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Model trains run under steam just like bigger versions
Steam-up at Railtownew
Miniature live steam locomotives were in Jamestown Labor Day 2008, Shown are Dave Frediani, left foreground, and Art Busalacchi, left center background, who are both are residents of Tuolumne County. - photo by Photo Contributed
JAMESTOWN – Over Labor Day weekend and for the second year in a row, visitors to Railtown1897 State Historic Park will have the special opportunity to see more than a dozen small-scale model steam trains in operation.  

The Sacramento-based “On the Brink, Live Steam Group” will set up hand-crafted models for public viewing.  Interestingly, these intricate small-scale models run under steam produced by liquid fuel, just like their full-sized counterparts in the Roundhouse.  

“We started our club in 2002 and now we have about 50 members,” said Paul Brink, the group’s founder.  “We really enjoy displaying our models to the public and Railtown is such a wonderful setting.”  

In addition, Railtown’s popular excursion train rides will be available over the three-day Labor Day Weekend.  The trains depart from the Railtown Depot on-the-hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The six-mile, 40-minute roundtrip ride takes passengers through the picturesque Gold Country foothills, passing through charming oak meadowlands.

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park’s Depot Store, Interpretive Center, and grounds are open daily April-October from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.   Park admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 6-17, and is free for children five and under. Weekend excursion train rides depart hourly 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. from the Railtown Depot.  Regular train tickets are $13 for adults, $8 for youth ages 6-17, and are free for children five and under.  Park admission is included in the excursion ticket price.  Guided tours are also available and are included free with paid admission or train ticket. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy lunch at the Carriage Room Snack Bar located in the Freight Shed or utilize picnic and BBQ areas that are available on a first come, first-served basis on the shaded lawn.  

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Reservoir Road in Jamestown, near Sonora. For more information, call 209-984-3953.

Operated by California State Parks with assistance from the nonprofit CSRM Foundation, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (April through October) and 10 a.m. to 3p.m. (November through March) except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Known as “The Movie Railroad,” Railtown 1897, its historic locomotives and cars have starred in hundreds of film and TV productions and is home to one of America’s last intact and still operating railroad roundhouses.  24-hour info: (209) 984-3953 or