Event Photography: SMART Sonoma Marin Rail Transit Grand Opening

On Friday, August 25th, I was hired along with Peter Lyons to cover the SMART Sonoma Marin Regional Train Grand Opening Ceremony held at the station in Downtown Santa Rosa. It was a half-day of shooting for both of us, and a genuine privilege to be covering the event.

First a little history. A long time ago, there was a commuter passenger train that originally serviced the corridor. They were sharing the tracks of the BNSF Railroad until the two railroads developed an unsolvable dispute sometime in the 1960’s. BNSF closed the door, and the commuter train service without any tracks was shuttered.

The SMART organization has spent the last 15 years plowing through the obstacles to deliver a commuter train service that will get you from Sonoma, for example, to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal in a reasonable enough amount of time so you can use the service to get to work. The trains are comfortable, modern, and are accessible to persons with disabilities. There are bathrooms on the car, a snack bar, and both comfortable seats and shared tables.

The event was well attended with some high-profile guests, and covered by a majority of local media outlets–but, a large portion of the celebration was geared towards the SMART staff and their families. These are the people who have worked for years to get this train through both the administrative red tape and the physical obstacles to get the service running. A large, double-train was dedicated to the SMART staff and their families—giving them the change to be some of the first riders on the service.

The traffic on the corridor between San Francisco and Napa can get pretty congested, and the SMART commuter train is definitely going to reduce the number of cars on the road. As one speaker said, “Finally, we have a solution to the traffic congestion that doesn’t involve more lanes on the highway.”

Below are some of the images from the event. If you need coverage at your event, please contact us, and let’s talk about your event.

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