The state of California has a rich railroad heritage. Our DVD presents three sites which preserve and operate unique pieces of California rail history.
Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad in Felton runs 3.25 miles up steep grades to the top of Bear Mountain. Passengers ride through a canopy of giant redwoods pulled by Shay, Heisler and Climax geared locomotives. During our visit the railroad was hosting the annual Civil War encampment and operated all trains in two sections powered by Shay “Dixiana” and Heisler “Tuolumne”.
Billy Jones Railroad in Los Gatos features #2, a Grand Scale locomotive built in 1905 for the Venice Railway in Venice Beach, CA. In 1939, railroad man Billy Jones discovered #2 in a scrap pile and bought it. He restored the 2-6-2 and built a railroad to run it on. The railroad was rebuilt in a nearby public park following his death. The railroad also operates newly built steam locomotive #5, a 4-6-2 which had just arrived on the property prior to our visit, and 3 diesel locomotives.
Operating over part of the Sierra Railway at Jamestown, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is also the site of the original Sierra Railway Shops and Roundhouse. Our program features Sierra #3, built in 1891 by Rogers Locomotive Works and fully restored in 2010. This locomotive and the Sierra Railway have starred in over 100 motion pictures and television programs from the 1920s to the present, including "Back to the Future".
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