There are dozens of train museums and clubs that work to restore historic trains in California. Some of the trains are available for rides and those are the trains that kids really enjoy.
Photographing a train usually requires standing back a distance (unless it is a small model train.) Trains create a variety of moods in pictures, depending on the existing light. At sunset when the colors are orange- red, the colors of the train against the sky are really quite beautiful, especially on vintage trains.