In the very last segment of this video (which I haven't seen until today) is a RR cut that is right where my brother Mike lived for many years until he bought a place on the river just a mile further down.
The entire operation of taking sugar pines from the ridge above El Portal on loaded flatcars and using their weight and some judicious braking by the man on the cable controls at the hilltop shed to bring up an empty car is shown very clearly.
Patrick Karnahan and his boys played here in Merced last in about 1996 and most of our guild went to see them as we had been doing our Renaissance thing briefly at the Celtic Faire at Sonora. We all got CDs.
He's a fine musician but this is the first I've seen of his splendid talent for painting. The apparent historical accuracy (I know nothing about trains, but these locations are very familiar) is fun to look at.
The Wizard of Oz was done partly in B/W and color and that was in 1939.
Those logs were felled in the forest way away from the summit, or apparent summit, of the ridge, near the S. Fork of the Tuolumne by Sunset Inn on Hardin Flat Rd., for instance. Those big-ass logs, or ones like them, were then hauled out on small flats by Shay engines on narrow-guage tracks. The logs were then transferred, I think, to the larger-guage flatcars for the ride down the incline and on to the mill pond at Merced Falls.
There was a similar operation on the south side prior to this, taking sugar pine out of the vicinity of Yosemite West, but they were outlawed, and so they had to head to the north side of the river, where the Park Service had no say.