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Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad

Updated on August 22, 2013

Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company Railroad

Sounds and scenes from the era of steam powered railroad logging come to life at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad in the Sierra National Forest south of Yosemite National Park.

From 1899 to 1931, the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company operated miles of narrow gauge railroad track. During that time, nearly one and a half billion board feet of lumber were harvested from the forests. Five wood burning Shay locomotives hauled massive log trains to the mill over the extensive rail network.

Today, the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is a restoration of the old narrow gauge Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company Railroad. A section of the original rail bed has been reconstructed using the same techniques used at the turn of the century. Two vintage Shay steam locomotives have been brought in from the Westside Lumber Company and restored to provide authentic motive power for the trains.

Shay number 15 was built in 1913 and weighs 60 tons. Number 10, built in 1928 weighs 83 tons and is the heaviest operating narrow gauge Shay locomotive today. Railcars once used to provide transportation for logging and track repair crews have been refurbished and are now operated for passenger excursion. Antique Model "A" Ford gas engines power the trolley-like "Jenny" cars over the route.

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Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad Events

YMSPRR Events

Logger Steam Train -- Thrill to the sights and sounds of steam powered railroading. Vintage Shay locomotives provide the motive power for the one hour narrated excursion over tracks once used for logging trains at the turn of the century.

Jenny Railcars -- Ride the quaint "Model A" powered railcars. Our railcars were once used to provide transportation for logging and track repair crews. Antique Model A Ford gas engines power the trolley-like cars over the same route as the Logger Steam Train. A 30 minute narrated trip.

Moonlight Special -- A 37 year tradition at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. The spectacular, fun filled Moonlight Special operates Saturday nights in spring and fall, Saturday and Wednesday nights in summer. The evening begins with a delicious New York Steak BBQ dinner and music by the Sugar Pine Singers. Chuck, Dave, Robyn and Gina add that special mountain charm to the evening with old fashioned ballads and toe tappin' melodies.. Then it's ALL ABOARD for the Logger Steam Train excursion through the woods as the conductor's narration recalls the past when loggers and Shay steam engines ruled the woods. Hold on to your valuables! Masked horsemen have been known to stop trains in the area searching for gold shipments or passengers booty. Sing-along with the trio around the campfire when the train makes a stop-over in the canyon. Hear the long, lonesome whistle blow on your return trip under the full moon as the locomotive chugs its way back to the station. Reservations are a must for this very popular event.

Melodrama Evening -- The evening begins with a delicious New York steak BBQ dinner and music by the Sugar Pine Singers. Then its All Aboard for the Logger Steam Train excursion through the woods as the conductor's narration recalls the past when loggers and shay steam engines ruled the woods. The Golden Chain Theatre presents a melodrama in the woods when the train stops over in the canyon. The train returns under the stars.

Group Excursions -- Special steam train charters as well as delicious BBQ meals are available for tour groups throughout the season. Ample bus parking. Please call or write for reservations.

Field Trip Special -- Our steam train excursions provide a great learning experience for school children. Call for details and reservations.

Railroad Events: Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad

An exciting 4-mile railroad excursion at Yosemite Park's south gate on highway 41. Ride into history where powerful locomotives once hauled massive log trains through the Sierra mountains. Where mighty lumberjacks felled the timber and flumes carried lumber to the distant valley below. The Sierra National Forest's majestic woods provide the backdrop for the narrow gauge journey back in time.

The Yosemite Valley Garden Railway

The Yosemite Valley Garden Railway
The Yosemite Valley Garden Railway

The Yosemite Valley Garden Railway

Winner of the Small Garden Railway Contest

The Yosemite Valley Garden Railway

Winner of the Small Garden Railway Contest

The Yosemite Valley Garden Railroad is a romanticized but insp0ired model of the prototype Yosemite Valley Railroad of the 1920s.

You can see lots of detail in a prototype inspired railroad in the August 2011 issue of Garden RAILWAYS, on page 42.

A video of the second-place winner of our Small Garden Railroad Contest

By Wayne Tausig

Published: June 25, 2011

http://grw.trains.com/en/How%20To/Videos/2011/06/The%20Yosemite%20Valley%20Garden%20Railroad.aspx

A video of the second-place winner

Grandma with Liam

Grandma with Liam
Grandma with Liam

Grandpa with Daddy and Liam

Grandpa with Daddy and Liam
Grandpa with Daddy and Liam

Jeff and Liam

Jeff and Liam
Jeff and Liam

Liam Smith

Liam Smith
Liam Smith

Liam with Mom

Liam with Mom
Liam with Mom

Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad Pictures - A Visit to Yosemite

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Watching the TrainTaking Photos of the TrainAll AboardWOW... Real Steam!Yosemite Style TalentA Step Back in HistoryLet's pan for Gold!
Watching the Train
Watching the Train
Taking Photos of the Train
Taking Photos of the Train
All Aboard
All Aboard
WOW... Real Steam!
WOW... Real Steam!
Yosemite Style Talent
Yosemite Style Talent
A Step Back in History
A Step Back in History
Let's pan for Gold!
Let's pan for Gold!

Locomotive

Locomotive
Locomotive

Lori gets a picture of Liam and Jeff

Lori gets a picture of Liam and Jeff
Lori gets a picture of Liam and Jeff

Jeff and Liam on Board

Jeff and Liam on Board
Jeff and Liam on Board

Number 15 Locomotive

Number 15 Locomotive
Number 15 Locomotive

No 15 Tender

No 15 Tender
No 15 Tender

The No 15 Locomotive and Tender

The No 15 Locomotive and Tender
The No 15 Locomotive and Tender

Sugar Pine Book Store

Sugar Pine Book Store
Sugar Pine Book Store

Railroad Locomotive

Railroad Locomotive
Railroad Locomotive

The 15 in the pines

The 15 in the pines
The 15 in the pines

Power Saw

Power Saw
Power Saw

Great Stuff about Yosemite, on Amazon - Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad

The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is an exciting 4-mile railroad excursion at Yosemite Park's south gate on highway 41. Ride into history where powerful locomotives once hauled massive log trains through the Sierra mountains. Where mighty lumberjacks felled the timber and flumes carried lumber to the distant valley below. The Sierra National Forest's majestic woods provide the backdrop for the narrow gauge journey back in time.

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    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Very nice to see a family enjoying such a wonderful piece of history. My parents go to Yosemite at least once a year, so I'll have to find out if they've ever visited Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very nice lens. Great pictures of your family, thanks for sharing!