There’s a certain fascination and interest we have on trains that is sparked at an early age. Perhaps it’s the sense of adventure they invoke or the artistry and engineering that draws our attention. Whatever that reason may be, there’s no better place to unleash your inner railfan than at the California State Railroad Museum. It’s full of restored engines, locomotives and railroad artwork and it also hosts a range of enchanting Candlelight concerts that pay tribute to some of the best artists in music history.
Situated right next to the Sacramento History Museum along Sacramento River, the museum’s convenient location right off of downtown makes it easily reachable by everyone. To get there you can take the 102, 30, 38, 63 and 88 buses and the Blue and Gold Light Rail. If you’re coming from outside Sacramento, take the Capitol Corridor train to the Sacramento Valley Amtrak Station. The museum’s a short walk from there. If you’re taking your car, all-day parking is available at two parking garages located at both ends of the Old Sacramento Waterfront, namely Old Sacramento Garage and Tower Bridge Garage.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about California State Railroad Museum
1. Preserving the history of railroads and railroading in California, the Nation and the West.
Besides the countless interactive exhibits, researchers and train enthusiasts that want to find out more about the history and evolution of the railroad can head to the Library & Archives, open Monday through Friday by appointment only. The archives have extensive collections that preserve and provide access to the history of the railroads, so feel free to check them out.
2. Curious about your roots?
If you’ve always wanted to trace your roots, the California State Railroad Museum might help you with that. The museum library has several types of documents which may provide biographical information about railroad employees and officials. They are all available for reading and review at the reading room on the second floor. So, pop in and you might just find what you’re looking for.
3. Explore the museum and become a Junior Ranger.
If you’re fascinated by trains, Thomas the Tank Engine is your favorite show and you are between the ages of 7 and 12 years old, you can become a Junior Ranger and learn all about the railroad, smokestacks and the Lost Golden Spike.
Candlelight concerts at California State Railroad Museum
Are you looking for a new and maybe unconventional plan? Then you should definitely attend a classical tribute under candlelight at this very museum, as you’re surrounded by railroad history. Listen to the works of great composers like Vivaldi, Hans Zimmer and Joe Hisaishi or sway to T. Swift’s pop beats and the most beloved holiday tunes. As hundreds of candles twinkle and shine at the impressive museum filled with train pieces and locomotives, you’ll feel like you’ll be transported to other worlds!
What else can you do at California State Railroad Museum?
The California State Railroad Museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Members and children of age 5 and under get free admission. Every Monday at 11 am, the weekly and family-friendly Story Time takes place that comes free with admission. You can also choose to hold your next school trip at the museum, which offers in-person and digital educational programs for children. If you decide to bring your little ones and you need to recharge, the neighborhood and nearby streets offer various dining options, from casual to formal.
Now, at the California State Railroad Museum you can visit its thrilling exhibits and catch an inspiring and intimate concert amid a sea of candles. You can also experience these magical concerts at several other venues across Sacramento.