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California State Railroad Museum, Sacramento

(2,000+ reviews on the web)
Specialty Museum
Dedicated to the "iron horse" that connected the Golden State to the rest of the country, California State Railroad Museum holds over 20 locomotives and railroad cars. Watch for the large-scale model of the Donner Pass that allowed trains to pass through the Sierra Nevada mountains--it prompts photos from many visitors. Other locomotives outside have been restored to gleaming chrome and dark iron. Book a tour through the railcars, given by costumed train enthusiasts, who explain the mechanics and the lifestyle on the tracks. Make California State Railroad Museum a centerpiece of your Sacramento vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Sacramento tourist route planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I happen to like trains. I like the history of them, the romance of them, the design... I don't think I would enjoy an extended trip on them, however. This museum is amazing, in that it has full sized...  more »
  • If you haven't seen this outstanding Museum you have missed a real treat!! It not only has all kinds of trains (antiques to the latest prototypes) but you can climb right in many of them to see the en...  more »
  • A really interesting place, particulary for families. Trains are fantastice to view and learn about, volunteers are delightfully informative.Alot of fun and impressive in a friendly and welcoming way.  more »
Google
  • I'm a big museum buff but wasn't sure that I had an interest in trains. The reviews persuaded me to visit and I was overwhelmed at what an amazing museum this is and how informed and welcoming the staff was, especially the volunteers. The building is like an airplane hanger, enormous, which it has to be because it contains many trains. I didn't take a tour, but with some patient reading got the gist of history of why the railroads were built, to connect the west with the east, for commerce. This history is both local and national and I enjoyed learning more about California as I'm from the east coast. I was taken with the in-depth descriptions, not just of the wealthy men who administered the railroads, but of all the workers who built it and later, ran it. It was especially interesting to read about the Chinese workers contribution. Did you know that President Lincoln once worked as a railroad lawyer? His support helped fund the efforts. This is the type of information that the volunteer staff provided. I especially enjoyed Pat Randall's wonderful storytelling skills. Don't miss this museum if you're in the area and consider following a visit at the Firehouse Restaurant which is right down the street. It's not inexpensive, but the food and service were top of the line and it has a great flavor of old Sacramento.
  • Not just a train museum, but a museum of the people who built the railroad and contributed to the building of the state. Tours available at no extra charge, a kid's play area with tables filled with Chuggington and Thomas the Tank Engine toys. Flash photography allowed but no tripods. Tickets are good for the entire day with in and out privileges. Bottled water welcome but no food or gum. Nice museum store that supports the museum's non-profit foundation. Great family place.
  • Impressive the real hardward they have here and the pristine condition of it all. Plus the effort to bring back the actual feel of the times when these machines were the cutting edge. I highly recommend seeing all the displays; something for everyone and every age.
  • Great exhibits! Kids love it. Hands on play area upstairs! Lots of historic information available. Docents really helpful!
  • Very interactive for all ages. Easily spent half a day in there with so many things to see. It really transports you back into time with realistic displays! The train cars walk through were a fun way and hands on way to learn!