Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

Update: (February 2, 2021) With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted, State Parks is reopening campground sites for existing reservation holders. The department will be using a phased approach to reopen other campground sites for new reservations, starting January 28. The public is advised that not all campground sites are open to the public due to the pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues. Additionally, group campsites remain closed. Day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public remain open.

As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.

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?
  • Parking.
  • Day-Use Areas.
  • The Depot Store with 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:
  • Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
  • 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? 
State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors: 

  • Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time.  
  • Plan Ahead:
    • The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.  
    • Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.  
  • SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS
  • Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day.  
    • 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 as not all services may be available. Some 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 to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times. 

Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.  

California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials 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. 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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