Saturday, October 17, 2009

Railtown 1897

In July when my hubby and I went to Portland, Oregon, one of our stops was a night in Jamestown, CA. We chose Jamestown because they have a fantastic place for train lovers like us, it is Railtown 1897. Purchased in 1982 by the State of California, Railtown 1897 is a 26 acre park, one of North America's last operating steam era railroad facilities.
If you visit make sure you stop by the Depot Store.We met a very helpful young woman who was working behind the counter, I so wish I could remember her name... anyway she was a fellow train fanatic and a true local.
We were able to take a self guided walking tour through the park, my favorite kind.
Here are a few photos...

You gotta walk on the tracks... 'cause that's what they do in the movies.

The whole time I was in the roundhouse I was trying to get a candid shot of the men working on the engines. They were wearing the cutest overalls and one man had a big white beard... I mean they fit the picture so well. However they seemed to step out of my shot just as I pushed the button every time! Camera shy I guess.

The blacksmith shop. This room is an arachnophobe's nightmare. Lucky for me I like webs!

The machine shop has overhead belt driven tools. I was a little bit scared standing under those belts...must have been terrifying when they were all running. Oh... by the way, this is still operable!
I love the old electrical boxes mixed with new parts.
Looks like he is up to no good.
I think this wall is so cool. I want to duplicate it in my house... somewhere.
Many movies were made using these beautiful engines, here is a smoke stack that was blown up in Back to the Future III...

and the one on the right was in Little House on the Prairie.
Locomotive #3 was also in Bad Girls and Unforgiven. Many movies and TV shows were filmed in part at Railtown 1897, such as High Noon, The Great Race, The Rare Breed ( I love that one), The World's Greatest Lover, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, The Gambler (swoon), Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Father Murphy, Rawhide and Lassie. There are many many others, these are just the ones I remember well.

I had a hard time getting a complete shot of this back drop, it is an arch, which you can't see. I just needed a creepy man with a big black mustache tying a damsel to the tracks. Maybe that guy with the Tie-Dye on? :O)
One side of the roundhouse...

the other side of the roundhouse...
and tracks coming out of the roundhouse leading to the turntable.

Looking towards the turntable. It would be awesome to see the turntable in action.

This made me think of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

When we saw this on the bottom of this train car we wondered what cast iron shoes looked like...
then we found the shoes!

One big disappointment was that the passenger train ride only runs during the weekend... we were there on a Tuesday. Someday I am going to ride in this train car. It costs extra but I think it will be completely worth it. Those little windows on the top are stained glass on the inside.
The car is decorated with elaborate woodwork and cushy seats. A 1920's luxury passenger car. So beautiful... I must ride that train.
Can't you just see me waving goodbye?
Farewell :O)


Land of shimp said...

Am I the only one who sees pictures of trains and immediately begins thinking things like "Woo wooo, chugga chugga chugga chugga, wooo wooo!"? Just me? All righty then.

What wonderful photos, and it's so clear that you truly love trains. Isn't it funny how they call to people? I think trains wake the pioneer spirit in us all, "Time to hit the rails!"

Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures :-)

Jennifer D said...

Shimp, I was thinking Choo Choo the whole time I wrote this post.:O)