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Resting in the community park in Ione, California, is old No. 7, affectionately known as “Iron Ivan,” the last steam engine that served on the Amador Central Railroad. At the southern edge of town, one can glimpse the rails it once rode. Built in 1904, the Amador Central Railroad―a 12-mile, standard-gauge short line that snakes its way through the Sierra Nevada foothills from Ione to Martell―served both passengers and freighters for a century until 2004. It was said to be the slowest line in California, with over 75 curves and a grade of four percent in some places. In 2010, Sierra Pacific Industries sold the railroad to a nonprofit consortium to preserve the historic line.


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