Sugar Pine Centennial 2021 logo

Pacific Coast Region NMRA Annual Convention

Sugar Pine Centennial 2021

April 22 – 24, 2021
Fresno, California


The Sugar Pine Centennial 2021 Convention Committee is hard at work setting up some unusual excursions for your enjoyment during the convention. We are planning on two excursions, both of which will feature shop tours, train rides, cab rides, and more!

Check the News & Updates page periodically for updates.

Hillcrest & Wahtoke Railroad Excursion

Wednesday, April 21: ADVANCE SECTION • Afternoon

Cost: TBD

We are tentatively planning for the first excursion on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 21, as an "Advance Section" one day before the official start of the convention. It'll be about 3-4 hours long and include a shop tour, train rides, cab rides, and more. Some lucky folks will even be allowed to actually run the train!

The Hillcrest & Wahtoke Railroad, located in nearby Reedley, operates the live steam, 15" gauge, 5" scale, Glenwood, South Park & Pacific #13, 2-8-0 "Consolidation" locomotive, pulling 5" scale gondola cars, handmade at the on-site Hillcrest Shops, over nearly a mile of track. (see diagram)

The #13 is a one-of-a-kind built by Ken Kukuk in his garage in Culver City, CA. The tender was built by Jim "Homer" Holms in San Jose, CA, for the Glenwood, South Park & Pacific Railroad located in the mountains above Santa Cruz, CA.

The H&W also has a scale 1930s track inspection "speeder" a functional, scale hand car, and a World War I vintage park scale steam engine.

Hillcrest #13 photo Hillcrest Shay photo Loco at water tank photo

Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad Excursion

Friday, April 23 • Late Afternoon — Evening

Cost: TBD

We are looking at doing this excursion Friday afternoon and evening as a "Moonlight Special." Included will be a shop tour, dinner, campfire entertainment, and an exciting 4-mile narrow gauge train ride into history through the Sierra National Forest's majestic redwoods.

The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad was founded by Rudy Stauffer in 1965 and is still operated by the Stauffer family today. The current railroad follows a portion of grade originally carved into the mountain by the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company in the early 20th century. The company originated in 1874, when it was organized as the California Lumber Company to log the area surrounding Oakhurst, California. The Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company once had a large sawmill at Sugar Pine, California, just south of the current YMSPRR.

The current railroad utilizes locomotives, converted log disconnect cars, and other railroad equipment purchased from the West Side Lumber Company after it ceased railroad operations in 1961. In late August 2017, the Railroad Fire, which started near the railroad, destroyed West Side Lumber Company equipment stored on a side track. Today its motive power consists of two historic narrow gauge 3-truck Shay locomotives: the #10 and the #15.

Shay #10: Built by Lima Locomotive Works of Lima, Ohio, in March of 1928 for the Pickering Lumber Corporation’s West Side Lumber Company’s operations in Tuolumne, CA. It is largest narrow gauge Shay ever built. It was purchased from West Side Lumber Co. in 1967 by Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad and assumed the starring role as the only steam locomotive on the old Madera Sugar Pine Company track.

Shay #15: Built by Lima Locomotive Works in May of 1913 for the Sierra Nevada Wood and Lumber Co. In 1939 it was renumbered #15 and continued service through 1961. The #15 was used for various tourist operations in Tuolumne at the old West Side site. It was purchased in 1986 by the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad to work along side the #10 and is still in service today.

Also on site are: the Thornberry Museum, a historic log cabin built over 140-years ago, offering visitors a glance at what life was like on the slopes of the Sierras over a century ago; the Sugar Pine Trading Company, providing a selection of literature and sources related to the YMSPRR, railroads and the history of Yosemite Valley; a rare narrow gauge snowplow, the West Side Lumber Company's plow No. 2; and gold panning.

Shay #10 photo Shay postcard photo Shay #15 photo

Keep checking the News & Updates page for additional updates.

Bill "Grumpy" Scott
Excursions Chairman
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