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Steam Era
Logging Railroads

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Northwest Pacific

Rails to the
Redwood Empire

Northwestern Pacific

Rails to the Redwood Empire, originally released in 1991, is a pictorial history of the steam era on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, which featured four distinct modes of transportation. The early, pre-1900 period was mostly narrow gauge, depicted in archival “then and now” photos.  Marin County’s aquatic separation from San Francisco spawned an efficient paddle-wheel ferry service, dating back to 1868; and its development Southern Pacificas a bedroom community and resort area fostered an electrified third rail commuter service in 1902.  These operations are shown in separate sections.  Commencing with the 1914 gold spike ceremonies, the main line from Marin to Eureka and major branches are covered in detail.  The complexity of this relatively small railroad, which has intrigued generations of fans, is well-captured in these vintage films.


  • California Western’s Skunk trains and homely little railcars connect Willits to Fort Bragg, on the coast.  All four cars and both locomotives 45 and 46 are shown.
  • Scenes from the catastrophic 1964 Eel River flood convey the devastating power of the roaring water.
  • Views of the “Redwood”, as the last locomotive hauled passenger train, and the replacement RDC are shown.
  • Prior to abandonment of the once busy line from Detour to Sausalito,  switcher #1000 makes a last run to the historic port.

104 minutes • DVD Only • Order #20-RE
Mostly Color with narration and full sound track

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Southern Pacific | White Pass & Yukon | NorthwesternPacific
Sierra Shortline | Niles Canyon
| Niles Canyon | Western Pacific
West Side | Pickering's Sugar Pine | Calif. North Coast
El Dorado | A Rough Cut Life | West Coast Railroad Logging

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