Community Unity
A secular public forum

Year At A Glance

Each Sunday through August
1st & 3rd Sundays in September and October
"Train Of Lights", TBA.

2009 Sunday Excursions

February  1, 15
March 1, 15
April  5, 12, 19, 26
May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
June  7, 14, 21, 28
July  5, 12, 19, 26
Aug. 2,9,16,23,30
Sept. 6, 20
October  4,18
November*   —
December*   —
* (No daytime trains)
Dates in blue should operate Steam

Hello Townies and Train Lovers
Hello Townies and Train Lovers, Uncle Niles Wants You!! The Golden Spike program creates crews of train lovin' docents every Sunday, to hang out in Niles and be nice to riders and say trucker stuff on walkie-talkies.  For volunteering just one Sunday, Docents get amazing karma and amazing loot - a Golden Spike shirt, steam train tix, silent film tix, a key to the city, etc. We're now filling crews for the whole year, pick any Sunday through November - we can use you. Below is the gist and spirit of what the docents are doing - be a Golden Spiker and usher in a new era to Niles. Uncle Niles Wants You!! Sincerely, Michael McNevin Golden Spike Docent Coordinator  510 794-9935

Volunteers Needed
The Golden Spike Docent Program is a welcome wagon of train lovin' locals who greet, inform, and befriend the train riders coming to Niles. For helping on just ONE SUNDAY a year on one of two shifts (10:00am-1:15pm, or 1:00pm-4:15pm), all Train Docents get: Golden Spike Tee Shirt Steam Train Tickets (day time passes only, good for 2006) Silent Film Tickets at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Theater and Museum Other Stuff I Haven't Thought Of Yet A Smile When Someone Says "Wow, what a town!" What is a Train Docent, and what do they do "all the live long day"? (...well, it's not all day, it's just a 3 hour shift!) Train docents are nice. They carry a walkie-talkie & say trucker stuff. They point folks to town, to the NCR Steam Train - "go this way". They point to the Peerless Bus Shuttle Stops - "go that way". They point out shops & restaurants & activities & interesting clouds. They brag about our silent films, our flea market, our parades. They are proud of our school, our little league, our flag pole. They get along with kids, hicks, artists, the rich, the poor, & puppies. They think bikers aren1t so bad & the old jail house has a nice planter box. They follow rules, & carry maps and sun screen in their apron pockets. They like people, they like trains... they like train people. They like being on their feet when they aren1t sitting down. They can see a train a mile away, & they can spot all the lost people. They add character and charm to a place full of character and charm. To Be A Golden Spike Docent Call:  (510) 494-1411   Write:

To Be A Golden Spike Docent
Call:  (510) 494-1411   Write:

the Golden Spike III Celebration - April 9th, 2006
Niles Canyon Railway, Boarding in Niles! “Golden Spike III” – Big Train in a Small Town. Beginning in April, the steam trains come every Sunday! (with Double The Trains through April and May for the wildflower runs). On Sunday, April 9th, witness the grand opening celebration of the Niles Canyon Railway boarding area. Our “Golden Spike III” celebration ushers in a new era to this charming old town. Bring your family, ride the train, be a part of history! The Golden Spike III Celebration goes from 10am to 4pm, with activities throughout downtown Niles - Live Music, Art Walk, Street Performers, Gun Fighters of The Old West, Sidewalk Sale, a Silent Film, and elaborate Model Train displays. And of course - Vintage locomotives departing from Niles all day, towing train lovers on round trip rides through scenic Niles Canyon. At 11:15, a Pacific Locomotive Association steamer will come into downtown, dignitaries and townies will watch a train crew drive a golden spike into the tracks, a band will play, a ribbon will break, the whistle will blow, and we go into the wild blue yonder. The celebration will end at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum & Theater with a special 2:30 PM showing of “The Iron Horse” (ca.1924), a silent film directed by John Ford. This epic film is about the building of the transcontinental railroad, and will feature live piano accompaniment by Jon Mirsalis. The Niles Canyon Railway Boarding Area is located at the Sullivan Underpass and Mission blvd in the historic Niles district of Fremont (next to the hills). The Essanay Silent Film Museum & Theater is in downtown Niles at 37417 Niles Blvd. Train riders are encouraged to park in the downtown parking lots on Niles Blvd and walk to the boarding area through the underpass (give yourselves 10 minutes for the walk). Riders may also catch an antique “Niles Coach Lines” bus to the boarding area via two bus stops downtown, courtesy of the Pacific Bus Museum. Look for the Golden Spike Volunteers to point you to the trains and other activities around Niles. For the uninitiated; Niles Canyon was the last (or next to last) link completed on the transcontinental (yes, even after Promontory, Utah). A major railroad hub, it also became a silent film mecca in the early 1900’s; Broncho Billy, Ben Turpin, and Charlie Chaplin all shot films in Niles, including Chaplin’s signature film “The Tramp”. The trains are back, the tramps never left, the town is in for a revival. More info on the trains and the Golden Spike Docent Volunteer Program, visit:, go to the communities section, and click on “Golden Spike”. Also go to for the Niles Canyon Railway operations web site and up to date schedules.

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