Abandoned Rails of Marin County


GOOGLE MAPS no longer available: With apologies, I am unable to continue showing Google Maps. Google has forced my hand by increasing their map usage fee from nothing/free to OVER $300 A MONTH for the Abandoned Rails website! This is an expense that I simply cannot afford. Rest assured I am looking at available open source alternatives, so maps should be back online soon!

Greg Harrison

Showing of

This shows part of the Northwestern Pacific right-of-way that has been converted to bike paths between the GreenBrae Larkspur depot and the ferry terminal at Tiburon where ferries would come in from San Francisco. This picture is looking north to the railroad bridge from the corner of Tamalpais Drive and San Clemente Drive. Photo by Andrew Laverdiere, February 2008.

Having recently seen the movie "Dirty Harry" on TV, I notice something in the movie that's related to this web page. In the movie, the killer drives his hijacked schoolbus under a railroad tressel, where Harry jumps onto the bus, from the tressel. That tressel is part of the Marin Co. NWP railroad system.

bakersfield, CA


Many thanks for the photo set. I am looking into doing some railroad walks (inspired by BBC show). At least until they bring rail back to Marin. Great images...

Novato, CA


The rails though downtown Novato have had ties replaced, and should have new ballast soon. Also with the approval of voters last November, there will be a commuter train from Cloverdale, to Larkspur.

Lawrence Labranche
Eureka, CA


For a few months now, the Northwestern Pacific Railroad between Schellville and Windsor in Sonoma and Marin Counties is no longer abandoned! Active rail freight service is operating on an as-needed basis bringing grain to customers in Petaluma, CA. Typically two to four trains operate per week to Petaluma. Just south of Windsor, the anticipated inbound lumber business to Standard Structures has not materialized but the company is promoting the use of its spur as a team track for other customers and shippers. Thus far it has generated one outbound load.

Northwestern Pacific has two locomotives: a "Gen-Set" engine leased from RJ Corman, the RJC 2009; and an EMD GP-9 leased from locomotive broker Bruggere and Monson, in traditional Southern Pacific grey/scarlet paint, lettered "Northwestern Pacific 1922."

Gene Poon
Rohnert Park, CA

[That's great news, thanks for sharing!  —Greg Harrison]


I believe I walked through NWPRR Tunnel #4 back in 1992. Do you know how long it has been gated off?

Point Reyes, CA


SMART started the upgrading the tracks from Sonoma Airport where the maintence faciliy is going to be to Downtown San Rafael. As money comes available, it will expand north to Cloverdale and south to Larkspur.

Lawrence LaBranche
Eureka, CA


I heard the commuter rail will be called the "Marin A-train". But what they need to do is re-build the wreckage between Fort Mason/ Fisherman's Wharf area so people can have easy access to S.F.

Theachapi, CA


As a kid I recall a railroad siding in Novato Calif that ran a short distance from the railroad line to a big iron door in Cherry hill The siding crossed the road between Atherton Ave and Cherry st. It passed a small trailer court then a house and a cattle corral and ended in a big iron door which made neat booming noises when we bounced large rocks off of it. In mid 1950s the line was torn up and even the road bed bulldozed flat. No one has any record of the siding and why it was there. Any info on that? Should be on old maps and photos

Oregon earth, OR


Good news: much of the NWP right-of-way in Marin County is being rebuilt for the SMART commuter train. Whether or not the current NWP operation will capitolize on this remains to be seen.

Andy Sammonds
San Jose, CA


Shortened Link: http://a-r.us/w1x

Do you have any pictures or information about Abandoned Rails of Marin County? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.