The BNSF's ex-Santa Fe entrance into the Bay Area is a modest track warrant controlled single track that winds through the hills east of San Pablo Bay.  It is much less impressive than UP's former CalP double track bi-directionally signaled CTC line that crosses the big bridge at Benecia and winds along the shore line.

During the Covid lock down, Rey Barraza and I would go out once or twice a week to get some fresh air and exercise.  The open space in Franklin Canyon was a convenient spot to both hike and catch some train pictures.  That got us focused on the BNSF, and we expanded our area of exploration as far east as Stockton.  This is a gallery of some of my favorite pix from those trips.

I have somewhat arbitrarily decided the "Bay Area" starts at the Middle River bridge  (not too far west of Stockton), and have organized this gallery geographically starting there and working west.

It is an interesting line.  It crosses the San Joaquin River's three channels on drawbridges, two of which are now fixed but the one at Orwood still opens for river traffic.  The line traverses first agricultural land, and then the "chemical coast" of refineries and a steel mill along the south shore of the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers.  Much of that area is not very pretty, but there are industrial scenes and the occasional bit of open space. Then the line makes its "mountain crossing" into the Bay Area proper via Franklin Canyon, including the big Muir trestle, a long tunnel, and a fascinating mix of industry, agriculture, suburbia, and scenic open space all mixed together.  Then the final approach is through a maze of suburban backyards before arriving at first the UPS facility at North Bay, then the Richmond terminal, and finally an extension via trackage rights on the UP to get to the Port of Oakland.  Traffic is dominated by intermodal traffic (UPS and Port of Oakland), autoracks to and from Richmond, chemicals from the big Chevron refinery in Richmond, coil steel, and general merchandise.   Probably in the order five to seven trains each way per day.