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Trolley Postcards: North Bay

Like the suburban East Bay, the rural communities in the northern reaches of San Francisco Bay were once connected to San Francisco by a network of boats and interurbans.

The San Francisco, Napa and Calistoga Railway ran from a ferry connection at Vallejo through the Napa Vallary to Calistoga. It was technically unusual in using AC current instead of DC.

To the west, the Petaluma & Santa Rosa connected those two cities and several others in rural Sonoma county. Unlike many interurbans, a big part of its business was freight, mostly agricultural (especially, eggs!) bound for the City via ferries or other watercraft of the bay.

Here's an artsy shot of the Petaluma riverfront by moonlight.

And here, as evidence of the importance of freight business to the P&SR, is an advertising card printed by the railway.

Petaluma Trolley is restoring a P&SR box motor and hopes to run it on some surviving track along the riverfront.


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