1 Oakdale - MP 0: Oakdale has been home to 5 railroads & currently connects the Sierra, UP and BNSF railroads. Oakdale houses Sierra’s freight & passenger offices. After leaving the station, you will pass through our freight yard that has our engine house, locomotives, cabooses, freight cars and other equipment.
2 Bound for Glory (1976) - MP 1: Scenes from this Oscar-winning biodrama about Woody Guthrie were filmed at MP 1, 13, 15 & Jamestown. The movie starred David Carridine & Randy Quaid.
3 Orange Blossom Junction - MP 2: From 1921-1942, the 3-mile Atlas Branch extended north to Atlas gravel pits along the Stanislaus River. The aggregate from this branch was used to build the Melones and Don Pedro dams. (10 minutes)
4 Howard the Duck - MP 4.3: In movie made from a comic book, an ultralite plane is flown through a railroad boxcar at MP 4.3.
5 Sand Hill - MP 5: As we climb Sand Hill, note the sand formations and steep (for a railroad!) route up the hill. (25 minutes)
6 Arnold - MP 6: Originally known as Occidental, Arnold was the first station outside Oakdale though no facility was built. Arnold is distinctive for lone hill to the south. A 2006 AFLAC commercial was filmed here with the duck starring in a “silent” movie. (30 minutes)
7A The Long Riders (1980) - MP 6-7: 3 notorious outlaw gangs (James Gang, Younger brothers & Miller boys) are portrayed by real life brothers James & Stacy Keach; Dennis & Randy Quaid; and David, Keith, & Robert Carradine. In this scene, they jump from horses onto a train to rob it.
7B Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct - MP 6.5: Powered only by gravity, water travels underground from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to faraway San Francisco. The aqueduct passes under our tracks out-of-sight but concrete metering stations are visible on both sides of the tracks.
8 48 Hours (1982) - MP 7: The opening scene in 48 Hours was filmed at Fogarty Road. Look for the distinctive road cresting over the hill where the criminals escape from a chain gang in a pickup truck. This was also the start line of our 2001 & 2002 “Iron Horse Marathon” pitting runners against old trains.
9A Airport - MP 8.5: After crossing Warnerville Rd., we pass the Hawk Aviation airstrip used for commercial & recreational flying. The guys “buzz” us from time to time so keep your head down!(45 minutes)
9B Chevy Truck pulls Train- MP 8.5: For the 2007 Super Bowl, Chevy aired a commercial featuring a new Chevy truck pulling an 18-car train. The commerical was filmed on our railroad and required extensive preperation. What you don't see in the commercial was that our engines were at the back end of the train pushing while the truck is actually on a hidden platform.
10 Paulsell - MP 10.5: You pass through a grove of trees and the track curves due east. Intended as a town, Paulsell never had more than a siding and grain warehouse. Italian fashion magazine Marie Claire had a supermodel photo shoot promoting “hobo fashion” in boxcars here in 2004 (60 minutes)
11 Dodge City (1939) - MP 12: Cattleman Errol Flynn pins on the sheriff's badge and cleans up the Old West's roughest, rowdiest town in this classic frontier saga. Filming included a scene with Sierra #18 pulling a burning passenger car (#611). Nowadays, the S-shaped curves are called “Dodge City Curves”. (70 minutes)
12 Turkey Barns - MP 15-16: In addition to the cows, horses and coyotes you may have seen, you now see turkey barns!
13 Warnerville - MP 16: This cattle-shipping point had cattle pens, loading facilities & post office until 1909. The plains surrounding Warnerville are a popular location for westerns, including High Noon (1952), winner of four academy awards. Starring Gary Cooper & Grace Kelly, this classic is about frontier marshal Will Kane who must stand-alone when a vengeance-seeking outlaw comes to Hadleyville (riding the Sierra Railroad!). This is the turn-around point for most trips. (90 minutes)
WARNERVILLE IS THE FURTHEST THAT WE CURRENTLY TRAVEL ON OUR PASSENGER TRIPS.
14 Rock River - MP 17.7: Rock River is crossed on a wooden trestle. In 2003 the BBC filmed A Work of Giants here about the building of the trans-continental railroad and included numerous shots including a train wreck.
15 Cooperstown - MP 19: Cooperstown was a stagecoach transfer point to Jamestown, Knights Ferry, Sonora, Coulterville & La Grange. In the 1920s, extra locomotives were added here to power heavy gravel trains heading to build Melones & Don Pedro dams. This settlement had a hotel, general store & post office yet nothing remains today.
16 Duel in the Sun (1946) - MP 20: Gregory Peck stars as an outlaw that wrecks a train loaded with dynamite. Sierra #3 had sat idle since 1932 so producers wanted it for the crash. Fortunately, dedicated efforts convinced them not to and “3-spot” was saved!
17 Rosasco - MP 25.5: This was first station in the area and was a junction with the 8-mile Don Pedro Dam Branch. This branch existed for only 4 years and was used to build the Don Pedro Dam, which was the largest concrete dam in the world at that time.
18 Hetch Hetchy Junction - MP 26: The massive O’Shaughnessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir was built to provide San Francisco with power & water. The incredible quantity of materials used to build the dam was transported from here to the project site on the 67-mile Hetch Hetchy Railroad. This site had warehouses, shops & engine house. Passengers traveled to Yosemite Valley by taking this branch to Mather and then a bus into the valley.
19 Keystone - MP 29: Keystone was an early passenger stop and now intersects with Highway 108 & J59. Sierra’s freight client, Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), has a bark plant here.
20 Red Hills Ranch - MP 32: Steven Spielberg built Red Hills Ranch movie set for Back to the Future III (1990) with Michael J. Fox. Unforgiven (1992) with Clint Eastwood and Bad Girls (1994) with Drew Barrymore were then filmed. Unfortunately, the movie town burned down in 1997 but there is interest in building a new set along the Sierra. Before Red Hills Ranch was built Pale Rider (1985) with Clint Eastwood was filmed here.
21 Chinese - MP 35: A station was established in 1897 and was named for the nearby settlement of 5,000 Chinese workers. Sierra freight client SPI has a state-of-the-art small log lumber mill here that uses a laser-guided system for logs 24” thick or smaller.
22A The Mother Lode - MP 37-40: Several very successful gold mines tap into the 120-mile long Mother Lode here and were served by branches from the Sierra Railroad. Some of the more notable mines include the App, Harvard, Rawhide and Dutch Mines.
22B Woods Creek - MP 38: This creek was the first place where gold was discovered in Tuolumne County. After big rains, you will see modern day miners trying their luck looking for “color”.
23 Yosemite Short Line - MP 40: An effort to build a branch into Yosemite began here in 1905 at Quartz Junction. Financial problems from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, however, ended this venture in 1907 after 9 miles of track were built.
24A Jamestown - MP 40.8: Jamestown was started in 1848 by George James and became a major Mother Lode supply point. Sierra’s engine house was strategically located here at the intersection of branches to Angels Camp, Sonora and Yosemite. “Jimtown” currently has hotels, restaurants, shops & historical sites.
24B Water Tank - MP 41: As you approach Railtown, the distinctive water tank used for Petticoat Junction is on the north. Sierra #3 was featured as the “Hooterville Cannonball” for this show from 1963-1970 and was filmed all along the Sierra.
24B Railtown 1897 - MP 41.1: Tracks reached here in 1897. With car shops, offices, freight house and roundhouse, Jamestown served as Sierra’s primary maintenance facility until 1955 when Sierra purchased its first two diesel engines (Baldwin S-12s, Sierra #40 & #42). Unlike many railroads that scrapped their steam facilities, Sierra continued to maintain steam engines here for stand-by service, motion pictures and excursions. In 1971, Sierra opened this facility to the public as “Rail Town”. In 1981, Sierra made a large donation to the State to form “Railtown 1897”, a state park offering visitors train excursions, tours, historical information & more.
25 Sonora - MP 45: Miners from the Sonora, Mexico founded this town. The Sierra winds its way through the town of Sonora. Like Jamestown, there are shops, restaurants, hotels and other items of interest to see in this thriving town.
26 Sullivan Creek Bridge - MP 47.1: The wooden bridge over Sullivan Creek is distinctive with its sharp, banked curve.
27 Standard - MP 50: SPI has a large log lumber mill here. Standard is the end of Sierra’s current operational line, though the line continues to Tuolumne.
28 Ralph - MP 55: The Pickering Lumber Company’s railroad branch began here at Sierra’s station.
29 Tuolumne - MP 57: This is the end of Sierra’s standard gauge track at the Westside Lumber Mill. The Westside Railroad brought timber to the mill on narrow gauge track.