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Railtown 1897 – A Steam Train Lovers Paradise

If the sound of a lonesome whistle and the smell of steam make your heart beat faster, Railtown 1897 is the railfan´s mecca.

Just getting started for the 2002 spring and summer steam train excursion season, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown offers train lovers and local history buffs a one-of-a-kind Gold Rush-era attraction.

Known as “The Movie Railroad,” vintage steam trains of the Sierra Railway have been used by Hollywood´s film and television industry in more than 200 movies and television shows, including “Petticoat Junction,” “The Wild, Wild West,” “High Noon,” “The Virginian,” and “Back to the Future, Part III.”

Railtown 1897 is a living, breathing history museum. Much of Railtown 1897´s roundhouse and shops have not changed since they were built a century ago.

The authentic railroad roundhouse with operating turntable, a functional blacksmith area and belt-driven machine shop are open for public viewing by self-guided and guided tours available seven-days-a-week.

Guests at the state park, part of the California State Railroad Museum, can also see a collection of Hollywood movie and TV “props” from filming on the railroad, enjoy a picnic on the grounds, or browse in the Depot gift store.

Climb aboard vintage steam-powered excursion trains each weekend. Trains operate Saturdays and Sundays through October, departing from the Jamestown railroad depot on the hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The depot is located at the corner of Fifth and Reservoir.

The six-mile, 40-minute roundtrips clickity-clack through the scenic Sierra Foothills, and feature vintage passenger coaches pulled by an authentic steam locomotive.

Special trains are scheduled throughout the season, including wildflower trains, wine and cheese specials and the popular Independence Day Twilight Special train and barbecue.

The trains are staffed mostly by park volunteers, who donate their time and energy to the park, doing car hosting, train crew duties and equipment restoration…for the love of trains.

For more information, contact Railtown 1897 at (209) 984-3953.