Monday, June 13, 2011

Railtown 1897


Railtown 1897 is one of the California State Parks on the closure list.  We want to visit as many of the parks on the list as possible and since we love trains this was a good place to start.







We chose May 21 for our visit because they would be using the recently restored engine #3 for their Saturday excursion.  Currently the park is open daily but the train runs only on Saturday and Sunday for a six mile round trip.




We arrived early so that we could see them back the engine onto the turntable.  Steam from the locomotive is used to operate the turntable.
















After fueling it's backed up to the old water tank.  This is the same water tank seen in the TV show "Petticoat Junction"
Although it is a state park, all of this work is done by volunteers.















This little car follows the train down the track to check for fires.  I couldn't help but wonder what was done in the days when all railroads were operated by steam.  I suspect that a lot of fires went undetected until the next train came along.





A visit to Railtown is a like a step back in time.  Volunteers in period dress add to the ambiance.
The state hopes to find partners to take over the parks it will close. Considering the amount of work already done by volunteers and the economic value to the town of Jamestown, I think it likely that this park will continue to operate.

18 comments:

EG Wow said...

This is such a cool post. I love trains and just happened to photograph a heritage train just last Saturday. I don't think I could ever see too many! I enjoyed reading this post and viewing your photos.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Love the post -- and we've never visited this park. (Maybe we never will now!) It breaks my heart what is happening to your beautiful State.

Pretty Life Online said...

nice entry... Have a great weekdays ahead!!! Hoping you can visit @ my little corner.

Riet said...

What a lovely park . LOve that train

Kay L. Davies said...

Thanks for the wonderful photos, Martha. I must convince my husband to take me there!
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

eileeninmd said...

Wow, I just love this post and all the photos. It does remind me of the old days. It is great that so many volunteers are there to help.

Sylvia K said...

Great post for the day, Martha! I do love trains and what a fun place! I, too, think that it's great that there are so many volunteers! Terrific captures as always! Have a good week!

Sylvia

aka Penelope said...

I love historic places where people wear costumes of the period. This adds such realism. I’ve never considered the flame shooting out from trains of that era. But perhaps this would be a fire hazard when traveling through dry forests. So its good to see the little train following. Parks like these should never close.

Jenn Jilks said...

A lovely trip down memory lane! Well done.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Too bad it is about to close. What a gem of a park.

On railroads and fires, my father is a retired forest ranger and he has stories about the conflicts between railroads and the forest service in the dry forests of northern Arizona around Flagstaff. The trains caused lots of forest fires, they also didn't think they answered to anybody and were politically powerful enough they got away with almost everything.

Lesley said...

That is so cool that there really was aPetticoat Junction water tank!
But not so cool that this will close. I've never heard of a park closing.

Rajesh said...

Wonderful shots of national park. Nice place to visit to be part of history.

Janie said...

Looks like an interesting place. I hope it will stay open, one way or the other.

Lily Hydrangea said...

this looks like a great place for everyone to check out. I hope it finds a way to stay open.
& How good of you to set a goal to see all the parks before they close.

Tes said...

Thank you for taking us on a tour, Martha! I love the lay out of this post. Your photos are beautiful. Good capture and wonderful composition! :)

Gaelyn said...

What a marvelous State Park and great bunch of Volunteers. Such a shame to see parks closed. Maybe fire a few politicians and start paying the park volunteers. Kind of hate to see these places go private and commercial.

I like the little car that follows, it smiles.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - steam trains are just such fun to take pictures of - and the vintage costumes help as well.

The skies in can be very very blue - especially in the cooler months. I have some slides (remember them!) in the drawers behind me that have almost the same colour in them as my post.

I have tried to get this kind of light before, but never really managed. This time I spot metered off the chimney, and then underexposed 1/3 of a stop - this probably made the colours a bit more saturated than I would have got in a straight shot.

But the sky really can be very blue - and the contrast with the red dirt/stones/ bricks brings out the colour.

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

Gary said...

What a wonderful park!! Hope it stays open Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.