The California Northern Railroad is one of several Class III short-line railroad companies owned by RailAmerica, Inc. It operates over Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) tracks (now Union Pacific Railroad) under a long-term lease.
The CFNR was originally owned by the Park-Sierra Rail Group (owner David L. Parkinson of St. Helena, CA), who also owned the Arizona & California Railroad. The CFNR was later sold to RailAmerica.
SP & Old NWP (Suisun/Fairfield - Willits)
Current Suisun/Fairfield - Schellville
Presently, the CFNR railroad only operates between Suisun
to a connection with the Northwestern Pacific Railway at Schellville, California. The CFNR also operates into Vallejo, California
over the original California Pacific Railroad
mainline that was constructed in 1867
. The CFNR also serves Napa Pipe at Napa, California
The CFNR operates over the Union Pacific with trackage rights between Suisun/Fairfield and Davis.
1993 Operation between Schellville - Willits
Originally, in 1993 the CFNR operated much further than Schellville and their operation extended as far north as Willits, California
. At Willits the CFNR interchanged with the North Coast Railroad. The North Coast Railroad
ran from Willits - Eureka, California
over the old NWP.
The CFNR also interchanged with the California Western Railroad at Willits. The California Western Railroad ran west from Willits to Fort Bragg, California.
SP's West Valley Line (Davis - Tehama)
The CFNR currently operates over SP's former West Valley Line. This line between Woodland
was constructed by Central Pacific's subsidiary, the Northern Railway. The track between Davis
and Woodland was built by the California Pacific Railroad
and at one time extended as far north as Yuba City
via Knight's Landing
The California Pacific and Northern Railway/Central Pacific came under the operational control of Southern Pacific between 1885-1888.
Construction Completion Timeline
- Davis, California
- Suisun City, California
- Tehama, California
- Tracy, California
Northwestern Pacific Railway
Napa Valley Railroad
- Lewis, Edward A. American Shortline Railway Guide - 5th Edition, Kalmbach Publishing Co., 1996. ISBN 0-89024-290-9
- Robertson, Donald B. Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History - Volume IV - California, The Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1998. ISBN 0-87004-385-4
- Walker, Mike. Steam Powered Video's Comprehensive Railroad Atlas of North America - Poster Merger Edition - California and Nevada, Steam Powered Publishing, 1997. ISBN 1-874745-08-0