Julian Railroad owners put historic tracks up for sale

Owners plan to retire and write children's books
Posted at 1:04 PM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 16:21:32-04

JULIAN, Calif. (KGTV) — For more than a decade, Greg and Lisa Smith have welcomed thousands of visitors to their Julian home for a ride through history.

"We met people from all over the world," says Greg Smith. "For a time we were on the top 10 list of things to do all over San Diego County."

Smith built the train from 2004 to 2007, laying all the steel track by hand, and putting train cars together. All told, he's got seven locomotive engines and 22 cars.

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From 2007 to 2015, the Smith Ranch and Julian Railroad became a staple for tourists, school field trips and locals. They'd get a ride around the ranch and a tour of the gold mine on the property.

"I think we had over 80,000 people come through here," he says.

But now, it's time for Smith to stop working on the railroad. He plans to retire to write children's books. So the train is for sale. All of it.

"I hope it can go into somebody’s hands who enjoys an adventure, is creative, entrepreneurial, that they can build whatever they want to build," he says.

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The engines, cars, and a mile of the track are up for sale. Whoever buys it will have to take it off the property, which the Smiths aren't selling.

"It was time," says Lisa Smith. "All our help grew up, graduated from college and moved away!"

The Smiths will keep the memories, like when their daughter got engaged under the bridge. They'll also keep a few feet of track and a couple of mine carts.

The Smiths don't know what the railroad is worth, but they're building a website to let people look at it.

In the meantime, the railroad is closed to the public. They only run the train for family and special events.

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