San Francisco and Northwestern Railway
|Locale||northern California, USA|
|Dates of operation||1903–1907|
|Successor||Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
|Length||50 mi (80 km)|
The Eel River and Eureka Railroad had been built in 1884 to provide Humboldt Bay shipping access to lumber mills and farms of the lower Eel River. Subsidiary California Midland Railroad was formed in 1902 to extend the line up the Van Duzen River to Carlotta.
SF&NW acquired the Eel River and Eureka Railroad, its subsidiary California Midland, and the Pacific Lumber Company rail lines in 1903. Purchase of the California and Northern Railway in 1904 gave SF&NW a 50-mile (80 km) main line from Arcata to the Eel River upstream of Scotia. Santa Fe's distinctive circled cross herald appeared on the Eureka Depot.
Southern Pacific Railroad had simultaneously secured control of the logging lines north of Arcata through their subsidiary Oregon and Eureka Railroad. Both Santa Fe and Southern Pacific had ambitions of building their own connections to Humboldt County lumber mills; but SF&NW was merged into the jointly owned Northwestern Pacific Railroad in 1907.
- Borden 1963 pp.9-12
- Borden, Stanley T. (1963). Railroads of Eureka. The Western Railroader.
- Stindt, Fred A. (1978). The Northwestern Pacific Railroad Redwood Empire Route (3rd ed.). Kelseyville, California: Fred A. Stindt.