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The City of Corte Madera wants a SMART station and Track to Larkspur

   Just imagine this is a true statement. What would it take to get Corte Madera added to the SMART system. First off I know that the entire system from Larkspur to Cloverdale must be finished first. Here is something that a lot of people don't know. SMART already owns the Right-of-Way all the way into Corte Madera. How would this get done or started?

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I do recall that the City of Corte Madera and county of Marin acquired parts of the ROW from the railroad (SMART/UP) between 1996 and 2006. At which point that property ends is up for research. The tunnel also has some sketchy ownership issues. Part of the Tunnel is owned by the County, Union Pacific (acquired NWP/SP 1996) and private owners. Its a mess. 

The down side to this is that SMART only did an EIR from Larkspur to Cloverdale, so a new EIR would need to be completed. Also, the old ROW is being used as a trail. This would require some buy in from trail people and home owners adjacent to the ROW.

I would say, that if Corte Madera wanted to extend the line to their city to Larkspur, that their best option would be to request the grants with SMART as partners. In theory, there is a path that goes all the way to Tiburon. Its all about money and which is more important, a path or public transportation.

Corte Madera is adjacent to Larkspur; where were you thinking for the concept?  The shopping center perhaps?

I guess if Corte Madera wanted it they'd have to sort it out.  It would sure be a hoot if they did... :-)

(news from 2011)

Yes, the shopping center would be ideal with all it's parking places. But the ROW is on the other side of HWY 101. Maybe a dedicated bus to fairy people in the area. Actually I'm hoping SMART is SMART enough to have a dedicated shuttle from Larkspur station to the Ferry, when it opens. I just think in bad weather it will be too far to walk.

Indeed 1/3 mile isn't going to work for everyone and it certainly would be inconvenient in weather or if one has packages etc. even if fit and able.  I suspect a bus or two will meet the train and boat.

Btw Richard your concept shared in this post became fact to some in the altamont thing, because someone stated it as such, evidently.  Ha ha.  Anyway... it's in interesting study nonetheless:  one control group who know it's a "what-if?  And another group who do not.  

If you wish to read it yourself, here it can be found.


Maybe one too many when you wrote this "If you wish to read it yourself, here it can be found." which takes me to a blank url.  What please tell is the "altamont thing"?

The other Richard

Hi (the other) Richard, 

The link works for me but may not work on all browsers I guess.  Thank you for the heads up.   :-)


Here's the URL:,188891,188891#ms...

The text follows (Which I normally wouldn't c&p.  The responses can be found on the site beneath the post):

Who Deserves A SMART Station More: Cloverdale's 8000 Souls, Or Corte Madera?
Author: Clint "DH" D'Est Bois
Date: 05-23-2019 - 14:03

On the lunatic fringe NWP fanboy site( it's been reported that Corte Madera is demanding that SMART service them. They have a good argument. Access to the SMART Larkspur station is virtually impossible due to lack of Parking and severe traffic during Commute Hours.

Corte Madera demands SMART pony up the bucks and bring their trains into Corte Madera across the creek of same name.

Corte Madera has much more of a right to a station than Cloverdale as Corte Madera not only pays millions more in sales tax than the Cloverdale country types, but it has a lot of employment areas and could provide a terrific parking lot for a southern terminus station, something the Larkspur station notably fails to do.

A Corte Madera stop would present problems for the eventual San Quentin extension or any Larkspur Ferry extension, if the San Quentin deal falls through.

Note: the source on the fanboy site is one of the more cogent commenters and not that other guy.


I do appreciate your bringing this issue up here.  I Googled the subject and found the article/response which you have posted above.  Clint's text ("lunatic fringe" etc) reminds me of the troll that Mark finally fully expurgated from this site. 

I was just at that shopping center yesterday and that lot space is good although most likely the owners would not enjoy it being filled by commuter vehicles.

Yep Richard, there's the altamont thing.  I 'dunno what to say except it's a place I sift through for information from time to time.  Lots of sifting, a bit of info here and there occasionally.  I have no idea who the author is but I see what you mean.


If Corte Madera ever really does ask for track and a station. Could it be that long before Mill Valley and Sausalito will ask for the same. Think about it! They are all paying the same taxes.

I like your idea Richard it reminds me of the 3 rail system that was used there back in the day.

I suspect, however, we would sooner see Corte Madera demand to be the terminus of a BART extension from Richmond.  Ha ha...


Back in Corte Madera today and scouted out the old NWP RoWs.  I have driven hundreds of times on 101 over Corte Madera creek and NEVER realized that there was a wye below the road.  In Corte Madera I did check out the new parking lot next to the wild life preserve and it seems to be wide open.  

The old RoW berm which still exists looks like a levee and runs very near to the shopping center.  Now I understand how the NWP went into Tiburon via a tunnel and the other side of the wye went into the town of Corte Madera and then into another turnnel. 

Fascinating and thanks Richard for starting this string.

Thanks for the info at altamontpress. Funny how thing can get generated. My idea was to push for more SMART south of Larkspur. Eventually who knows, a rail connection over GGB. I put no limits on just hypothesizing.


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