Motorcars, Speeders and Railcars

By Wayne Parsons

Ione Rail Fair 2007 - Amador Foothill Railroad

May 12 & 13, 2007 - Presented By

Recreational Railroad Coalition, Inc - Larry Bowler, President

Motorcar Operators West - Dave Balestreri, Meet Coordinator

Participants Line Up

If you have a photo you'd like included, please e-mail me at the address below.

Meet Coordinator - Dave Balestreri in his MT-14 with a Toma style doors and cab end.  Dave also handles track maintenance for the Amador Foothill Railroad.  Wife Carol helped with the paper work and set-on.

Bill Rust and passengers in a nicely restored S2.


Tom Correa from Jackson, CA operates this MT-14L with a Honda engine.

William & Linda Owen from Half Moon Bay, CA operate this two man Beaver car from the CN.  William has added additional diesel fuel tanks on the rear of the cab behind the open door.


We're really glad to see Todd Hill and his MT14-M with a sunroof!

Charles & Gabrielle Shearon  ride this beautifully restored MT14 with a Les King turntable. 


William Bingman works for the UP supervising special moves of very heavy items.  He laughs at the idea that he is paying to ride on a railroad! This MT14-M car came from a former member.

Your web reporter Wayne Parsons' car is this Missouri-Pacific MT14-M. It is Fairmont car #2544, and thus was manufactured earlier than the UP car left.  Nancy Parsons has on her coat for the night run.


Bev and Roy Gammill's car was originally a CN fiberglass body MT-19.  Roy has added frame extensions and a large Toma cab from Les King. 

But, it's not a 14; it's a STRETCH 19!

Bob & Barbara Piacentini from El Dorado Hills, CA operate this MT14-L with rear panel from Les King.






Jennifer & Kim Robinson from Silver Springs, NV on their M9.  Cloie, the dog, hates to ride inside their other car, a MT-19 (too noisy), but loves this open car.

Rob Finch, and his dog Bandit, operating a very rare Sheffield 40B.  In ten years in the hobby, this is only the second time your reporter has ever seen one operating.  The enclosure between the seats is Bandit's house.


John Schubert from Guerneville, CA operates this MT19 that evokes the SP cab-forward locomotives.
Rod Whitney's police car lights added attention to the group when crossing the roads.

Dave Lake from Newcastle, CA operates a MT-14 with a Toma cab.  Note the lever at the rear of the door used to release the door when moving.
Aron Kahn from San Luis Obispo, CA operates this MT-19.  On the window is the inspection sticker from set-on.

Tom & Kathy Manoff from San Cruz, CA operate this MT14-M with chrome wheels!  It's not hard to tell which road this car came from.

Ric Masten from Stockton, CA operates this S2 open car.


Rich Corbell from Colma, CA had this streetcar inspired cab custom made for this A-4 with a turntable.  All of Rich's passengers, and many riders in the other cars too, made donations to the RRC with the money used for ongoing restoration and maintenance efforts on the Amador Foothill RR.  Nancy Parsons checks out the plush interior with bench seats.

Clem Meier from Citrus Heights, CA operates this MT14L.  Note the long rail skid that goes from front to rear of the car. 

This 20 passenger Skagit car, from the Folsom, El Dorado & Sacramento Historical Railroad Association, operated in the yard.  See their web page at


Fred & Sue Dorman from Valley Springs, CA ran this MT-19 on the Saturday morning run and then set-off.  Note the custom covers for the windows to prevent rock chips when towing.
NARCOA President Pat Coleman came but did not run.  He had appointments with two people interested in the hobby and brought his car to show them.
Feather River Rail Society - Portola

This was the "pay car" on the Hetch Hetchy Railroad used for the O'Shaughnessy Dam construction.  That railroad was removed after dam construction was complete in 1923.  A man, whose land the line had crossed, asked for the car.  It was re-discovered years later under a huge pile of bramble bushes. 

This turn around pad has been installed by the RRC to facilitate motorcar operations.


Grant Vogel is the Road Master for the Amador Foothill RR making this MT19 a frequent sight on the turn-around pad.
Tony Queirolo from Lathrop, CA operates this S2.  It is a just completed 30 year long restoration project!

Lora Change, this car's owner, loves the authentic "rail" look and won't paint it.  (I agree!)  The name Gibby #1 was put there by a road master to designate his favorite car.
Roy Richey from Virginia City, NV has this MT19 with track inspection window.

Paul Zaro rides this M9, one of his many cars.  He has installed two gas tanks.
Steve and Sharon Paoletti from Acampo, CA operate this MT-19.  Note the locomotive style mirrors. 

Dell McCall has this MT-19 car, with Les King turntable, for sale at $4,500.  He's building up a MT-14.
Bill Corzine from Pine Grove, CA walks his MT-19 forward to the turn-around pad.  Thank you John Perry for this photo.

Jim Culbertson, from Courtland CA, operates this 1953 Fairmont M19 with an ROC engine.  The car was formerly owned by Walter Gray who acquired the car when he was 16 in 1968 from the Boston and Maine (#588).  Jim found the unknown vintage automobile headlights in an barn on his ranch.


Riding with Jim on Saturday morning is Bo Grebitus (above) making his first speeder run. Jim's wife Judy Culbertson ran the night run. The small generator under the operators' seat powers the headlights.  Jim, thank you for the two photos of your car.

This fire truck operated in the 30's on the San Diego & Arizona Eastern, a desert line that crossed through Mexico and then back into California.  The truck was on display at this event courtesy of the California State Railroad Museum. 

This operating kerosene switch lantern, and one other like it, was on display during the rail fair courtesy of Larry Shaw.  If you walked around the yard Saturday night you would have seen it lit.

Charles Shearon sent the two photos above.  When explaining the hobby to someone who has never seen a speeder I often get the "Oh! you mean like..." and then they do a pumping motion as if working the hand car on the left.  Not quite I go on to explain.  On the right is a one man railway velocipede.  I believe the gripping handles at two different heights on the vertical lever are used based on the speed of travel.  The grips at the top are used to get more leverage when starting and the lower grips are used to stay in motion but without having to move your arms as much.  Charles, thank you for the photos!

Click here for more photos of this Amador Foothill RR Run


During the days of the 1849 Gold Rush, the miners knew the town of Ione by the names of "Bedbug" and "Freezeout," probably due to the living conditions. After 1850 the mean return for mining was only about $2 a day per man.  The supply center and stage stop of Ione turned to saloonkeeping, merchandising, hauling, farming, banking, and building churches.  Thus it continued to grow and prosper and is the largest city in Amador County with the local economy now based on two nearby state prisons.

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Your Web Reporter: Wayne Parsons

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