Will SMART (Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit) ever go further north than Cloverdale?

In a word, “No”

SMART is a passenger rail service and bicycle-pedestrian pathway project currently under construction in Sonoma and Marin counties in Northern California.  The SMART District was established by state legislation in 2002. When complete, it will serve a 70-mile corridor between Cloverdale in northern Sonoma County and Larkspur Landing in Marin County. At Larkspur passengers can board a ferry to go to the Ferry Building in San Francisco. The first phase to open, a 43-mile segment between Northern Santa Rosa and Downtown San Rafael had long been planned for late 2016, but potential issues with the trainsets (diesel powered passenger cars), among other factors, pushed this back to “late spring 2017.”Additional segments are to be opened as funding becomes available.

The above answers several questions I have been asked whilst “working” our G Scale model train layout, The Mendocino Coast Railroad & Navigation Co. The follow-up question invariably is, “Why?” . The answer is that a large part of the track between Cloverdale and Willits is on seismically unstable ground. Yes, the NWP (the Northwestern Pacific did run a line north from Cloverdale north to Willits and then on to Eureka but at enormous cost. Just how unstable? Club member Mike Aplet and his charming wife Laura take “field trips” with their friends to locales around Brooktrails where they live. Brooktrails lies just north of Willits. A picture, they say, is worth a thousand words, and these pics of the old NWP going south from Willits down the Ridgewood grade tell you all you need to know.


Sad, as they say, but true.

Great pics Mike/