Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

Update (December 7, 2020): California has issued a Regional Stay at Home Order to stop the surge of COVID-19 cases and prevent a strain on the health care system. This action will help protect critical care for patients. While the order includes the closure of campground sites in impacted regions, the state also recognizes that mental health is physical health. As such, day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public will remain open. Members of the same household are encouraged to stay local and recreate responsibly in the outdoors. Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.

What is open now?
  • Day-use areas and parking.
  • The Depot Store and Holiday Baggage Car for shopping – limited capacity and face coverings required.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
Closed at this park:
  • Train rides.
  • Indoor exhibits.
  • Guided tours.
  • Special events and public gatherings.
Statewide:
  • Many campgrounds across the state remain temporarily closed until further notice or will be temporarily closed in accordance with the new Regional Stay at Home Order. More information here.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
  • Stay LocalStay close to home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Do not travel if you or someone in your household is sick.
  • Plan Ahead The COVID-19 pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. As such, information on this webpage may change. Prior to visiting us, please check this webpage again right before you visit the park to find out if new guidelines are in place.
  • Stay Safer at 6 feet – No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance.
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean – Be prepared. Not all restrooms are open to the public. in some cases, restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
  • Stay Covered – The state requires you wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Statewide, California State Parks continues to work with locals on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. The need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(209) 984-3953

Park Hours

April through October,
open daily 9:30am to 4:30pm;

November through March
open daily 10:00am to 3:00pm.

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

Dogs Allowed?

No

Driving Directions to Railtown 1897 SHP

The park is located in Jamestown, 3-miles south of Sonora, at Sierra Av & 9th St.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Museums
Family Programs
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Drinking Water Available

Located in Jamestown, in the heart of California’s Gold Country about 100 miles southeast of Sacramento, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is home to the Historic Jamestown Shops and Roundhouse—an intact and still-functioning steam locomotive repair and maintenance facility, portions of which date back to 1897. This one-of-a-kind attraction combines industrial heritage and railroad history with the lore of Hollywood’s film industry. The Railtown 1897 Interpretive Center, the authentic roundhouse and shops, and the Depot Store (a railroad specialty gift shop) are among the Park’s unique year-round offerings. Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is open daily (April-October, from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m.; November-March, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Visit www.Railtown1897.org for more information and current special events.

Excursion Train Rides
Enjoy a six-mile, 45-minute roundtrip ride through the scenic Sierra foothills. From April to October, trains operate every Saturday and Sunday, departing from the Railtown Depot at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Vintage passenger coaches pulled by an authentic steam locomotive run on Saturdays and a vintage diesel locomotive operates on Sundays. Diesel trains rides on Wednesday trains operate between June 12th through July 31st only, and depart at 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Special “themed” excursions operate other times throughout the year. Regular excursion train tickets are $15 adults, $10 youths ages 6-17, ages 5 and under ride free. Specially themed excursion train prices vary; please inquire for details. Call the park at (209) 984-3953 or visit www.Railtown1897.org for ticketing or more information.

Railtown logo

The Railtown 1897 SHP complex includes an authentic railroad roundhouse with operating turntable, functional blacksmithing area, and belt-driven machine shop. Guided Roundhouse Tours are available daily at this unique facility in which locomotives and cars are inspected, repaired, and rebuilt—just as they have been for the past century!  The complex includes related historic structures and Hollywood “props,” plus a large picnic area, Depot Store, and Interpretive Center.

The Movie Railroad
Known as “The Movie Railroad,” Railtown’s survival has been aided by the film industry. The first known filming was in 1919, for a silent serial called “The Red Glove.” Railtown 1897 and its historic locomotives and railroad cars have appeared in more than 200 films, television productions, and commercials.

Still a popular Hollywood location site today, Railtown 1897’s most famous locomotive, “Movie Star” No. 3, has been called “perhaps the most widely seen locomotive in the world.” The Virginian (first sound motion picture filmed outside a sound studio), the western classic High Noon, and Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven were all filmed here. Movie crews also produced the railroad sequences in Back to the Future Part III at Railtown. TV credits include “Death Valley Days” (with Ronald Reagan) and “Petticoat Junction."

Location-Directions
The park is located in Jamestown, 3 miles south of Sonora, at 5th Avenue and Reservoir Road.

Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing
Summer and spring are warm; fall and winter can be cool. Layered clothing is advised.

Photography

• We welcome photography for personal use.
• Commercial photography is allowed on a case by case basis by advance arrangement. Visit www.film.ca.gov for more information.
• Tuolumne County Film Commission : filmtuolumne.com/

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