Locomotives and Train Cars

The collection exhibited at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park contains 5 steam locomotives dating from 1891 to 1925. Of this total, 3 operated on the Sierra Railway and successor Sierra Railroad during its days as a completely steam-operated railroad. The collection also includes a number of train cars and a selection of internal-combustion powered locomotives, one of which dates back to an original service life on the Sierra Railroad. Below are some of the highlights of the collection you can see at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.

Check out the Railtown 1897 SHP Blog for more information on the parks railroad equipment.

STEAM LOCOMOTIVES

Sierra No. 3

train

 Sierra No. 3 - (Austin Castro) cropped

 

 

 

 

 

Built by Rogers Locomotive & Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey in 1891 as Prescott & Arizona Central Railway No. 3, “W.N. Kelley”. Purchased by the Sierra Railway Company of California in June 1897 and used during railroad construction. Originally coal fired, converted to oil firing circa 1900. Stored out of service in 1932, rebuilt to working order in 1947-48 for movie and excursion service. Donated to the State of California in 1982. Removed from service in 1996 and restored to working order in 2010 following an overhaul costing $1.6 Million. Weighs 50 tons and operates at a maximum steam pressure of 160 PSI. 

This famous “Movie Star” locomotive is probably the most widely seen locomotive in the world, starring in over 100 movies and TV shows.  Hollywood producers discovered Tuolumne County and Sierra No. 3, filming this steam locomotive along the scenic Sierra Railroad to satisfy America’s love affair with Westerns.  In 1929, Sierra No. 3 appeared in The Virginian with Gary Cooper, the first sound movie filmed outside of a Hollywood sound stage. It also appeared in High NoonThe Great RaceBound for GloryBack to the Future III and Unforgiven and on many TV shows, including Lone RangerPetticoat JunctionRawhideDeath Valley DaysLassieGunsmokeBonanza, and Little House on the Prairie.

Sierra No. 28


Sierra 28Steam Locomotive #28 at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

 

Built in 1922 by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the Sierra Railway Company of California. Used initially for hauling heavy freight trains during construction of the Don Pedro and Melones Dams during the 1920s. Retired, 1955. Returned to service June 1958 for passenger excursion service. Derailed October 1963 in Jamestown while on excursion, stored out of service in Jamestown Roundhouse. Rebuilt to working order in 1971 for Rail Town 1897 passenger excursions. Donated to the State of California in 1982. Weighs 71 tons, operates at a maximum steam pressure of 180 PSI.

 

Sierra No. 34

Built in 1925 by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the Sierra Railway Company of California. Used initially for hauling heavy freight trains during construction of Melones Dam during the 1920s. Retired, 1955. Sold into private ownership in 1962, remained in storage at Jamestown. Leased back to Sierra Railroad for excursion service, 1971 to 1979. Last operated in 1980. Donated to the State of California in 2022. Weights 87.5 tons, operates at a maximum steam pressure of 200 PSI.

Shay No. 2

Built in 1922 by Lima Locomotive Works of Lima, Ohio, for the Hutchinson Lumber Company of Feather Falls, California. Last operated in revenue freight service for the Feather River Railway in 1966. Acquired by the State of California and leased to the Sierra Railroad in 1975. Rebuilt to working order in 1979. Weighs 102 tons and is the heaviest steam locomotive on site. Operates at a maximum steam pressure of 200 PSI.

DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES

SRYC 1265

SRYC 1265

 

RAILCAR

Hetch Hetchy RR No. 19

Hetch Hetchy No. 19 RailcarBody built in 1919 by Meister and Sons of Sacramento, placed on a standard White Motor Company ¾ ton truck frame and #30 motor, with the pony truck, rail brakes and self-contained turntable installed in the San Francisco Municipal Railway shops in January 1920. No. 19 was built for San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Railroad in Tuolumne County, where it was initially used as an ambulance on rails, and could travel up to 50 MPH on straight track, running in overdrive. Saved in 1949 by Al Rose, Modesto photographer, publisher and railfan, today it is preserved in operable condition at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.

 

PASSENGER AND FREIGHT CARS

No. 2  Wason Manufacturing Company

Built in 1869 for the Central Pacific Rail Road as Coach No. 43 and used in San Francisco East Bay commute service. Sold to the Ocean Shore Railroad in 1912, resold to Hetch Hetchy Railroad circa 1921 as Coach No. 3. Acquired by the Sierra Railway for movie work circa 1930.

 

No. 3  Jackson & Sharp Company

No. 3  Jackson & Sharp Company

 

 

 

 

 

Built in 1897 for the Sierra Railway Company of California as Coach No. 3, “Stanislaus”. The coach was originally retired in 1938 and rebuilt as a Bridge and Building gang bunk car circa 1945 and again retired and stored at Jamestown in 1955. Coach No. 3 was sold to the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in 1970 and donated to the State of California in 1976. The car was moved to Railtown 1897 in February 2020.

No. 5  W.L. Holman Car Company & No. 6  W.L. Holman Car Company

No. 5Sierra Railway combination car No. 5 and coach No. 6

No. 6. W. L. Holman Car CompanyBuilt in 1902 for the Sierra Railway Company of California as Combination-Baggage car No. 5. Used in passenger service on the Angels Camp branch line until 1935, thereafter used as a caboose on freight trains. Retired from caboose service in 1955, retained for movie work.

Built in 1902 for the Sierra Railway Company of California as Coach No. 6. Used in passenger service on the Angels Camp branch line until the early 1930s, sold to the Hetch Hetchy Railroad. Acquired by the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in 1949 and stored at Jamestown. Moved to Sacramento for the opening of the California State Railroad Museum in 1981, returned to Railtown in 1989.

 

No. 7 Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad

Caboose No. 7 was built in 1923 for and by the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad; the original number is unknown. It was sold to the Sierra Railroad circa 1956 to replace the older cabooses. The car was sold into private ownership circa 1980 and donated to Railtown 1897 in 2006.