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Four Gauges of Railroading in one day again 7/21/2012 Part 3

by Chris Guenzler

AC Adam and I left Poway and drove straight out to Julian thanks to the nice directions she gave me when I called to make my reservation to ride this railroad this early afternoon.

The Smith Ranch & Julian Railroad Golden Express Gold Mine Train. A Brief History

Julian's gold rush came in 1869 when placer gold was discovered in Coleman Creek. Miners soon hit pay dirt in the hills above Julian. The Smith Ranch mine, located on Gold Hill, was hand dug with pick and shovel in 1870. The mine's first railroad consisted of a hand-pushed ore car rolling down wooden track. The gold ore was crushed and panned on site. In 1906, the Julian Consolidated quartz mine was completed on the eastern slope of Gold Hill. A portion of the SR&J grade heads to the old mill site. Look for the miner's digging along the route. The SR&J train is pulled by a rare type of non polluting tunneling locomotives: an 18 inch gauge, 3 1/2 ton low-profile Atlas type K 11 hp motor. Originally built in 1940 and restored in 2001, the Atlas K's 11 hp motor is powered solely by large electric storage battery. This allows visitors a clean, quiet ride through the beautiful mountain scenery of Julian.

To ride this train reservations must be made by calling 760-765-2288. The Train Trip

You wait outside the gate for the train crews to arrive to open the gates for you to enter the Smith Ranch. There is a display train you walk by before you reach the boarding location. We will now look at that display train.

SR&J 71.

SR&J 77.

SR&J 81

SR&J 76.

SR&J 78 & 88.

The view from the gate.

The Smith Ranch Wagon.

SR&J 76.

SR&J 72.

SR&J 85.

SR&J 71.

SR&J 78.

SR&J 73.

SR&J 75.

SR&J 79.

The locomotive that will pull our train today.

This will be the second train of the day that would follow ours.

The second train locomotive.

More of the mining equipment on display.

The owner of this unique 18 inch gauge railroad in Julian.

There is a railroad crossing that we will cross on the way to the Gold Mine.

More mining equipment of display. The train started the trip after we all yelled "All Aboard!"

The trip starts as we loop around to get to that railroad crossing we will pass through.

Our train taking the station area loop.

The second train is waiting to leave as we will cut right in front of it as we take the crossing.

Our train taking the crossing.

The engine of the second train.

Our train started up the hill.

Looking down from where we had just came from.

The train took us to the curve where we would loop back south.

The train on the loop back curve.

The train leaving the loop back curve.

Views as we climbed higher.

Looking down on the second train.

The Daniel Boone Fort.

The train crossed this large bridge.

The train pulling off the bridge.

The view looking down into the valley.

The view of the bridge behind the train.

A look down into the valley.

An old mine car and other mining equipment.

The train took another of the railroad's curves.

A mine loader.

The train took the next curve.

More railroad and mining equipment.

Taking another curve.

A cannon used in the Spanish-American War.

Crossing another bridge on this railroad.

Taking another curve.

A very old Coastal Oak Tree.

We are now on the Gold Mine Loop and here we will detrain.

Our train's engine.

The east end of the Gold Mine Loop.

The second train came into view. Everyone gets tour of the Gold Mine plus other things for the kids to do during the Julian Gold Mine Tour.

Here they are explaining the dump car.

The second train then came onto the Gold Mine Loop and would park behind our train.

The engine that pulled our train up to the Gold Mine. Next our group would go into the Gold Mine and I pushed a mine car with kids down the tracks into the Gold Mine.

The inside of the Gold Mine. To get the kids out of the Gold Mine one good push and they went rolling back into Daylight.

Two views of our engine.

Two views of the second train engine.

A view of the 18 inch gauge track.

The view of the second train just before we started our return trip?

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