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Does anyone know anything about what is happening with the Little Amador Railroad in Sutters Creek, CA? I've gone by several times in the last 6 months and the only information is that they will begin running trains every Sunday starting in May...but they haven't, the railroad doesn't look like its been operational for some time and the website is gone (www.littleamadorrailroad.com). In my opinion, it's the largest and nicest G scale layout I've ever seen (except for the Clear Creek RR in the SF bay area that seems to have disappeared as well). Anyone know what is happening? Thanks in advance for any information...

Jeff Maurer
Sacramento, CA
 

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Just emailed a guy for you that maybe will know the answers to your questions, let's see if he comes in and can answer!! Think he took a little trip there awhile back we'll see if he chimes in here! Regal
 

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We haven't been back up there sense last fall if I remember right.. but I sent a few e-mails out to see what we can find out. It was org. run by two brothers and when we were there it was being run by a apt. tenant that lived next to the layout. The brothers no longer lived on the property.
At one time they were in the SVGRS club in Sacramento, Ca.
 

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Posted By noelw on 29 Jun 2010 07:45 PM
The brothers no longer lived on the property.




Must have got tired of the smell of Pig Turds in the Alley.
 

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As of a month ago the owner (Bruce) was thinking of selling the railroad. He was hoping to find someone who would buy everything at once. It's really too bad because it was one of my favorite railroads too.
 

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It's one of mine too. I guess the Hwy 49 bypass just killed the town. I'm really hoping that the railroad keeps on going, it's worth going out of the way for!
 

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For those of you who have either been through Amador City CA. or seen the railroad in Garden Railways, the railroad is sadly no more. Even with the increase of gold prices and the reopening of the North Star gold mine just out of town (at least it used to be the North Star, not sure what it's called now), it was too late to save the Little Amador Railroad from the scrappers torch. Last weekend was the public sale of what assets remained of the railroad sending it into history as only a memory.

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, the Little Amador Railroad (LARR), located at 10760 Pig Turn Alley (I'm NOT making that up) was created in 1994. That year Bruce Sherrill turned fifty, and fifty friends surprised him with fifty sections of G gauge model railroad track. From a simple loop, the railroad grew along with Bruce’s fascination with model railroading. As it happened, Bruce knew a man named Phil who had a friend in nearby Jackson who was working on plans to start a business making G-scale structures for model railroad layouts. Soon the LARR could cross the creek running through Bruce’s yard on an authentic replica of a trussed-arch bridge, one of two MASSIVE bridges (at least 7-10 feet long) needed to cross Amador Creek. Trains traveled along the 1,000 feet of track pass not only scale-model replicas like the working water-powered stamp mill, but authentic 19th century structures such as the Arrastra, a mining building once used to crush gold out of quartz. I accidentally stumbled across the railroad over 10 years ago while driving down (old) HWY 49 looking for old mines and towns (the railroad went down one side of the only parking lot in Amador City). After that, the LARR was a MUST stop for me any time I was anywhere in the vicinity of the Gold Country.

After all of those years (almost 20), the railroad had grown to include almost all of the available space and Bruce was able to retire and decided to pursue other interests. Last weekend was the sale of all of the engines, rolling stock, buildings, and track. Bruce now plans on getting into his motor home and going out to see the world but there are numerous people who won't forget the world that Bruce built, and shared, in his back yard on Pig Turd Alley.

I was lucky enough to get a couple of the scratch built buildings and as much track as my little car could carry so while the Little Amador Railroad is now gone, it will still live on as I build my railroad and in my (and so many others) memory.

Bruce, thank you for sharing what you built and thanks for the memories.



I found some pictures (but they don't even begin to do the railroad any justice) at http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157594465864201/ and the railroad was in the April 2004 issue of Garden Railway
 

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We found of an short video of our trip going thru Amador City in 2009 and stopped to see the R.R. There was a young guy that showed us around. He been working on his work bench in the basement where most of the trains were stored.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJtd1zQzwgQ

And another one I found, but has stupid person with new cam. LOL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6ehXwH38tM&feature=related

Glad Benshell was able to get some of it from there.. Lot of the building was hightly detailed. I seen the for sale add not to long ago in the SVGS new letter.
Was a neat R.R. in it's haydays.
 

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The owners of the Little Amador RR are selling the property and moving on. They plan (AFAIK) to buy a motorhome and cruise the country. Thus they'll have no space and little time to have big trains.

Last weekend they had an open house and sale on the RR. A number of members of the Sacramento Valley Garden RR Club (of which they are a member) went up to Pig Turd Alley to see what was for sale. I missed it, as I was riding the Virginia and Truckee that weekend. But I understand that a lot of track was sold, as were kadee couplers, some cars and locomotives. They had a lot of buildings, but they were pretty badly weathered, and I'm not sure if any of them sold.
 

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This is really sad news. My wife's parents used to live up Hwy 88 in Pioneer as does my brother and his family currently. Several years ago we were visiting and stopped by for the first time to see the railroad. It was one of my early inspirations for getting into the hobby. It will be missed.

Richard
 

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This may make you even sader. I own the home two doors away from Bruce's RR. I too, love gauge one trains. When Bruce was planning to shut it down, I offered to make a higher speed track from my layout to, and through, his. Mine would be the Espee division. I wanted to send a brass Accucraft Daylight and multiple headed citris blocks through with as many as three Accucraft Cab Forwards and as many PFE's as they could handle (up to 80). When Bruce heard this, he hesitated, but went ahead with his plans to tear his down. Now, the site of Little Amador has even been buried, and used as a gravel covered parking area.
Mine? Well, first I have to retire, and then look out Amador, Espee is coming, along with Western Pacific and a few guest railroads.
 

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This may make you even sader. I own the home two doors away from Bruce's RR. I too, love gauge one trains. When Bruce was planning to shut it down, I offered to make a higher speed track from my layout to, and through, his. Mine would be the Espee division. I wanted to send a brass Accucraft Daylight and multiple headed citris blocks through with as many as three Accucraft Cab Forwards and as many PFE's as they could handle (up to 80). When Bruce heard this, he hesitated, but went ahead with his plans to tear his down. Now, the site of Little Amador has even been buried, and used as a gravel covered parking area.
Mine? Well, first I have to retire, and then look out Amador, Espee is coming, along with Western Pacific and a few guest railroads.
Sorry you weren't able to get some of the old building he had.. We tried to get a message to one of the owner that had a care taker there that let us in and he ran some trains in the basement shop for us.. (It's in our video years back.)
We( Late Dick Bruce & I ) want to try to get some of the building to restore them and use some on the SVGRS shows, but never able to get ahold of any one before they got damage or dumped.:confused:

Brent G. There were some real nice buildings and Lumber mills and lots of tracks.
Hope you can do some open house up on your R.R. Really very nice area in Amador.
Tls for the infor..Noel
 

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I remember when ...

I had to dig through my photos to find that wonderful railroad ....Little Amador RR.

It was 2003 National Garden Railway Convention in Sacramento, CA.

I selected a few photos that may not have been in prior links ...
Can't find a link to "my image galley" in reply format...only "url" box

Maybe we should start a thread for GREAT LAYOUTS THAT ARE GONE?
 

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Last time we where there was in 2009. Here is the video of that time.

Here is one that Mimi Zhu did in 2011.
 
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