Still going strong! Still working the home rails after 116 years, Sierra Railway #3 charges through California's gold country on a Railtown 1897 excursion, with a couple of heavyweight cars.
Although she was built for the short-lived Prescott & Arizona Central Railway in 1891, this little 50-ton 10-wheeler was transplanted to California in 1897 and participated in the construction of the newly-formed Sierra Railway Company of California (reporting mark SRYC). She was just another workhorse on the railroad for many years, until her "retirement" in 1932. She then sat unused on a turntable lead in Jamestown for the next 14 years, pretty much awaiting the scrappers. Amazingly, she dodged the WWII scrap drives and survived just long enough for a movie company to want to use her in a film.....and wreck her in the process. The Sierra CMO at the time would have none of it. He told the movie folks he would get the #3 running, but there was no way he'd let them wreck her. The movie folks relented, and a star was born. Since then, Sierra #3 has appeared in over 100 movies and TV series. Boiler problems sidelined her in 1996, but a concerted effort by several organizations raised the cash to build her a new boiler and today, she's in top shape, literally good for another hundred years.
If you ever find yourself in the Sacramento area, make it a point to head down to Jamestown, about 2 hours to the south, and take a ride behind what has to be the most photographed locomotive in history.