he Sacramento Northern Railway’s mainline spanned 185 miles not including its numerous branch lines, streetcar lines, and bus lines. The Sacramento Northern also had a ferry boat, the Ramon, which brought both passenger and freight trains across Suisun Bay.
Originally, the Sacramento Northern consisted of two separate electric railways: the Oakland Antioch & Eastern (OA&E) and the Northern Electric Railway. The OA&E completed its line from San Francisco to Sacramento in 1913. The Northern Electric Railway’s line ran from Sacramento to Chico. In 1920, both railroads merged and became the Sacramento Northern. The railroad was later purchased by the Western Pacific (WP). Passenger service stopped in 1941. Freight service in the Oakland Hills stopped in 1957 due to the Oakland Terminal Railway’s new Union Street connector, which allowed the SP and WP to switch freight. The railroad later dieselized and dried up from the south and stopped running altogether in the 1980s. Today, BART uses old Sacramento Northern right of way from Walnut Creek to Concord.