Sierra Seminar 2023

On April 23, Keiji and I attended this year’s Sierra Seminar hosted by the newly-formed Tuolumne Historical Railroad Society (THRA) at the Tuolumne County Senior Center. This year, there were presentations that covered not only current and historical facts but also preservation efforts regarding the Sierra Railway. Perhaps the best update from the Seminar was the revelation that Sierra No. 3 will return to service soon (following its 1472-day inspection)!

For more information on future Sierra Seminars, please visit the official THRA website here: https://tuolumnerailroad.org/

My East Coast Art Exhibit

From October 18-24, my family and I flew to Pennsylvania to participate in the American Society of Railway Artists (ASRA)’ “Artists-in-Residence” event at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg. At the museum, we met and got to know people like the museum’s director, Patrick Morrison, the ASRA’s director, James Porterfield, and fellow guest artist Gilbert Bennett. I cannot thank everyone involved with this special occasion enough, for it was an honor to participate. I hope to see you all again in the future!

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Strasburg, Pennsylvania
With Mr. Patrick Morrison, the museum’s director,
With Mr. James Porterfield, the ASRA’s director,
With Mr. Gilbert Bennett, a fellow guest artist
Sketching the John Bull in the museum.

New Art “Arriving at Calico Depot”

Locomotive No. 340, the “Green River,” arrives at the Calico Depot after completing a trip around the heart of Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. Originally No. 400, this 1881 Baldwin-built C-19 Class Consolidation originally worked on the Denver & Rio Grande Western Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado and New Mexico. It was one of two locomotives purchased by Walter Knott for operational use on what would become the Ghost Town & Calico Railroad, which opened in 1952. 70 years since its opening, this railroad remains one of the park’s signature attractions.

Ken Muramoto © Watercolor/Acrylic, 11×14 inches, September 2022

My Great Western “Steam Up” Experience

From July 1-4, the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, Nevada, hosted the Great Western Steam Up to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad’s completion. My family and I were fortunate enough to visit this once-in-a-lifetime event with many visiting locomotives on the property. My brother and I had the rare opportunity to ride on Coach 4 pulled by the “Inyo,” and I cosplayed as Secret Service Agent James T. West from the classic TV series, “The Wild, Wild West” (1965-69), in addition to meeting new friends in person for the first time!

Remembering Craig Miller

I just learned that my friend Craig Miller had passed away in September of this year according to the Golden State Toy Train Operators’ newsletter. I have known Craig since 2014 when I met him at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History‘s toy train exhibit. He shared with my brother and I a passion for model trains and an ever-enthusiastic outlook on life that was truly inspiring and one that helped him persevere in the face of his declining health in his later years. He was such a generous and giving soul who not only helped build my O-gauge collection but was a dear friend whom I shall truly miss.

New Art: “28 at Bell Mooney Rd.”

Sierra Railway No. 28 crosses Bell Mooney Rd. with an excursion train in tow on her way back to Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown, California. This 2-8-0 Consolidation was built by Baldwin in 1922 and was used during the construction of the Don Pedro and O’Shaughnessy Dams before being reassigned to handle freight traffic between Oakdale and Jamestown. Throughout her lifetime, No. 28 has pulled freight and railfan excursion trains, along with occasional movie and television appearances. After being taken out of service in 2009, the locomotive returned to operation in June of 2019, following a six-year rebuild from 2013 to 2019.

Ken Muramoto © Colored pencils/Acrylic, 9 x 12 inches,

September 2021

Ken’s Art Exhibit “American Trains” at the Hotel Paradox, Santa Cruz. Dec. 11 – Jan. 6

Thirty-two of Ken Muramoto’s original American train arts will be displayed at the Hotel Paradox, Santa Cruz during this holiday season. This exhibit include a recently completed canvas piece entitled “From Sea to Shining Sea“. Ken was the featured artist for the 2015 and 2016 Orchard Supply Hardware® Train Calendars and the youngest artist for the train calendars’ 41 year history. He is a member of the American Society of Railway Artists. Currently Ken participates in the Claraty Arts Project in Santa Cruz, CA, who organized this exhibition.

New Art: “From Sea to Shining Sea”

Traveling across the United States, the 1947-1949 American Freedom Train runs past several of this country’s historic cities, landmarks, and breathtaking landscapes. It has been updated to feature emblems and insignias representing the important issues from the unprecedented year of 2020.

Ken Muramoto ©. Acrylic on Canvas. 24 x 48 inches. October 2020

New Art: “Switchback to Bald Knob”

High up in the mountains of West Virginia, there is a logging railroad that carried spruce and hemlock for the West Virginia Spruce Lumber Co. The Cass Scenic Railroad operates historic geared locomotives up the steep grades of the Back Allegheny Mountain to the summit of Bald Knob. Here, Shay No. 5 awaits clearance at a switchback. The No. 5 is the world’s oldest operating Shay and is West Virginia’s official state locomotive.

Ken Muramoto ©. Watercolor/Acrylic. 11 x 14 inches. November 2020