Robbery on the Rails
Date(s) - 09/04/2021 - 09/06/2021
10:30 am - 4:00 pm
Railtown 1897 State Historic PArk
Back by popular demand, California State Parks, the California State Railroad Museum Foundation and Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown are excited to present the entertaining “Robbery on the Rails” theatrical steam train excursion ride experiences over the extended Labor Day Weekend, September 4 through September 6, 2021. Designed using some Hollywood-style creative license to add to the fun, four 45-minute family-friendly excursion train rides will be offered each day at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., and will be pulled by the newly restored Sierra No. 28 steam locomotive. Throughout the holiday weekend, entertainment will be provided by “Congressional Gunfighters of America,” with guests from “Horses of Warriors.”
Tapping into the Wild West portrayed by the film industry, “Robbery on the Rails” train ride guests will be transported to a time when train robberies were the talk of the town, gritty outlaws were on the run from the law, and the local marshals managed to apprehend the villains and restore order. Although many of the tales of the Wild West live in the imaginations of filmmakers and storytellers, some were rooted in fact. Although the trains of the Sierra Railway were never documented to have been robbed in real life, the event pays homage to the many robberies portrayed in films on the railroad. Outlaws were indeed part of the make-up of the west, and trains were known to have been robbed railroads. Thanks to the film industry’s enduring fascination with trains, entertaining stories of heroes and villains are intertwined with the rich history of Railtown 1897.
As background, the Sierra Railway purchased No. 28 from the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1922. The historic steam locomotive was built in Baldwin’s original Philadelphia plant and weighs a whopping 71 tons. The massive steam locomotive was rebuilt at Railtown 1897, in the historic Roundhouse and Shops in Jamestown. It was introduced back into service on June 1 of this year. The powerful locomotive was once used to haul construction materials to dam construction projects around Tuolumne County, delivering rock gravel from the Atlas Quarry in Oakdale to several transfer sites. The boxcars of rock material were transferred to the rail lines that went to construction sites for the Don Pedro, O’Shannessey and Melones Dams. The profits from this freight kept the Sierra Railway rolling. While not quite as famous as Sierra No. 3® (the “Movie Star Locomotive”), the hard-working Baldwin No. 28 has also been featured in several films and television shows, including “Little House on the Prairie.”
Given America’s lasting love affair with westerns and the Wild West, these limited-time train ride experiences are expected to sell out quickly. All “Robbery on the Rails” train ride tickets include Park admission and cost $22 for adults, $16 for youth ages 6-17 and are free for children five and under. This event is being held in compliance with all state, city and county COVID-19 guidelines and masks are required on all train rides. For this special event, Railtown 1897 members receive discounts of $15 for adults, $9 for youth ages 6-17