Sierra Coaches No. 5 & 6 with Angels train at Jamestown. The No. 5 & 6 are original to the Sierra Railway. Both were custom built by W.L. Holman & Co. in San Francisco, 1902, and were designed with a short chassis to be better able to handle the steep switchbacks down to the Stanislaus River canyon (where New Melones Reservoir now sits), and back up the other side on the way to Angels Camp.
Sierra No. 5 & 6 at Jamestown. No. 6 is a full passenger coach, while No. 5 is a combine car – a combination of coach and baggage/mail car. No. 6 was used on the Hetch Hetchy Railroad circa 1936 and is part of the original Railway & Locomotive Historical Society collected curated by the California State Railroad Museum.
Crash on the Stanislaus switchbacks, 1905. The Sierra No. 5 & 6 were involved in a crash on the switchbacks while descending the Stanislaus River canyon. The brakes were not working properly due to slippery tracks. The conductor was calling for all passengers to jump from the train. Two people would not jump and were killed in the crash, and both cars required extensive repairs.
Placard in Coach No. 6, “Rebuilt at Jamestown, 1912.” This was following the crash of 1905.
The interior of Coach No. 6 nearly as it still looks today, beautifully and simply detailed.
The Sierra No. 3 locomotive wasn’t the only tv and movie star! Car No. 6 has had appearances as well, here all dressed up for a 1975 Little House on the Prairie appearance
Roundhouse Day this Saturday, February 15! Coach No. 6 will be pulled out of the Roundhouse for you to walk through and see, up close and personal. We’ll also have a special behind-the-scenes Shop Tour led by lead engineer George Sapp at 10am, and other special demonstrations on the forge and in the belt shop all day. Don’t miss it! [Photo by Michael Sharps]