Skip to Main Content

Sausalito, California: Railroad Car House Boat

"The Train Wreck" houseboat incorporates a Pullman style rail car that serves as dining room, laundry room and bathroom.

Gate 5 Rd, Sausalito, CA
Off Gate 5 Rd at the east end of South Forty Dock. Park in Gate 5. Can be seen from the dock. Private property - do not board.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Railroad Car House Boat

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Rail car house boat.

Railroad Car House Boat

This is one of many of Sausalito's eclectic houseboats among over 500 anchored on the city's northern edge of Richardson Bay. "The Train Wreck" houseboat (or floating home, as residents prefer to call them) started its long and colorful life is 1889 for the San Francisco and Northern Pacific railway as car #41. The Pullman style rail car was originally divided into two sections -- a passenger section and accompanying baggage section. In 1907, through a merger, it became part of the rolling stock of the Northernwestern Pacific Railroad and renamed car #180.

By 1936 it was retired and sold, becoming part of a duplex in Mill Valley, California where it remained landlocked until 1979 when it was purchased, cut into two sections and placed on a concrete hull to form the houseboat. Since that time it has been lovingly restored and maintained by two subsequent owners. Today the passenger section is the home's dining room and the baggage section is used as a bathroom and laundry room. It is a unique and visually humorous structure that appears as though a train car has impaled a house.

[Phil Pasquini, 10/26/2009]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Mermaid of SausalitoMermaid of Sausalito, Sausalito, CA - < 1 mi.
Mini-SF Bay - Army Corps of EngineersMini-SF Bay - Army Corps of Engineers, Sausalito, CA - < 1 mi.
Taj Mahal HouseboatTaj Mahal Houseboat, Sausalito, CA - 1 mi.
In the region:
Praying Mantis, Mill Valley, CA - 2 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum, Gibsland, Louisiana (May 20-26, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings