California Trains
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California Trains Museums


Trains, Trains, Trains in California!

Train museums
 

Orange Empire Railway Museum
2201 South, Perris, California   92572
951-943-3020 

The Orange Empire Railway Museum is a large mainline, interurban, and streetcar museum located in Riverside County. It has a large collection of streetcars including PCC cars from San Diego Electric Railway, Los Angeles Railway (narrow gauge), and San Francisco Municipal Railway. Highlights include MUNI car 1039; the second to last PCC made in the US. The Orange Empire Railway Museum at Perris, CA, is noted for its nice tramway layout and the wealth of preserved (and operable!) tramway equipment.
 
Fullerton Railway Plaza Association
124 East Santa Fe Ave.
Fullerton, California 92832
(714) 278-0648 
 
The Fullerton Railway Plaza Association is dedicated to the preservation of the railroad heritage of Southern California through the creation of a large Interactive Railroad Attraction in the City of Fullerton, California. This facility will be unique in that it will embody many facets of the world of Recreational Railroading, including preservation, restoration, archiving, education, rail fanning, modeling and many other interesting rail oriented activities.
 
California State Railroad Museum
111  I  St.
Sacramento, California 95814
(916) 323-9280 

Located in Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum is a complex of historic facilities and unique attractions. Widely regarded as one of North America's finest and most visited railroad museums, there is something here for everyone! Throughout the year, experience lavishly restored trains, engaging exhibits, and unique special events. Every weekend April-September, ride behind a steam locomotive on the Museum's Sacramento Southern Railroad. The Museum is open daily (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guided tours and interpretive film screenings are offered daily.
 
California Trolley and Railroad Corp.
Address: 1600 Senter Road, San Jose, California   95112
(408)293-2276 
The mission of the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation (CTRC) is to restore, preserve and interpret railroad equipment as it was used to serve the people in Santa Clara Valley, California. The CTRC was formed in December, 1994 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit Califronia Corporation by the merger of the San Jose Trolley Corporation and the Santa Clara Valley Railroad Association. The CTRC has restored and placed back into operation a number of historic trolley cars including one horse drawn street car. Among the many projects underway is the restoration of former Southern Pacific 2479 Baldwin P-10 heavy Pacific (4-6-2).
 Chico Art Center ' Empire Coffee Car
450 Orange St.
Chico, California   95928
530-895-8726 
Located at the historic rail depot in Chico, the Chico Art Center owns, and will operate the rail museum on-board a refurbished (currently in progress) 1947 Pullman car. Built in 1947 by the Pullman Company for the Great Northern Railroad, this coach saw hundreds of thousand miles in its useful life of more than 25 years. Originally built for day/night service, this 48-seat coach served the Minneapolis, Minnesota to Tacoma, Washington route and included reclining seats with footrests. Over the course of their useful lives, railcars went through many changes to meet the demands of the travelers of the time.
 
Golden Gate Railroad Museum
Hunters Point
San Francisco, California  94124
(415) 822-8728 

The Golden Gate Railroad Museum (GGRM) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of steam and passenger railroad equipment, and the interpretation of local railroad history. An authentic working Southern Pacific steam engine is the gem of this popular museum. Aficionados of all ages are welcome to climb aboard to investigate this fascinating piece of machinery. Commute, streamliner, and passenger trains can also be seen. Guided tours are available, as well as Rent-a-Locomotive opportunities for the birthday party of a lifetime!

Goleta Depot and South Coast Railroad Museum
300 North Los Carneros Road
Goleta, California   93117
(805) 964-3540 

The Goleta Depot station, near Santa Barbara, was built in 1901 by the Southern Pacific Railroad. The station was relocated in 1981 to picturesque Lake Los Carneros County Park and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The South Coast Railroad Museum features the restored station interior, landscaped grounds, a yard track with a bay-window caboose  S.P. 4023, the 1/3 mile Goleta Short Line miniature train ride, and a 300-sq-ft HO-scale model railroad that models southern Santa Barbara County. Hours are 1 to 4 pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Lomita Railroad Museum
Woodward Ave & 250 St.
Lomita, California   90717
(310) 326-6255 

Lomita Railroad Museum is dedicated to keeping the spirit of steam-era railroading alive! On display is a Southern Pacific Railroad steam locomotive (1902-1960) and tender. Nearby stand a 1910 Union Pacific caboose and a modern all-steel Santa Fe caboose. The museum is not only educational, it is also fun.
 
Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation
(3230 931-6757 

The Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation  of the Los Angeles Museum of Railroading, a non-profit educational corporation. The Foundation's mission is to diligently preserve and dynamically present the history of railroading in Los Angeles through its three core programs: public outreach, archival preservation, and multiple-media publishing. Each of these programs is interdependent and together they will enable the Foundation achieve its mission.
 
Market Street Railway
870 Market St.
Suite 803
San Francisco, California  94102
(415) 956-0472 

Dedicated to the preservation and operation of historic transit vehicles in San Francisco. Our organization and its members have acquired and donated a number of vintage streetcars, cable cars and buses to the San Francisco Municipal Railway. We educate the public on the historic importance of mass transportation toward maintaining a high quality of urban life in San Francisco. We identify, acquire, and restore additional historic transit vehicles suitable for operation on the San Francisco Municipal Railway.
 

Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad and Transportation Museum
5 Kidder Court
Nevada City, California  95959
(530)470-0902 
ncngrrmuseum.org

Has twenty five pieces of historical railroad equipment that has been restored or are in need of restoration and maintenance. With this type of work, you will have the opportunity to learn how late 1800's and early 1900's narrow gauge
 

Pacific Locomotive Association
(925) 685-9000 
Preserving and presenting Pacific Coast railroad history by way of offering a living museum. They operate historic passenger train service thru Niles Canyon every first and third Sundays of every month
 

Pacific Railroad Museum
P.O. Box 80726, San Marino, California   91118
(213) 283-0087 
is composed of people from all walks of life who share a common interest in railroads. We are one of the oldest and largest independent rail enthusiast organizations in the United States, having an average annual membership of over 650. PRS has acquired a diverse collection of rolling stock. PRS also owns and operates a 1941 General Electric locomotive as well as a 1942 caboose. An establishment of a museum was an important long-term goal of the Society.
 

Portola Railroad Museum
P.O. Box 608, Portola, California   96122
530-832-4131 
At the Portola Railroad Museum in Portola, California! The Run-A-Locomotive program allows you to rent a locomotive and operate it on the museum grounds (under the close supervision of an instructor). The museum is operated by the Feather River Rail Society. The theme of the museum is an operating small railroad locomotive facility typical of the 1940's, 50's and 60's. The museum has 39 locomotives and 98 freight and passenger cars.
 
San Diego Model Railroad Museum
1649 El Prado, San Diego, California   92101
(619) 696-0199 

Located in the heart of Balboa Park, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum (SDMRM) is the world's largest operating model railroad museum. This unique museum has four enormous scale model layouts, built by separate clubs, which depict railroads of the southwest in O, HO and N scales. In addition, the museum features a Toy Train Gallery with an interactive Lionel layout for children; a 3-Rail Hi Rail layout, numerous educational displays, and prototype artifacts, including a centralized traffic control (CTC) machine, working semaphore, and crossing signal.
 

San Diego Railroad Museum
Campo Depot
31123-1/2 Highway 94
Campo, California   91906
(619) 478-9937 

The San Diego Railroad Museum, operated by the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association, is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of railroads as they existed in the Pacific Southwest. The Museum offers an on-line history of railroads in general, with detailed attention paid to the San Diego area and to the San Diego and Arizona Railway in particular.

San Francisco Cable Car Museum
1201 Mason
San Francisco, California  94108
(415) 474-1887 

The cable car was born in San Francisco at four o'clock in the morning on August 2, 1873, when Andrew Smith Hallidie successfully tested the world's first cable car. Operated by the nonprofit  Friends of the Cable Car Museum  the Cable Car Museum provides not only an historical perspective of the importance of the cable car to San Francisco, but an insight into the daily operations of today's system.
 
Santa Clara County Railroad Museum
1600 Senter Road
San Jose, California   95112

The mission of the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation (CTRC) is to restore, preserve and interpret railroad equipment as it was used to serve the people in Santa Clara Valley, California. A major project underway is the creation of the Santa Clara County Railroad Museum.
 

Santa Maria Valley Railway Historical Museum
PO Box 264, Santa Maria, California   93456
(805) 714-4927 
The Santa Maria Valley Railway Historical Museum (SMVRHM), founded as a non-profit, educational museum, is dedicated to the preservation of the railroad heritage of California, the Central Coast, and the Santa Maria Valley. The Museum is located on the second floor across from Robinsons May. A docent is available for information as you enjoy the various displays. There is a small gift shop in the Museum (Madson's book, Railroads of the Santa Maria Valley is available), as well as some model railroads to see. Often, modelers are present working on the HO layout of the Santa Maria Valley Railroad.
 
Travel Town Museum
5200 Zoo Dr.
Los Angeles, California  90027
(323) 662-5874 
traveltown.org

Preserves and celebrates the railroad heritage of the western United States--its history and its artifacts. Particular thematic emphasis is placed on the history of Southern California and how the railroads aided its development. Catch a ride on a caboose or tour a passenger car. The museum's volunteer organizations offer something special the first and third Sunday of every month.
 

Western America Railroad Museum (WARM)
685 North First Street
Barstow, CA 92311
(760) 256-9276 
barstowrailmuseum.org

The Western America Railroad Museum in an authentic railroad depot with indoor displays of railroad artifacts, artwork, timetables, uniforms, tools and various other types of railroad items is only a portion of the collection. Rolling stock in outdoor displays include locomotives and railroad operating equipment such as  signaling and track equipment displayed in traditional context or interpretive manner. Highlights of the collection have included a Dog Tooth Mountain Model Railroad, Experimental A-Frame Container Car, 2921 Steam Train Project, and more.  WARM specializes in railroading in the Pacific Southwest with Railroad history and technology providing a glimpse into the understanding the role of Western railroading in America.

Western Railway Museum
5848 State Highway 12
Suisun, California   94585
(707) 374-2978 
wrm.org

The Western Railway Museum has over 50 historic cars among its extensive collection open for the public to see. Highlights from the collection include Sacramento Northern Birney Safety Car 62, Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad combine 63, San Francisco Municipal Railway  -MUNI  streetcar 178, Key System Bay Bridge Units 182 and 187, Key System streetcar 271, Key System streetcar 352, Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board streetcar 648,  and a car from the movie Harold and Maude. Visitors can ride historic streetcars and interurban electric trains from California and the West.   Interurban cars travel over the restored main line of the old Sacramento Northern Railway while streetcars loop around shaded picnic grounds. The museum includes historic cars, railway exhibits, the Streetcar Theater and a fabulous  gift shop with an extensive selection of rail books you can buy.
 

Niles Canyon Railway
In Fremont and Sunol, California
See map for boarding locations

Niles Canyon Railway is a living history museum, operating historic railroad equipment. The original Niles Canyon rail link opened shortly after the gold spike ceremony in Utah in 1869. Today, the Niles Canyon Railway operates train rides throughout the year (dates specified at the website). And they offer a special holiday Train of Lights that runs through the month of December, again on specified days. You can also charter a train for special occasions. (Holiday tickets should be purchased well in advance, since they tend to sell out.)

Niles Depot Museum
36997 Mission Boulevard
Fremont, California
Tel: (510) 797-4449

At the time of this writing, the depot was closed due to relocation. Please check directly for current information. The museum focuses on early railroads of Fremont, Newark and Union City. You'll find photographs, rail artifacts and books, as well as videos available for viewing.

South Bay Historical Railway Society
And the Edward Peterman Museum of Railroad History
1005 Railroad Avenue
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Tel: (408) 243-3969

Located in the historic Santa Clara Depot, the Edward Peterman Museum of Railroad History offers a variety of railroad artifacts, including a signaling display, original right-of-way railroad maps, and rail-related items from former railroad employees. At this writing, the museum was open one day a week, Tuesday, from 6p to 9p. Be sure to check directly with the museum before visiting.
 

BAY AREA MODEL RAILROAD MUSEUMS

Golden State Model Railroad Museum
900-A Dornan Drive
At Miller-Knox Regional Shoreline
Point Richmond, CA 94801
Tel Recording: (510) 234-4884

On display are layouts built by the East Bay Model Engineers Society. Now more than 20 years old, the Golden State Model Railroad Museum attracts visitors of all ages to see its model trains which run on Sundays from April to December (Noon-5p). Hours and dates are subject to change. Always check with the venue in advance of your visit.

Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society
2751 Buena Vista Avenue (off Geary Road)
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Tel: (925) 937-1888

WCMRS operates the HO-scale Diablo Valley Lines Railroad on a 54x32-foot layout, with more than 4,300 feet of hand-laid track. See the website for the exhibition schedule and photo gallery of the layout.

Lomita Railroad Museum

2137 West 250th St.
Lomita, California. Open Thursday-Sunday 10:00am-5: 00pm. 310-326-6255.  lomita-rr.org 

Fillmore and Western Railway Ride the
Hollywood movie Train. Take a trip back in time through the Heritage Valley

Amtrak Pacific Surfliner runs along the coast from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. Take a break form driving.

Angels Flight Railway One of Los Angeles' most enduring landmarks, the railway was originally constructed in 1901.
Santa Barbara Zoo Train Orange Empire Railway
Poway-Midland Railroad
Santa Barbara Zoo Train circles the zoo for a twenty minute ride. The zoo is near the Santa Barbara Amtrak station.

Orange Empire Railway Ride on classic trolleys and passenger trains of California's past. One ticket is good for all trains

Poway-Midland Railroad located in Old Poway Park this wonderful steam train train runs every weekend. Fun family train ride.
Santa Ana Zoo Train

Irvine Park Railroad

Goat Hill Junction
Santa Ana Zoo Train One of the two trains at the zoo spent its first 43 years at Santa's Village in Lake Arrowhead.

Irvine Park Railroad This miniature railroad takes you on a trip around the parks oak groves and through a tunnel.

Goat Hill Junction Costa Mesa Free train rides every third weekend. 20,000 feet of track on a bluff overlooking the Ocean.



Balboa Park Miniature Railroad - Take a Balboa Park. Operated by the San Diego Zoo this miniature has been a family favorite for generations. The Balboa Park train is the perfect start or end to a trip to the San Diego Zoo.

South Coast Railroad Museum - The Goleta Short Line miniature train ride operates year-around. The miniature train travels 1/2-mile around the museum. While in town check out the Santa Barbara zoo train.
Travel Town Railroad - Ride the scale train which circles the perimeter of the museum. Lots of interesting trains on display at the museum. Next door is LA Live Steamers miniature railway. Check out the Griffith Observatory while there.
Pacific Southwest Railway Museum
16-mile round-trip journey into the history of railroading in the Pacific Southwest. Located in Campo California. Lots of rolling stock on display plus a couple of engines.

Smith Ranch & Julian Railroad - One mile train ride on standard small mine gauge track. Cross over two trestle bridges and negotiate a 225 degree curve to disembark at an gold rush mine. Located in historic Julian, California.
Port of LA Red Car Line - The 1.5 mile line connects San Pedro's cruise ship terminal with other attractions along the waterfront. The fare is one dollar for everyone, children 6 and under free. Historic red car follows the original rail route.

The El Dorado Express - This is a real park train originally from Colton California. Now in Long Beach at El Dorado Park. This miniature train ride is nearly a mile long. The train is open weekends only but well worth the trip.
San Diego Trolley - Great way to get around San Diego. Several lines service the San Diego area. Ride the trolley all the way to the Mexican border. You can board the San Diego Trolley at the main Amtrak station in San Diego.

Coaster - Modern trains that link Coastal North County to San Diego. Coaster runs from San Diego to Oceanside. Trains run Monday through Saturday. If you live in north San Diego county Coaster will get you downtown without traffic.
Roaring Camps Railway - Roaring Camp is located six miles north of Santa Cruz and runs a steam-powered narrow gauge train to the top of Bear Mountain. A second option is the Santa Cruz Beach Train.

Griffith Park & Southern Railroad - Mile long ride with a tunnel and several bridges. This fun miniature train has been in service at Griffith Park since 1948. Kids and adults will love riding this classic old time miniature railway.
Calico and Odessa Railroad - This narrow gauge train makes a trip around the mining area of Calico ghost town, The train and ghost town are near Barstow California. Nice little train ride.


Tom's Farm Train - Take a ride on our authentic reproduction of an 1800's steam train. Tom's train takes you through a covered bridge and on a half mile journey before returning to the station.



Poway-Midland Railroad -The Poway Midland Railroad Volunteers is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, operation, and maintenance of the primarily City-owned antique railroad equipment in Old Poway Park.

LA Live Steamers - Model trains to ride from 11 am - 3 pm every Sunday except for the Sunday before Memorial Day and the first Sunday in October. The gate is open from 10:45 am to 3 pm. Train rides begin at 11 am.
Southern California Live Steamers - Public Run Day 1st Sunday or each month and 3rd Saturday of each month. Torrance. Free train rides, learn about steam and diesel locomotives. Take a ride on a real miniature railroad.
Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad - Oak Meadow Park and Vasona Park in Los Gatos, CA since 1970. Steam operation starts in May and runs through October most weekends. The two diesel engines run on summer weekdays and weekends November through April.

Riverside Live Steamers - Run Days- The 2nd & 4th Sunday of the month, 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. with the last train leaving the station at 2:40 P.M. Free train rides aboard miniature trains. Many times, three to four trains will be in operation. Over 10,000 feet of track.
Sprinter - The Sprinter runs 22 miles along the Highway 78 corridor. Ride European-style light rail vehicles with 15 stations from Oceanside to Escondido. SPRINTER is a sleek and quiet T rains are smaller and quieter than the COASTER

California High Speed Rail - Scheduled to start construction in 2012. Trains will reach speeds up to 225 mph and travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in under four hours. First section will be Anaheim to Los Angeles.
Disneyland Railroad - Running on bio-diesel fuel, these trains are mean  green  steam machines! Listen to the chug-chug-chug of the engine, the churn of the wheels and the wail of the whistle as you take a trip around Park.

Joshua Tree and Southern - Open second and third Saturday and Sundays of every month. Fun miniature train rides for the family. 15  gauge, 7 1/2  gauge, and G-scale trackage amid the rocks, sagebrush, trees, and cactus
Knotts Berry Farm Train - Despite years of bandit hold-ups, one of the last year round operating narrow gauge railroads still departs daily from Ghost Town Station for a round-trip.

Adventure City Express Train - Built in 1938 this miniature train circles the park. The train takes a loop around the amusement park. Adventure City is in Anaheim CA
Descanso Gardens Train - Train runs on Tues-Friday 3 times a day and four times at the weekend. The gardens are located in La Caņada Flintridge, California.


Seal Beach Red Car Museum - The trolley only sits on a few feet of track so no train rides here but it still an interesting place to visit. Open second and fourth Saturday of the month.
Western American Railroad Museum

Barstow, CA 92311. Mailing Address: POB 703, Barstow, CA 92312 ... The Western America Railroad Museum collects, preserves and shares the history of ...

www.barstowrailmuseum.org 

 

Web links:

Barstow
Western America Railroad Museum
barstowrailmuseum.org
Calico
Calico Ghost Town Train
calicotown.com
Felton
Roaring Camp Railroad
roaringcamp.com
Fort Bragg - Willits
Skunk Train, Sierra Railroad, RiverTrain
skunktrain.com
Imperial County- Campo
Pacific Southwest Railway Museum
sdrm.org
Los Angeles
Travel Town Transportation Museum
aparks.org
Nevada City
Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad
ncngrrmuseum.org
Perris
Orange Empire Railroad Museum in Perris
oerm.org
Sacramento
California State Railroad Museum
csrmf.org
San Francisco
Golden Gate Railroad Museum
ggrm.org
Santa Clara
South Bay Historical Railroad Society Museum
sbhrs.org
Sonoma
Sonoma Valley Depot Park Museum
vom.com/depot
Suisun
Western Railway Museum in Suisun
wrm.org
Yosemite - Fish Camp
Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
ymsprr.com



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