Deborah Coleen Cook announces the release of her new book, a history of the Amador Central Railroad

In her latest book, Deborah takes her readers on a journey through the 100 year history of the Amador Central Railroad, from its beginnings in 1904 to the last run in 2004, and the saving of the railroad from destruction by preservationists.
By: Deborah Coleen Cook
Oct. 14, 2011 - PRLog -- For 100 years the Amador Central Railroad carried passengers, gold, lumber, and other frieght from Ione to Martell, California, in the rural California gold country.  In 2004, the line, then owned by Sierra Pacific Industries, was abandoned and destined to be demolished, forever erasing the intriguing history of this facinating shortline.  However, through the efforts of a group of dedicated preservationists, the railroad was saved.  This book tells the history of the Amador Central, its many ups and downs, and the famous and infamous people associated with it.

The Amador Central Railroad snakes it way through the picturesque rolling oak woodlands in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  With over 75 curves, it is known as one of the curviest and steepest shortlines in the United States, climbing nearly 1,244 feet in just 12 short miles.

Construction of the line was no easy task.  Sinking clay banks, solid rock, and steep gullies, presented difficult challenges for the 500 workmen and nearly as many horses and mules that completed the job.  Workers went on strike for higher wages, railbeds were washed away, and equiptment broke down; however, despite all these difficulties the line was completed in less that a year with nearly half the work being completed during the winter months.

Once completed the Amador Central, connected the interior of Amador County to the outside world, via the Amador Branch railroad built by the Central Pacific Company.  That line stretched from Ione to Galt in the Sacramento Valley where it connected to the Central Pacific main line.  The new Amador Central brought an economic boom to Amador County.  Merchants received freight in a more timely manner and passengers were offered special fares to Oakland and San Francisco.  Gold was transported to the San Francisco mint via train eliminating the opportunity for highwaymen to rob the stagecoaches.  In short, the railroad brought new life into the region.

This 128 page narrative, with over 200 historic photographs, takes the reader on a journey along the rails, while detailing, the people and events that succeeded in bringing Amador's dream of a railroad to fruition.  The story highlights the locomotives used on the line, the repeated failure and saving of the railroad by local businessmen, its contribution to the war effort during World War II, nefarious persons associated with the line, as well as humours ancedotes.  The last chapter of the book tells the story of how the railroad was saved from destruction by the dedication of local preservationists and the generousity of Sierra Pacific Industries and how it is being used today for recreational railroading.

Take a sneak peek between the covers through a slide show at

The book can be purchased from the author Deborah Coleen Cook through her online store, or by contacting her via email at

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Time Detective Research Services is a full service historic research company. Owner and principal Deborah Collen Cook is also the author of local history books. We also provide educational services and presentations on California gold rush history, genealogy, and research methodology.
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Tags:Amador Central Railroad, History, Gold Mining, Locomotive, Railroading, California, Lumber, Logging, Central Pacific
Location:Sutter Creek - California - United States
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