Okay history fans: where in Northern California can see a 19th century train that's appeared in numerous movies and TV shows, such as Petticoat Junction, Wild Wild West, Back to the Future Part III and Unforgiven?
It's the Railtown 1897 Historic State Park in Jamestown (Tuolumne County), home to the preserved trains, repair shops and roundhouse of the Sierra Railway. It's a great attraction for railroad buffs. You can even take a short ride behind a vintage steam-powered locomotive.
On Feb. 8 Railtown is offering a special behind-the-scenes shop tour. This is a good opportunity to see ongoing restoration projects, as well as the recently restored Sierra No. 3, the "Movie Star" engine. The tour will go from 10 to 12 p.m. and the cost is included with park admission: $5 for adults, $3 for youths ages 6-17, children under five, free.
Railtown is also recruiting volunteers to serve as Car Hosts, Ticket Agents, Tour Guides, Public Greeters, and Fire Patrol Operators (entry level engine crew). No previous experience is required, but you must submit an application by Feb. 20 to be considered for volunteer training beginning in March. Interested people are invited to a Volunteer Open House (Feb. 12 at 10 a.m.) where you can learn more about the park and its activities.
For more information about the Railtown Shop Tour and volunteering, call 209-984-3953 or visit www.railtown1897.org.
PHOTO CREDIT: The restored Sierra No 3 steam engine emerges from the roundhouse at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown, Calif., July 2010. AP Photo by Rich Pedroncelli.