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Tracy F.


Tracy F. 2 years ago

Five Reasons To Visit the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento

ONE: See how people traveled before there were cars! The California State Railroad Museum is a very important part of California’s state park system because it connected California to the rest of the nation in the late 1800s. Stand in the shadow of a 150-year-old, 40-ton monument to innovation, engineering and history. Take a ride along the rails that played a key role in the development of the Golden State. See the history of the California railways come to life in engaging exhibits and dioramas. A visit to the California State Railroad Museum is a not-to-be-missed experience for persons of all ages.  

TWO: Go LOCO as you ride behind a vintage steam or diesel locomotive along the Sacramento River Train Excursion Season! Every weekend through Oct. 1, ride an immaculately restored, vintage steam or historic diesel locomotive on the Sacramento Southern Railroad. Now in its 34th consecutive season, this 45-minute ride is a real treat for rail fans of all ages. Train rides include closed coach cars and a first-class observation car pulled by either the Granite Rock No. 10 steam locomotive or a vintage diesel locomotive from the Museum’s collection. 

THREE: Kids can earn a “Junior Engineer” degree in just one day! Pint-sized visitors get a pre-printed guide filled with fun, educational activities and a list of questions and assignments to complete as they explore the museum. Answers are found by touring the Museum with their families, talking with Museum staff and volunteers and/or reading exhibit information. Once finished, they bring the completed guide to the Museum front desk, take the Junior Engineer pledge and receive a Junior Engineer Certificate of Completion to take home. 

FOUR: See one of the most unique toy train collections in the world. Accumulated over four decades by the family of Thomas W. Sefton of San Diego, a passionate rail fan and frequent visitor to the Museum, this very special collection includes fascinating railroad-related artifacts, vintage marketing and advertising posters and images, plus more than 7,000 toy trains and accessories. At any given time the gallery showcases approximately 1,000 vintage toy trains, six interactive displays and a magnificent operating toy train layout featuring lights and sounds, villages, bridges, tunnels and beautiful landscapes. A variety of riding toys, locomotives and railroad cars are on display from companies including American Flyer, Buddy L, Ives, Lionel, Marklin and Marx. 

FIVE: Tour the Pullman type sleeper car and Cochiti dining car and experience what it was like to take a long train ride in the 1930s. These two special railroad cars are not to be missed! The 1937 dining car Cochiti traveled once a week between Chicago and Los Angeles in less than 40 hours. Guests can see its fully restored kitchen with “chef” and “server” on duty, as well as a stunning display of place settings showcasing more than 20 railroad china patterns. A gently rocking Pullman style sleeping car simulates the lights, sights and sounds of an overnight excursion, with “guests” in their sleeping quarters behind red velvet curtains.