Train Open House at the fairgrounds |

Train Open House at the fairgrounds

A great opportunity to see a part of railroad history takes places at RAIL ROAD DAZE cq Open House, hosted by the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Project, on Saturday, noon to 3 p.m. at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.

Meet Sarah Kidder (a.k.a. Mary Clark, secretary of the NCNG Project; some say she may well be an incarnation of Sarah), the first female president of an American railroad. Follow her steps as she walks from the National Hotel down Broad Street to catch the early morning Nevada County Narrow Gauge train at the Nevada City station on Sacramento Street. Follow her coach ride as the train is pulled by engine No 5 over hills and through fields to Grass Valley station on Bank street.

Watch her train pull into the Grass Valley station on the special closed circuit TV. Hang out at the Grass Valley station where Sarah will alight from the train to grab a change of clothes at her house that sits just across the tracks.

Follow Sarah’s ride on the train now hauling one of the many loads of gold bullion from Grass Valley to Colfax. On the way, take a gander as the train with its precious cargo will pass through Chicago Park, over the Jennings Trestle and then across the Bear River bridge, the highest railroad bridge in California. As Sarah’s train pulls into Colfax you will see the mighty Southern Pacific “cab forward” waiting to take up the cargo from there. And watch all her travels on the railroad on the special closed “Train Cam” TV.

Outside, hear history as the live steam (G-scale model) Engine No 2 steam up and huff and chuff around the special circuit provided by the Bay Area Garden Railway Society. Sit on the two original historic hand-powered vehicles: The three-sheel Velocipede and four-wheel “Speeder.”

RAIL ROAD DAZE especially welcomes children and cameras. Parking and admission are free. Go on the Web at for more information; e-mail


Leal Charonnat is president of the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Project.

The Nevada County Narrow Gauge Project is an indoor model railroad exhibit of the famous N.C.N.G. railroad; it is located permanently on the Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11128 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, inside Gate 1.

The exhibit brings in such outdoors things as a special “live steam” engine layout and historical memorabilia as part of its periodic open houses.

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