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The city borders San Francisco Bay to the southwest and San Pablo Bay to the northwest, and includes Brooks Island and the Brother Islands entirely, and half of Red Rock Island.
There are several cities and unincorporated communities surrounding or bordering Richmond.
A specially built rail line, the Shipyard Railway, transported workers to the shipyards.
Kaiser's Richmond shipyards built 747 Victory and Liberty ships for the war effort, more than any other site in the U. The city broke many records and even built one Liberty ship in a record five days.
The city's old rundown commercial district along Macdonald has been designated the city's "Main Street District" by the state of California.
This has led to funding of improvements in the form of state grants.
In the early 1900s, the Santa Fe railroad established a major rail yard adjacent to Point Richmond.
Standard Oil set up operations here in 1901, including a what is now the Chevron Richmond Refinery and tank farm, which are still operated by Chevron.On average the yards could build a ship in thirty days.The medical system established for the shipyard workers at the Richmond Field Hospital eventually became today's Kaiser Permanente HMO.The facility connected with both the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific and serviced their passenger coach equipment.The Pullman Company was a large employer of African American men, who worked mainly as porters on the Pullman cars. This coincided with the repaving and streetscaping project of Macdonald Avenue.
There was controversy in 2005 when the State Transportation Authority ordered the BNSF railroad company to upgrade the railroad crossing signals.