November 26, 2009


I hope everyone is looking forward to a great Thanksgiving with family and friends tomorrow. As I consider this past year since last November, I can think of much pertaining to the railroad we have to be thankful for: donations of new rolling stock, museum artifacts, and shop equipment, progress on our excursion proposal, equipment restoration/reconditioning, annual Handcar Derby and Skagit excursions on the Amador Central/Foothills Railroad for the Ione Railfair, our VIP Skagit ecursions on the start-up segment of our line, and new members jumping in where able to support these endeavors and help make the railroad not just a dream, but a reality!

Here are some photos from one of our two weekend workdays this month courtesy of Mark Spellman. I'd like to thank new members Ray Retalick and Dick Rein along with active members Mark Spellman, Ethan Doty, Philip Rose, and Marcus Ferrill for helping out with work on the line this month. Our next regularly scheduled Saturday Workday will be Dec 12th, so please mark you calendar. More details to come.

For over a decade, FEDS volunteers have been working to preserve this uniquely historic line. Their hard work and dedication, giving of talents and countless hours of time, have made possible this opportunity before us to create a recreational railroad that will be a true asset to our community. Please consider how you can assist us in continuing to move ahead. Obviously, workdays on the weekends or weekdays on the track or in the shop are one way, but there is much more to do including volunteer recruitment, marketing, manning the museum, design and construction of facilities and equipment, etc.

Please join me in giving thanks for what has been accomplished thus far and looking forward to what lay ahead...

Happy Thankgiving and Happy Rails,

  (photos courtesy of Mark Spellman)

Eric Olds


November 22, 2009

November 08, 2009

Southern Pacific's Placerville Turn

White Rock Heading West


South Of Placerville

Eastbound at White Rock

(Photos Thanks to Vic Neves)

November 06, 2009

Laying tracks for the future

By Don Chaddock The Telegraph

Philip Wood / The Telegraph
Conductor Doug Fuller, left, and railroad association president Bill Anderson discuss the rest of the tour during a brief stop on a 60-foot-long “open grate” bridge that was constructed in 1913. The local railroad group hopes to restore the tracks so regular excursion runs can be made from Folsom up to Latrobe and eventually Shingle Springs.
A whistle blows and the conductor yells, “All aboard,” on an otherwise quiet day in Folsom near Highway 50.
On board the 72-year-old rail motorcar were representatives of the Clarksville Region Historical Society, members of the Folsom, El Dorado & Sacramento Historical Railroad Association and other interested people all exploring the railroad line that organizers hope can be restored.
The Tuesday, Aug. 25, trip marked the first official run of the Skagit, a 20-person motorized railcar. The purpose of the trip was to make people aware of the potential of the rail line.
“This is historically significant,” said Bill Anderson, president of the local railroad association. “It was built in 1864.”
The organization hopes to start offering excursion runs from Highway 50, behind the new hotel and In-n-Out, to Latrobe and eventually up to Shingle Springs.
Along the two-hour tour, conductor Doug Fuller asked Engineer Bob Morison to stop at certain points so historic landmarks could be pointed out.
Some of those on the trip were impressed.
“What amazes me is this was all done by hand,” said Hal Erpenbeck.
The car rolled along the tracks over bridges and through hills.
“This is the first of two major cuts (along) the route,” Fuller said.
Most of line runs through pastures, over creeks and crosses into El Dorado County.
“Rather idyllic scene, isn’t it?” Fuller said as the car stopped atop an “open-grate” bridge over a creek. The bridge was constructed in 1913 and is 60 feet in length, according to Fuller.
The rail line currently stops at an area that has been washed out.
“It’s not safe to go any farther,” said Fuller.
According to Anderson, the cost to repair that stretch of line is estimated at $70,000.
The organization is working with the Joint Powers Authority, the city of Folsom and organizations throughout the region to help make the new rail line a reality. They also hope to offer a shuttle service from the light rail station in the historic district up to the area near Highway 50.
Pat Thomson,with the Clarksville Region Historical Society based in El Dorado Hills, thoguth the trip was entertaining and informative.
“This is excellent,” she said. “Very excellent. Isn’t it wonderful?”

November 05, 2009

Snow Plow On The Howard Terminal?


Soon the whistle will be blowing and the trains will be running due to the drive of several very dedicated men and women. I know it has been a long road to get to where we are now but I know it has all been worth it. Many of the people involved in this project have donated years of service and have been supported by their families in keeping this vision alive.

There is a lot of life left in these rails and it is very exciting to see brand new ties being put in and the rails beginning to shine. If you have not had a chance to see the beautiful scenery on the line you are in for a very nice surprise. The line makes it's way through the foothills giving view of mountain ranges, creeks, wildlife, forests, vineyards, old ranches, and much more. And there are 35 miles of track still there from Folsom to Placerville. I have been on the entire route and it is awesome!

(Pictures courtesy of Philip Rose)