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March 19, 2013 > Niles Canyon Railway celebrates springtime

Niles Canyon Railway celebrates springtime

Submitted By Alan Frank

The Niles Canyon Railway (NCRY) kicks off its spring season with an "all steam weekend," April 6 and 7. Dedicated volunteers at NCRY have kept the proud steam and rail history of the region alive throughout the year, preserving the magical sounds of steam whistles, the smell of coal smoke and the sight of steel wheels rolling along the rails. Adding to the splendor of riding the rails of history this spring, nature has prepared a visual feast of wildflowers along the way.

During "steam weekend," two trains will run between Sunol and Niles (Fremont) through scenic and historic Niles Canyon. Featured is the public debut of the newly restored Clover Valley #4 as well as the Quincy #2. Built by Baldwin in 1924 for the Clover Valley Lumber Company the #4 has just completed a multi year restoration and federal inspection. It is the only operating mallet type locomotive based on the west coast.

NCRY will run public excursions on the first and third Saturday's and Sunday's each month through August. A steam and diesel locomotive is scheduled to operate on each weekend. Trains from Sunol Station depart hourly between 10:30am and 2:30pm and Niles from 11:20am and 2:20pm. The round trip takes approximately an hour and a half. Diesel locomotives will operate on a reduced schedule in September and October on the first and third Sunday's only.

The Niles Canyon Railway is a preserved segment of the original 1869 transcontinental railroad on the National Register of Historic Places. It is an operating railroad museum run by volunteers of the Pacific Locomotive Association, a 501c3 non-profit.

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