Ride the train to the California State Railroad Museum – 511 Contra Costa

Ride the train to the California State Railroad Museum

UPDATE: Exhibits mentioned in post have ended. Click on the links to view current exhibits at the California State Railroad Museum
Happy Spring Break to students of West Contra Costa! Looking for something to do? Take the Capitol Corridor up to Sacramento and see North America’s largest railroad history museum.
The California State Railroad Museum is home to America’s largest toy train collection. Small Wonders: The Magic of Toy Trains features some 1,000 vintage toy trains, six interactive displays, and a magnificent operating toy train layout in its 3,300 square feet.
The museum is also home to the “lost” golden spike.  Its better known twin was hammered into the Transcontinental Railroad in Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869, and now lives in Stanford. The “lost” spike wasn’t just lost – for 136 years it was thought to be just a rumor. The duplicate was quietly held by one family for five generations and only emerged in 2005.
Visiting on a weekend? Ride a real steam train! Trains depart from the Central Pacific Railroad Freight Depot in Old Sacramento (located on Front Street between J and K Streets). Guests are treated to a six-mile, 40-minute roundtrip excursion along the levees of the Sacramento River. The train features a combination of vintage closed coaches with comfortable seats, and open-air “gondolas” with bench style seating.
See the special “Beyond the Locomotive” display of award-winning photographs from the Center for Railroad Photography & Art. These 700 photographs, submitted by more than 200 photographers around the world, showcase both the human and industrial elements of rail transportation.
Can’t make the trek? Visit the Sacramento Agriculture and Transportation History Online. The site has lesson plans for teachers, games for younger audiences, and an impressive image collection.
The California State Railroad Museum is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. The museum is only a few blocks from the Amtrak Sacramento (SAC) station at the corner of 2nd and I Streets. Hungry? The museum is surrounded by Old Sacramento, and the Sacramento light rail and buses can take you throughout the Capitol.

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