Restored railcar moved onto track: Work continues on Clamper’s Square railroad museum display (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY) | TheUnion.com
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Restored railcar moved onto track: Work continues on Clamper’s Square railroad museum display (VIDEO/PHOTO GALLERY)

Volunteers with the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum spent much of Saturday morning moving their latest project — a restored 1917 railcar — from the museum out to their new kiosk and stretch of track along Railroad Avenue at Sacramento Street.

The railroad museum completed the 300-foot stretch of display track in February and recently completed the 1917 gondola car.

With about 14 museum volunteers and the help of a low-boy trailer and truck from Robinson Enterprises, the gondola car was safely moved from the museum’s stretch of track at the Northern Queen Inn to its new home at the intersection of Sacramento Street and Railroad Avenue, also known as Clamper’s Square.

The square was originally donated in 1968 by the local E Clampus Vitus chapter, an organization dedicated to historical preservation, and in 2018 rather than just restore the aging monument, the museum and Nevada City decided on a full-scale upgrade complete with railroad track installation for railcar displays.

The display currently sits where the original terminus of the railroad once sat in 1876, and museum director John Christensen hopes that one day he can take the track the extra 1,000 feet to connect it to the existing track at the Northern Queen.

The 30-foot long restored gondola car was initially a flat car built by the Southern Pacific Railroad and was used to haul talc out of Owens Valley.

It had been converted into a gondola car before it was purchased by Universal Studios in 1955, where it was then made into a mail bag car to be featured in television and movie films.

“This was a COVID car,” Christensen said regarding the railcar’s restoration, which began in December.

The car was part of the original package that came with railroad museum’s purchase of Engine No. 5, an original Nevada County engine that is currently being restored by the museum.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez, email efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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