After a day at Yosemite National Park our intention was to head north into California’s Gold Rush country. The topography changed considerably. From deep canyons and twisting roads to the foothills of the Sierras. This part of Tuolumne County looked remarkably like Eastern Kentucky. The fact that we landed in Jamestown was not exclusively because it was home to a railroad-themed state park. It was just a quaint small town that looked really neat!
1. Jamestown (population 3,433) bills itself as the “Gateway to the Mother Lode and Southern Mines.” As you can see the main drag is lined with antique shops, restaurants and historic hotels. A Dollar General is over on the bypass. Jamestown post card.
2. Railtown 1897 brochure. Page 1. click here for a larger image.
3. Railtown 1897 brochure. Page 2. Click here for a larger image.
4. Railtown 1897 brochure. Page 3. Click here for a larger image.
5. Railtown has a good web site that goes into the history and equipment. Click here for a larger image.
6. Before parking the car we encountered several vintage ore cars parked on the remnant of the Angels Branch (Jamestown to Angels Camp). This ore “jenny” was former Great Northern Ry. 74983. My guess is that it was built between 1897-1903. Sierra Railway acquired a bunch of these cars in 1924 for a dam construction project on the Stanisluas River. SRy hopper 113. Jamestown CA.
7. Those trucks show up on Schoen Pressed Steel Co. hoppers built for the B&LE at the turn of the last century. SRy hopper 117. Jamestown CA.
8. Ex-Southern Pacific tank car 4002. The trucks were embossed 3-42. Jamestown CA.
9. The former Sierra freight depot now houses the depot, store, and museum. There were no scheduled trains this day. SRy 1265 was switching passenger equipment. Jamestown CA.
10. This engine is an ex-U. S. Army Baldwin model RS-4-TC built in 1953. It worked until 2005 at a munitions plant at Riverbank CA before the plant closed. This locomotive was re-built with a Caterpillar engine in 1994. SRy 1265. Jamestown CA.
11. Vintage SRy gas pump. Jamestown CA.
12. I was given a tour of the facility by a volunteer docent. We see the cab of 2-8-0 28, Shay 2 and 2-8-2 34.
13. SRy 2 Shay is ex-Hutchinson Lumber Co. from the Feather River area east of Sacramento.
14. SRy 2 Shay.View 2.
15. Say you need a wrench! SRy tools.
16. SRy 34 2-8-2. Jamestown CA.
17. SRy 34 display board. Click here for a larger image.
18. No. 34 is similar to the Elk River Coal & Lumber 10 on display in Huntington WV. View 2. SRy 34 2-8-2. Jamestown CA.
19. SRy 34. Jamestown CA. View 3.
20. Cab of 2-8-2 34 with the equipment marked for reference.
21. SRy 34 2-8-2 cab. View 2.
22. The “star” is 4-6-0 3. No. 3 has been used in numerous movies and television shows. Her most famous role was as the “Hooterville Cannonball” in the TV comedy Petticoat Junction in the ‘60s.
23. No. 3 was built at the Rogers Locomotive Works at Patterson NJ, in 1891. SRy 3 builders plate.
24. SRy 3 cab.
25. Oil is the fuel. SRy 3 tender.
26. Coach was built in 1902 by W. L. Holman & Co. of San Francisco. It and sister 5, a combine, were built to 32 ft. in length to conserve room on the switchbacks of the Angels Branch. SRy coach 6.
27. SRy coach 6. Inside view.
28. Hetch Hetchy Railroad gasoline powered railcar 19 was used to convey dignitaries to the Hetch Hetchy Dam site. That’s a White motor. This old gentleman was the volunteer docent for my tour.
29. SRy boiler flues.
30. Part of the flat belt system that was used to operate machinery.
31. SRy locomotive wheel tire with heater to make it expand in order to fit.
32. Inspection car 8 and the flat belt or overhead line shaft system.
33. SRy inspection car 8. View 2.
This historic Sierra Railroad shop and roundhouse is one of only two remaining, fully operational original shortline complexes in the country. The other is the dormant East Broad Top in Pennsylvania.
All for now.