After spending a few days in Amador County, we decided to head for one of the “Cities by the Bay” to catch up with my husband and another friend and her family for a night. We wanted to make a stop for some fun along the drive and our friends suggested we check out the California State Railroad Museum. This was right up our alley!
I was a little worried about trying to find parking for an over-height vehicle pulling a trailer in historic downtown Sacramento, but it turns out I didn’t really need to as there was a sign for RV parking as we approached the museum. A decent pay lot (that I wouldn’t want to hang out in at night, pretty sure they use it in movies and tv for murder-mystery body drop scenes) had good size spots for us and it was only 2 blocks to the front doors.
Tickets into the Museum were quite reasonable at $10/adult and $5/child. We only had 2 hours to spend there, but could have stayed much longer. There was a lot to see and to play with!
On the main floor are all of the big engines, history about railway life, the building of the railroad that went coast to coast, and “Turntable”. One great thing for the Lad was walking along a replica historic platform and train station and to see what it was like.
They gave you a chance to look inside some very fancy passenger cars from the golden age of train travel to see what it would gave been like.
The engines were absolutely massive and made us feel so small.
We were able to walk through a Postal Train and check out the inside of 2 engines which taught us how they were different and how they were operated a bit differently from each other. It was very interesting.
We had a look at old signs from the different lines and were able to read about their histories when we went upstairs.
Upstairs was especially impressive with the history they told, but also in the collection they had of railway toys. This was definitely a favorite of ours.
This display kept the lad busy for close to an hour. He wanted to keep the 4 lines represented in this diorama moving as much as it would let him. It was fantastic how it would change from day to night, the air balloon would go up and down, and one train had a camera mounted on it so you could see on a tv screen what the train saw, especially as it traveled through tunnels.
For even younger kids (younger than 6), there was a great play area with Thomas the Tank Engine and Brio train sets. My guy was way more into the electric sets he was playing with before. I realized my dad has some of the same cars as the ones on display, so we are going to have to dig those out!
I wish we had more time to explore not only the Railroad Museum, but also the historic area that surrounds it. There is so much to see and do, so we will head back on future visits for sure! You should check it out!