Sierra Railroad
one of the world's great model railroads

The Sierra Railroad might best be described as on of the world's great model railroads. No "real" railroad would dare the Sierra's anachronistic mix of equipment and facilities. Look at the above 'layout' set in 1971: a Model Die Casting Turn-of-the-Century coach; imported brass steamer; Stewart Baldwin S-12; nicely done Woodland Scenery trees; and a wonderful, professionally done backdrop.

Today's Sierra is actually two separate operations: the freight railroad itself and the Calfornia State Parks' Railtown 1897, which holds title to the Jamestown roundhouse, yards and locomotives. Railtown also has excursion train trackage rights on the six miles of Sierra tracks down to Chinese. The Sierra Railroad proper also operates dinner trains out of Oakdale.

The photos on these pages mostly date from 1964 and 1971, when the Sierra was a single entity, as God intended.

Inside the House at Jamestown, below
Oakdale Shops, 1971, below
A 1979 Postscript, below
Jamestown Yards, June 1964
August, 1971 Mother Lode Excursion
The Sierra Steam Spectacular, September, 1971
Timetable, May 9, 1948 (pages open in new windows)
---- Cover
---- Schedule and Special Instructions
---- Map

---- Sierra railroad (corporate)
---- Railtown 1897
---- Current roster at Trainweb
---- Recent diesel photos at Central California Rails

Inside the House at Jamestown
June, 1964
Ex Dardanelle & Russellville #8 during a temporary stay; August, 1979.

The outside may have been gussied up by then, but inside the the roundhouse, it was still pure Sierra; August, 1979

September 5, 1971

Oakdale Shops, September 5, 1971

A 1979 Postscript
The Jamestown yard was quite a different place in 1979, compared to 1964, or even 1971. The requesite hype, hokum and sanitization to attract tourists had made its mark upon the railroad's sleepy, disheveled nature. Moreover, a disasterous fire had recently leveled the Jamestown depot, and its replacement (left) lacked the antique allure of the original. It was still a great place, but it was just not the same. Then again, over time, nothing ever is.

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