The California State Railroad Museum is located in Sacramento, California, and it is built to honor the importance of the railroad and all the good that it has done for the state of California, the local population, and the United States of America.
Railroad meant life back in those days; people and the economy were in a struggle. It was hard and dangerous to get to remote places, and trades were hard to do. You were exposed to robbers and thieves and there was no secure and easy way to get to remote and distant places. Improvement in the technology changed it all, and once the railroad was built things were never the same. Railroad meant a blossom, a new era for the United States of America and citizens as well. Building a railroad was a turning point in America’s history, but it was hard work that made it happen. We need to pay a tribute for hard-working man and women that put tremendous effort in the process. Many immigrants participated in the development of the railroad and they came from all over the world. Asia and Europe gave the biggest number of foreign workforce. People from Europe went across the Ocean with a hope for a better future; they left beautiful hometowns and went to the unknown. They had a hope, and a memory of their homeland beauties like Croatians had for theirs, they left turquoise waters and beauties like mesmerizing Blue Cave Croatia on Bisevo Island. We thank them, and this museum is paying a tribute to them as well.
Museum opened in 1976 but its origins are going way back in 1937 when a group of railroad enthusiasts formed the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society. They were railroad enthusiasts and they shared the same passion, their goal was to open up a museum as a tribute to railroads and their importance for the entire nation. They donated 30 historic and significant locomotives and cars to the Cali Department of Parks and Recreation. The museum itself was finished in 1981, and the train service excursions began in 1984. It is important to say that the museum is the Smithsonian affiliate since June 2017.
Operating hours: 10 am to 5 pm (exception is Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s)
Ticket price: 12 USD adults, 6 USD youth age 6 to 17, FREE for children under the age of 5.
Payment method: cash, check, Visa and MasterCard. (Prices are subject to change)
Location: 125 Street, Sacramento, California 95814
Parking: You can find a parking space on the streets of the Old Sacramento Waterfront. However, parking is not suitable for guests that are visiting the museum for longer than 90 minutes. From 10 am to 10 pm you need to pay for parking. If you are staying for more than 90 minutes there are two parking garages at the end of the Old Sacramento Waterfront. There is a free bus parking space available behind the museum; it is a perfect passenger drop off point.
There are 19 steam locomotives at display in the museum, and they are showing the development of the technology and the engines. They date way back from 1862 to 1944. The exhibits are not showing technology, trains, and railroads but they are also showing how life was back in those days and how hard it was to work in the railroad development. It is u full story about technology, history, society and how life was back in those days.
Collection of the locomotives is truly extensive but not all of them are at the display entire time. Just selected few are displayed and the rest of them are under restoration as the goal of the museum is to keep them in perfect shape for future generations. The smallest locomotive is the Southern Pacific No. 1, “C.P. Huntington” and the biggest is Southern Pacific articulated cab-forward No. 4294.
California State Railroad Museum offers a variety of programs for the kids. The museum is the place where engineering, industry, history, technology, and innovation are displayed and it is a great place for kid entertainment. Organizing a field trip to the museum is a great option for every school as the museum offers animators and fun program for the visit. There are many workshops for the kids where they can show their love for trains, engineering, and railroads.
Our favorite part is a workshop on safety in railroads and trains. Railroads used to be dangerous, but after the introduction of railroad safety legislation in the late 1800s things got way much better. It is safer to work in the railroads, but there is still a lot of danger to them. It is important to be alert while crossing the railroad and definitely they are not the place for a walk. We need to take them seriously as the consequences of not being careful are terrifying.
Volunteering and Donations
The museum is always looking for volunteers, so if you are interested in doing good work just go to the support page and show your interest in participating in any role. We are especially delighted to get help when it comes to working within the youth and veteran programs.
Since our funding is limited, donations are always highly appreciated. If you have an interest in a donation to our cause, please give us a call or send us a message.
California State Railroad Museum has a lot to offer when it comes to souvenirs. The store is large and the offer is truly great. You can find a huge clothing selection, from the youngest age to the oldest. T-shirts, caps, and hats, you name it! There is a huge selection of the railroad books, calendars, DVD’s and Blue Rays, railway souvenirs, railroad china, and hundreds of train models that you can assemble on your own.
Most popular souvenirs are a rustic blue mug, golden spike bottle opener, union pacific sign, and Lil engineer kit. Even football fans can find souvenirs here as there is plenty of San Francisco 49ers ‘gold rush’ details.