Richmond–San Rafael Ferry Company
|Builders:||Bethlehem Steel, San Francisco|
|Operators:||1924–1938 Southern Pacific Transportation Company
1938–1956 Richmond–San Rafael Ferry Company
|Tonnage:||gross tonnage: 1,952
net tonnage: 925
|Length:||234 ft (71.3 m)|
|Beam:||45 ft (13.7 m)|
|Depth:||17 ft (5.2 m)|
|Installed power:||Total 1,300 hp (970 kW) from 3 water tube boilers|
|Propulsion:||3-cylinder triple-expansion engine powering a single screw|
The Richmond–San Rafael Ferry Company began as the Richmond–San Rafael Ferry and Transportation Company, and is a defunct ferry service that provided a water transport link between Castro Point in Richmond, California in Contra Costa County and San Quentin in Marin County across the San Pablo Bay before the construction of the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge.
Richmond–San Francisco Transportation Company was formed to establish a ferry route between those two cities and ordered three ferries for that purpose. Southern Pacific Transportation Company purchased the new company before it began operations and integrated the route into its San Francisco Bay transportation system. The three new ferries were among the most modern on the bay, and saw use on many routes during the peak and declining years of San Francisco Bay ferry service. Richmond–San Rafael Ferry Company purchased the ferries in 1938, and Southern Pacific discontinued ferry service to Richmond in 1939. A fourth ferry, Sierra Nevada, was purchased from Southern Pacific in 1947.
The ferry terminal in Richmond was located on Castro Point with a toll plaza and street car line connection from the Eastshore and Suburban Railway. The ferry also carried inmates to San Quentin Prison.
The Ferries 
El Paso 
El Paso (documentation number 224327) was launched on 27 October 1924 and delivered to Southern Pacific on 8 December. She was put into service on Southern Pacific's route between San Francisco and Oakland, California. El Paso collided with the Southern Pacific ferry Berkeley on the foggy morning of 30 November 1936, but neither ferry was seriously damaged. El Paso was dismantled for scrap after the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge opened in 1956.
New Orleans 
New Orleans (documentation number 224347) was launched on 10 December 1924 and delivered to Southern Pacific on 2 January 1925. The new ferry inaugurated service between Richmond and San Francisco on 15 January 1925 with fares of $1.20 for a car and driver and 20 cents per rider or pedestrian. This ferry was renamed Russian River when purchased from Southern Pacific for service across San Pablo Bay, and was dismantled for scrap after the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge opened in 1956.
Klamath (documentation number 224401) was launched on 27 December 1924 and delivered to Southern Pacific on 26 January 1925. This ferry became a floating office building docked near the San Francisco Ferry Building after the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge opened in 1956.
- Ford, Robert S. Red Trains in the East Bay (1977) Interurbans Publications ISBN 0-916374-27-0 pp.166, 343–346
- Changes in the Richmond Waterfront, access date 25-02-2009
- Point Molate Casino EIR, Volume I, 2009, accessed May 25, 2010
- Ford, Robert S. Red Trains in the East Bay (1977) Interurbans Publications ISBN 0-916374-27-0 p.166–169, 342
- Ford, Robert S. Red Trains in the East Bay (1977) Interurbans Publications ISBN 0-916374-27-0 pp. 166, 199, 342–343
- Ford, Robert S. Red Trains in the East Bay (1977) Interurbans Publications ISBN 0-916374-27-0 pp.166–167, 342, 344
- Ford, Robert S. Red Trains in the East Bay (1977) Interurbans Publications ISBN 0-916374-27-0 pp.166–167, 344