THERE ARE VERY FEW STRUCTURES OR PIECES OF equipment remaining from the Yosemite Valley Railroad, now nearly 60 years after its abandonment. A summary of the remains (starting at El Portal and working backwards) is as follows:
bulletAt El Portal - The National Park Service at one time planned an extensive transportation museum for El Portal. This dream never came true but the NPS did relocate the station and water tanks from Bagby to El Portal prior to the inundation of the town of Bagby in the early 1960s as a result of the construction of a higher dam at Exchequer. They also purchased and moved Caboose No. 15 to El Portal for display. In 2006, the Yosemite Fund provided funding to restore Caboose 15 after decades of neglect. I was able to assist in this project through paint research and selection and through the preparation of full-size stencils for the lettering. A group of YV fans also spent a weekend helping the NPS paint the caboose.  The Yosemite Fund also provided funding to rebuild the turntable at El Portal. The project utilized the spider and hardware from the Bagby turntable which had also been moved to El Portal in the early 1960s. I was honored to be able to assist in this project through the preparation of CAD drawings for the new turntable. In addition to the NPS display items, there are still three YV company houses in El Portal; although they have been extensively remodeled, they are east of the Post Office on the north side of the road. (The building opposite the Post Office is not a railroad building but was the Standard Oil office and residence while the railroad was in operation.) Behind the Standard gas station is the concrete slab which was on the north side of the Train Shed; this was where stages lined up to take visitors to the park. (Speeder M-16 is also here if you can find it in the storage area.) Finally, the old YV Transportation Building which was built by the railroad in Yosemite Valley is now on display in the Pioneer Village at Wawona.
bulletAt Emory - Emory is downstream from South Fork on the north side of the Merced River. Until the January 1997 floods, there was a bridge over the river at this location. Emory was the location of a limestone quarry operation until 1944; crushed limestone was transported by the YVRR from here to Merced where it was used to manufacture Yosemite Portland Cement. There are a number of buildings still at Emory which, although not railroad buildings, where there during operation of the railroad. These include the two white "hotels" or boarding houses and several minor buildings. However, one YV building still exists here -- the old YV freighthouse. It has been moved from its original location and is now hidden by the trees from the highway on the southside of the river.
bulletMerced River canyon - Highway 140 parallels the YV from El Portal to Briceburg (at the bottom of the grade from Midpines/Mariposa). Look across the river along this section of highway and you can see the foundations of a number of railroad bridges. Until the January 1997 floods, several of these bridges were fairly intact. However, all but a couple are now gone.
bulletAt Bagby - In addition to the water tank which has been relocated to El Portal, the YV also had a water plug at Bagby. The water plug was left in place after the abandonment and the flooding of Bagby in the early 1960s. Until a few years ago, it could still be seen if the water level in McClure Reservoir was low enough at the end of the summer. It has now been removed. There are, however, some building foundations still visible under low water conditions.
bulletAt Exchequer - The remains of the steel water tank which was at Merced Falls is located above the homes and buildings at the foot of the dam backing up McClure Reservoir. However, only Merced Irrigation District employees are permitted into this area. As described on the page on Tracing the YV, you can also still see a couple of railroad tunnels in the Exchequer area.
bulletMerced Falls - After abandonment of the YV, at least one of the two steel turntables was sold to Mariposa County for use as a rural road bridge. The Merced Falls turntable still fulfills this need, serving as a bridge over Mariposa Creek on White Rock Road. The turntable has been mounted upside down on a pair of concrete bridge abutments. There are also some foundations from the lumber mill in Merced Falls but these are on private property.
bulletCaboose No. 16 (remains) - YV caboose No. 16 was sold by the YV and later used on the California Central Traction. It was eventually acquired by the Stockton, Terminal and Eastern Railroad. Several years ago, vandals burned the superstructure on the car, leaving only the frame and trucks. These remains, together with a steam locomotive, were eventually gifted to the Sacramento Railroad Museum. The caboose frame and trucks were later sold to the SilverBend Farm in Clarksburg near Freeport, California.
bulletRPO No. 107 - The Yosemite Valley Railroad purchased RPO No. 107 in 1938 from the Texas and New Orleans Railroad to replace combination car 105 (destroyed in a 1937 fire). In 1946, the RPO car was sold to the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. Upon abandonment of the V&T, the car was acquired by the A.D. Schader Company. It is now owned by the Pacific Locomotive Association (PLA) in Fremont, California who restored the exterior of the car back to its YV appearance many years ago. The car was used in PLA operations at Point Richmond for several years. It is currently stored in  the PLA Brightside yard in Niles Canyon (Fremont). Here is a page of additional information on RPO 107. Along with some modeling information, it includes photos of the prototype both while in service and as it exists today.
bulletLocomotive No. 29 - After abandonment, YV No. 29 was sold to a railroad in Mexico and continued to be operated for many years. It has now been cosmetically restored and is on display in Vera Cruz, Mexico.
bulletObservation No. 330 - After abandonment of the YV, Observation No. 330 was sold to the Yreka Western Railroad in Yreka, California. It later became a traditional "roadside" diner in Yreka. Several years ago, the diner was closed and the car was given to the City of Yreka. It has since been acquired by Wes Swift who is restoring the car to operating condition as described on his website. The car is currently at the PLA Brightside yard of the Niles Canyon Railway and parked next to YV RPO No. 107.
bulletBoxcar 609 - Finally, box car 609, the only remaining YV freight car known to exist has been discovered.

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