Yosemite Park, locomotives, log trains, logger steam train, Jenny railcars, field trip special, Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company, wood burning Shay locomotives, Westside Lumber company

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An exciting 4-mile railroad excursion at Yosemite Park's south gate on highway 41!

All Aboard! Ride into history where powerful locomotives once hauled massive log trains through the Sierra Mountains. Where mighty lumberjacks felled the timber and flumes carried lumber to the distant valley below. The Sierra National Forest’s majestic woods provide the backdrop for this narrow gauge journey back in time. Visit us for Yosemite Park, locomotives, log trains, logger steam train, Jenny railcars, field trip special, Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company, wood burning Shay locomotives, Westside Lumber company.

  • Gold panning is available at the Gold Rush City Miners Camp.
  • The Thornberry Museum offers a glance at life at the turn of the century. Located in the Thornberry family log cabin, over 140 years old.
  • Delicious snacks and sandwiches are available at our Station Sandwich shop.

YosemiteMountainPic6Ride the logger! YSMPRR takes you on a ride through history aboard a genuine steam locomotive through the beautiful Sierra National Forest.

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Sounds and scenes from the era of steam powered railroad logging come to life at the Yosemite Mountain  Railroad in the Sierra National Forest south of Yosemite National Park. It is Yosemite sightseeing at its best and a Northern California vacation you will not forget. This unique Yosemite train service will take you back in time when railroads reigned.
From 1899 to 1931, the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company operated miles of narrow gauge railroad track. During that time, nearly one and a half billion board feet of lumber were harvested from the forests. Five wood burning Shay locomotives hauled massive log trains to the mill over the extensive rail network.

Today, the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is a restoration of the old narrow gauge Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company Railroad. A section of the original railbed has been reconstructed using the same techniques used at the turn of the century. Two vintage Shay steam locomotives have been brought in from the Westside Lumber company and restored to provide authentic motive power for the trains.

Shay number 15 was built in 1913 and weighs 60 tons. Number 10, built in 1928 weighs 83 tons and is the heaviest operating narrow gauge Shay locomotive today. Railcars once used to provide transportation for logging and track repair crews have been refurbished and are now operated for passenger excursion. Antique Model “A” Ford gas engines power the trolley-like “Jenny” cars over the route.

YosemiteMountainPic8Special Events
• Logger Steam Train — Thrill to the sights and sounds of steam powered railroading. Vintage Shay locomotives provide the motive power for the one hour narrated excursion over tracks once used for logging trains at the turn of the century.
• Jenny Railcars — Ride the quaint “Model A” powered railcars. Our railcars were once used to provide transportation for logging and track repair crews. Antique Model A Ford gas engines power the trolley-like cars over the same route as the Logger Steam Train. A 30 minute narrated trip.
• Moonlight Special — A 31 year tradition at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. The spectacular, fun filled Moonlight Special operates Saturday nights in spring and fall, Saturday and Wednesday nights in summer. The evening begins with a delicious New York Steak BBQ dinner and music by the Sugar Pine Singers. Chuck, Dave, Robyn and Gina add that special mountain charm to the evening with old fashioned ballads and toe tappin’ melodies.. Then it’s ALL ABOARD for the Logger Steam Train excursion through the woods as the conductor’s narration recalls the past when loggers and Shay steam engines ruled the woods.   Hold on to your valuables! Masked horsemen have been known to stop trains in the area searching for gold shipments or passengers booty. Sing-along with the trio around the campfire when the train makes a stop-over in the canyon. Hear the long, lonesome whistle blow on your return trip under the full moon as the locomotive chugs its way back to the station. Reservations are a must for this very popular event.
• Melodrama Evening — The evening begins with a delicious New York steak BBQ dinner and music by the Sugar Pine Singers. Then its All Aboard for the Logger Steam Train excursion through the woods as the conductor’s narration recalls the past when loggers and shay steam engines ruled the woods. The golden chain theatre presents a melodrama in the woods when the train stops over in the canyon. The train returns under the stars.
• Group Excursions — Special steam train charters as well as delicious BBQ meals are available for tour groups throughout the season. Ample bus parking. Please call or write for reservations.
• Field Trip Special — Our steam train excursions provide a great learning experience for school children. Call for details and reservations.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long is the train ride? Who can ride on the train?

The steam train ride is a one-hour narrated excursion through the beautiful Sierra National Forest. The ride will travel over four miles on the historic Madera Sugar Pine Railroad. The train is open to people of all ages, and friendly dogs ride free!

What are you going to see on the train?

You will travel along the historic right-of-way of the Madera Sugar Pine Railroad where mighty lumberjacks felled the timber and flumes carried the lumber to the town of Madera. The conductor will tell of the history of the line, the trees, and the wildlife native to the area.

How close is Yosemite National Park?

The railroad is located on Highway 41, just four miles from the South Entrance of Yosemite, home of the Mariposa Big Trees, Glacier Point, Half Dome, and the many wonderful waterfalls including Yosemite Falls in the valley.

YosemiteMountainPic11What can you tell me about the locomotives?

We operate two historic geared steam locomotives called Shays. Both locomotives were from the Westside Lumber Company in Tuolumne, California. These two locomotives represent the original shays that worked this line from 1874 to 1931. The original Madera Sugar Pine Shay locomotives burned wood for fuel, while our two Westside Shay locomotives burn oil. Shay #10 was built in 1928 and weighs in at 84 tons, while Shay #15 was built in 1913 and weighs 59 tons.

Why does the locomotive sometimes go backwards?

The historic shay locomotives operate the same speeds forward and backward. We have a loop in our excursion which turns the train around every trip. We do not have a turntable at the station, so our locomotives will sometimes be facing backwards.

Do I need to make reservations to ride the train?

To guarantee your reservation, please visit the tickets page to buy your tickets online at: www.yosemitesteamtrains.com. If you do not have internet access, for the daytime excursions, we suggest that you arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure to buy your tickets. Our Moonlight Special and Melodrama trains require a reservation, book it online or call our ticket office at 559/683-7273.

What is included in the Moonlight Special?

Your evening begins with a BBQ dinner with a choice of New York Steak, chicken, or a vegetarian substitution. The meal is complimented with a summer corn salad, ranch-style beans, grilled French bread, and dessert. Complimentary juice, coffee, and water is offered. There is a bar with sodas, beer, and wine for an additional cost. You will then board the logger steam train for a ride to the campfire sing-a-long program hosted by the Sugar Pine Singers. At the conclusion of the evening, you will re-board the train for a memorable trip up the mountain in the night. The event lasts approximately three hours. Make your reservations now on our website or call our ticket office at 559/683-7273.

How often does the Jenny Railcar run?

YosemiteMountainPic12The railcar schedule varies according to the steam train operation. Typically, the railcar will run an hour prior to the first departure of the day, starting at 9:30am. The railcar will run after the last steam train, depending on necessity.

What else is there to do at the railroad?

There is GOLD in the mountains! Our prospector will show you how to pan for gold and you keep the gold. We also have the Thornberry Museum with a glance of logging camp life at the turn of the century. At the station, we have cold drinks, sandwiches, hot dogs, along with delicious snacks and gift shop. Visit the bookstore for a collection of historical titles and railroad literature.

How far away is the railroad located from town?

We are located along Highway 41, about 15 minutes driving time from Oakhurst, or one hour from River Park in Fresno.

What are your hours of operation?

Our schedule runs from March through October. Please look at the schedules page for our current times. We usually open at 9:30am and the first train is at 11am.

Ticket Prices

Jenny Railcars

Adult $18.00
Children (3-12) $9.00

Logger Steam Train

Adult $21.00
Children (3-12) $10.50
*Wheelchair Accessible

YosemiteMountainPic9Moonlight Special

Adult $55.00
Children (3-12) $27.50
March

JENNY RAILCARS
Daily beginning the 17th
10am-2pm Every half hour

April

JENNY RAILCARS
Daily 9:30am-2:30pm Every half hour
Schedule varies according to Steam Train Operation

LOGGER STEAM TRAIN
Sat. & Sun. – 11am & 12:30pm
Mon. – Fri.
2nd–13th – 11am
Closed Easter Sunday

May

JENNY RAILCARS
Daily 9:30am-3:30pm Every half hour
Schedule varies according to Steam Train Operation

LOGGER STEAM TRAIN
Sat. & Sun. – 11am & 12:30pm
Mon. – Fri. 11am

MOONLIGHT SPECIAL
Saturday Nights Beginning the 26th – 6:30pm

June
JENNY RAILCARS
Daily 9:30am-3:30pm Every half hour
Schedule varies according to Steam Train Operation

LOGGER STEAM TRAIN
Sat. & Sun. – 11am, 12:30pm, & 2pm

YosemiteMountainPic13Mon. – Fri. 11am
Beginning 11th, – 11am & 12:30pm

MOONLIGHT SPECIAL
Saturday Nights & Wednesday Nights
Beginning the 6th – 6:30pm

July
JENNY RAILCARS
Daily 9:30am-3:30pm Every half hour
Schedule varies according to Steam Train Operation

LOGGER STEAM TRAIN
Sat. & Sun. – 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm & 3:30pm

Mon. – Fri.
11am, 12:30pm & 2pm

MOONLIGHT SPECIAL
Every Wednesday and Saturday Night 6:30pm

MELODRAMA
July 15th – 6:30pm

August
JENNY RAILCARS
Daily 9:30am-3:30pm Every half hour
Schedule varies according to Steam Train Operation

LOGGER STEAM TRAIN
Sat. & Sun. – 11am,12:30pm, & 2pm
Mon. – Fri.
1st-10th – 11am, 12:30pm & 2pm
13th-31st – 11am & 12:30pm

MOONLIGHT SPECIAL
Saturday and Wednesday Nights 6pm

MELODRAMA
August 12th – 6pm

September

JENNY RAILCARS
Daily 9:30am-3pm Every half hour
Schedule varies according to Steam Train Operation

LOGGER STEAM TRAIN
Sat. & Sun. 11am, 12:30pm & 2pm
Mon. – Fri. 11am

MOONLIGHT SPECIAL
Saturday Nights – 5:30pm

October

JENNY RAILCARS
DAILY 10am-2pm Every half hour
Schedule varies according to Steam Train Operation

LOGGER STEAM TRAIN
Sat. & Sun 11am & 12:30pm
Wednesdays 11am

MOONLIGHT SPECIAL
Saturday the 11th – 5pm

All schedules are weather permitting. Please call for Off-season train schedules.Schedule and motive power subject to change without notice. The logger steam train is wheelchair accessible.

Visit us for Yosemite Park, locomotives, log trains, logger steam train, Jenny railcars, field trip special, Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company, wood burning Shay locomotives, Westside Lumber company.

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