Abandoned Rails of

Benicia, California

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.

*The Solano Car Ferry:* This is the Southern Pacific depot in Be...
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.
*The Solano Car Ferry:* The existing abandoned Southern Pacific ...
The Solano Car Ferry: The existing abandoned Southern Pacific tracks end just east of 5th street. Photo by Andrew Laverdiere, August 2008.
*The Solano Car Ferry:* Further east of where the tracks end (se...
The Solano Car Ferry: Further east of where the tracks end (see previous picture), a switch/split is evident. Shortly beyond this, the former right-of-way has been obliviated by a parking lot. Photo by Andrew Laverdiere, August 2008.
*The Solano Car Ferry:* These pilings were once part of a railro...
The Solano Car Ferry: These pilings were once part of a railroad pier that served as the terminal point for a railroad ferry that would ferry cars back and forth between Benicia and Port Costa. From Port Costa, trains would continue on to Oakland and San Francisco. Photo by Andrew Laverdiere, August 2008.
*The Solano Car Ferry:* On the other side of the Carnquinez Stra...
The Solano Car Ferry: On the other side of the Carnquinez Strait from Benicia, is the other port, Port Costa; the pier remnants in the water indicate the location of the former ferry slip. Photo by Andrew Laverdiere, September 2008.
The world's largest railroad ferry was once a title held by the ...
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. Photo by Andrew Laverdiere, December 2008.

—  ICC Abandonment Filings  —

Southern Pacific Railroad
Docket: 6970 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.
 

—  User Comments  —

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

The Mothball Fleet no longer exist

Scott
Benicia, CA
3/10/2019