Take a step back in time as Pentrex pays affectionate tribute to the Northwestern Pacific Railroad. It’s 1992 and the Northwestern Pacific, a Southern Pacific subsidiary, is still running SD-9s on through trains from Suisun City to Willits in Northern California. Lumber is still the chief commodity hauled by this historic road, as it’s been for years. Six days a week you can still see NWP trains traveling the 156-mile line. Much of the traffic originates in Eureka on the newly-formed North Coast Railroad (formerly the Eureka Southern).
The NWP interchanges with the North Coast in Willits and forwards those trains to the Southern Pacific at Suisun City. NWP diesels were leased by the North Coast Railroad during its first months, recreating the days when the NWP still owned the line to Eureka. You’ll be treated to a brief look at the operations of the North Coast Railroad and the Eureka Southern, as well as an up-close and personal tour of the Northwestern Pacific. Petaluma is NWP’s base of operations. Sprint trains and their crews originate here, running both north and south on the line. Normally the north end of the line is only run at night but in 1992 NWP ran Willits-to-Petaluma trains during daylight hours, providing us with a rare opportunity to capture this scenic route.