|Le ferry-boat Solano de San Francisco de la Southern Pacific Co appontant à Benicia, California. (coll. agence Adhémar)|
In 1879 the car transfer Solano was placed in service on Carquinez Straits between Port Costa and Benicia, this being the largest ferry boat in the world. This steamer was built by the Southern Pacific Company at West Oakland. Ferry service between Vallejo Junction and Vallejo was inaugurated in 1880. In 1912 the keel for the car transfer Contra Costa was laid, the craft being launched in 1914. This steamer was also built at the Company's shipyard on the Estuary at a cost of almost one-half million dollars, and is used with the Solano for ferrying trains across the straits. The ferry steamer Solano was built for the purpose of carrying a full train of cars (viz., forty-eight freight or twenty-four passenger cars with engine). Propelled by two vertical beam engines, placed on the center of boat, 8 feet fore and aft of midships, making the distance from center to center of shafts 16 feet. Each engine drives one wheel, and works independently of the other.
Pour plus d'information et des photos captivantes sur le plus grand ferry-boat du monde, voir le site américain de la sté des ingénieurs civils.