On June 26th, 12 intrepid souls drove into the foothills in search of train nourishment. It was found in the form of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Musuem. This gem is nestled in the hills just outside of Nevada City, CA and houses a wonderful selection of narrow gauge (3ft) locomotives, rolling stock, museum, workshop and 1 mile 3 ft gauge circuit for tours with railbuses.
We took the Railbus tour first. the 12 of us sat in the 16 seater bus (although I am not sure where the other 4 would have sat….). This shuttled down the 8% grade and 2 switchbacks to an open picnic area. A very pretty journey along side a bubbling brook with plenty of stop off points showing off film set areas, sprung switchpoints and entrances to old mines. After scuttling back up the grade and a few more pictures we shuffled into the museum.
Our docent (and unofficial docent) scooted us around the history and backdrop to this railroad which went from Colfax to Nevada City to supply the gold mines. Closed in 1942, it was run by a lady called Sarah Kidder for a significant period of its history. The Museum is trying to return at least one of its largest locomotives back to steam within a 2 year time period.
Following the tour we skedaddled down to their workshop area which turned out to be the most interesting area to visit. A very organized work area had many small porter and diesel locos, one of which was for sale. The highlight was the rebuild of a 1911 stock car. This had been rebuilt from the ground up using original metal parts and brand new pine wood. When you see things close up you can appreciate the design such as the support beams being on the outside of the cross pieces to prevent the cattle from breaking the side slats.
Afterwards we all scurried down to Keiths place in Lake of the Pines for a barbecue and a viewing of his HO and HOn3 layout. After much imbibing and layout design suggesting the group then carpooled their way back down to Roseville.
A Great Day for all!!