Abandoned Rails of Benicia

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The Solano Car Ferry: This is the Southern Pacific depot in Benicia, CA, originally built in 1897. It serves as a candy store today. Photo by Andrew Laverdiere, August 2008.

Benicia, CA, originally the first location of the state capital of California, once served as a stop on the nation's first transcontinental railroad. It also served as the eastern terminus of the world's largest railroad ferry, The Solano.

In an ICC filing by the SP to abandon the ferry operations (below), Benicia is mentioned as "Goodyear".

The Solano: The world's largest railroad ferry was once a title held by the Solano, a Central Pacific ferry that saw service between the piers of Benicia Point and Port Costa in California. It has since been scuttled in 1931 and accidently set afire during a fireworks display in 1983. Today, the once proud Solano sits as a rusted hulk at Antioch, CA, 30 miles upstream from the original ports-of-call it served since 1879. Video of the Solano.

Historic ICC Abandonment Filings

SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD
Docket Number: 6970 Date: 6/18/1928 Section: 1
App. of Southern Pacific RR. Co. and Southern Pacific Co., its lessee, for certificate to construct a line of railroad between Martinez and Goodyear, in Contra Costa and Solano Counties, California, a distance of 6.1 miles, and for authority to abandon the present car ferry between said counties.
Length: Unknown Citation:  

What a great website. If you head upstream a bit, you can see the Ghost Fleet of the US Navy. Believe the USS Iowa is the large Battleship in the first row.

Mike
New York, now in Orange County, CA
2/16/2009

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