passenger line to Cloverdale.
  by lpetrich
 
I decided to look at the Ramsey terminus, and I found traces of abandoned rail line further north from there along the Eel River. I followed the line northward to where the Eel River bends westward and Tunnel Creek empties into it. There were some sidings and some railcars on the sidings. Also a RR bridge across the Eel River.

North of that, I had to switch to map view. Google Maps had the rail line marked onto it in map mode. It seems that the NWP line goes into a tunnel, then emerges to the north, near where the Eel River bends toward it, and near some houses. The line continues northward, crossing Boulder Creek shortly before it empties into the Eel River. Then across Kekawaka Creek, Then a bridge across the Eel River a little south of Mill Creek. Alderpoint. Steelhead Creek. The W bank of the Eel River to the Dyerville Train Trestle. Then along the E bank of the Eel River to Chris Creek. Stitz Creek. A bit of a RR bridge at Nanning Creek. Fortuna. The line is barely-visible landscape scar, and it sometimes disappears. I found a bit of it at Fields Landing on Humboldt Bay a little south of Eureka. That's as far as I can go.

Distances and Populations: San Rafael 58 K - 21.6 mi - Petaluma 60K - 17.2 mi - Santa Rosa 177 K - 15.1 mi - Healdsburg 12 K - 17.7 mi - Cloverdale 8.9 K - 31.7 mi - Ukiah 16 K - 23.4 mi - Willits 4.9 K - 85.1 mi - Alderpoint 19 K - 84.1 mi - Eureka 45 K

So i doubt that SMART will expand further north than Cloverdale.
  by lpetrich
 
Titled link for Jeff Smith's article: Rail News - SMART approves plan to acquire California short line. For Railroad Career Professionals

It links to SMART approves multimillion-dollar plan to acquire North Bay freight rail service

No hint as to how far north they want to have a working freight line. But it did mention some other plans.
The framework for the sale was established in a 2018 bill sponsored by state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, that provided SMART with $4 million to buy from Northwestern Pacific Railroad Co. its equipment and exclusive freight rights to the track. An obscure and insolvent state agency, the North Coast Railroad Authority, would ultimately be dissolved under the plan, ceding 21 miles of track not owned by SMART from downtown Healdsburg to the Mendocino County line to help one day complete its planned 70-mile passenger line north to Cloverdale.

...
The endorsement also advances McGuire’s effort over the coming decades to construct a 320-mile recreation pathway from the San Francisco Bay to the Humboldt Bay, lends momentum to extending SMART service on an existing east-west railway along Highway 37.
So the now-abandoned parts of the NWP line will become yet another rail-to-trail.

Hwy. 37 connects Novato and Vallejo, and that would be a good route for a SMART extension.
  by Westernstar1
 
The extension along Highway 37 would be great! A SMART train from the SMART Hamilton station, in Novato, to Suisun/Fairfield would allow a connection with the AMTRAK Capitol Corridor train. Also a means to travel further east to Davis and Sacramento and give access to the Coast Starlight, Calif. Zephyr, and San Joaquin trains. For myself in the North Bay Area, it would provide a much preferable route compared to the Novato-Larkspur-San Francisco-Emeryville means of connecting with Amtrak.

I also wonder if it would be possible to have a SMART train from Schellville to Suisun/Fairfield along the old route of the California Northern Railroad.

WS
  by Jeff Smith
 
Second station in Petaluma: ProgressiveRailroading.com
Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District’s (SMART) board earlier this week authorized funding the design and construction of a second commuter-rail station in Petaluma, California.

SMART will use $8 million in proceeds from the sale of a downtown property to fund the construction of a new station and parking lot at Corona Road and North McDowell Boulevard, SMART officials said in a press release.
...
  by lpetrich
 
That would be the Petaluma North planned station: Stations | Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit

The other three are Windsor, Healdsburg, and Cloverdale, all north of the current north end of the line, Sonoma County Airport. They will take more financing, because they will require a lot of track improvement and signaling installation.
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