History of the Tuolumne & Sierra Foothill Railroad
A brief history
The T&SF was born out of a period of empire building by a number of larger railroads as they struggled for control of the rich Sierra mining and lumber markets in the late 1800's. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe had sought for a toehold in the region and managed to develop a branch line from their new north-south artery in the San Joaquin valley east through the rolling foothills to the town of Sutter (Jamestown in the prototype). From Sutter the line branched out to serve the communities of Angels Camp to the north and Tuolumne to the east, both reached by a maze of tunnels, twists, and trestles as the line ascended into the rugged Sierras.
Not long after completing the branch lines, the AT&SF concluded that they had overextended themselves after a couple of rough seasons of costly maintenance of these lines. This realization, along with increased competition from the other major railroads, principally the Southern Pacific, lead the AT&SF to sell off these branch lines. The SP acquired the line from the central valley to Sutter, which was incorporated into their growing network throughout the state. The branch lines from Sutter to the higher Sierras were purchased lock, stock and barrel by a team of local philanthropist/ entrepreneurs. These gentlemen renamed the line the Tuolumne & Sierra Foothill or T&SF, which just happened to be AT&SF with the A painted over, making for a speedy transition.
This sets the stage for our current operation, set in first decade (more or less) of the twentieth century. The local economy is doing well and the future looks as bright as the gold bullion that is shipped over the line.