SAN FRANCISCO — The effort to build a commuter rail line through the two counties north of California’s Golden Gate has been a story of ups and downs mimicking the rolling countryside of Marin and Sonoma counties.

But the effort cleared a major hurdle this week when the Sonoma Marin Rail Transit District priced $174.1 million of long-term fixed-rate bonds to finance the backbone of what is envisioned as a 70-mile system.

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