California Train Rides

Train Rides in California

California train rides range from a dinner train through Wine Country to a tour through the Sequoia trees outside Yosemite. All of the trains listed below are vintage machines. Some have been in movies and others hauled lumber or gold ore during the Gold Rush of 1849. Ride through the Sequoia trees south of Yosemite on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. Enjoy fine dining and wines on the Napa Wine Train. Follow the Sacramento River on an historic train ride from Old Sacramento State Park. Follow an historic North Coast logging route on the Skunk Train out of Fort Bragg. If you've never taken a train ride, now is the time to experience something you've been missing. Many train tours offer open-air cars for unobstructed views.

San Francisco

The Napa Wine Train is located between Highways 29 & 121 in the heart of Napa Valley. Choose between several vintage car options, including a glass dome car with panoramic viewing, while traveling through wine country. Train rides are available for lunch or dinner and the dinner trains become a formal affair. Train tours are 3-hours and some stop at wineries in the region. Check their calendar for live entertainment schedules featuring swing, blues, jazz, quartets and more.

Napa Valley Wine Train
1275 McKinstry Street
Napa, California 94559
(800) 427-4124

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Train Town is located off Highway 12 in downtown Sonoma. Train Town features a ¼-scale railroad on 4 miles of track, including a round house. Take a 20-minute train ride through tunnels, over bridges and past waterfalls. Train Town also includes a roller coaster, carousel, ferris wheel and other themed train rides. Stop off at their petting zoo with goats, alpacas, chickens and ducks. Visit Lakeview, a miniature town complete with a saloon, church, jail and more. Purchase a souvenir in their gift shop and grab a snack at the concession stand.

Train Town
20264 Broadway
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 938-3912

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Niles Canyon Railway follows Highway 84 between the towns of Fremont and Sunol. They offer 30-minute train tours aboard historic restored trains. The route navigates the edge of Niles Canyon and crosses several bridges. Choose to return on the same train or depart to see the many historic trains at the Sunol station and return on a later train ride. A donation of $5-$10 is suggested for a round-trip train ride.

Niles Canyon Railway - Sunol Depot
6 Kilkare Road
Sunol, California 94586
(925) 862-9063

Niles Canyon Railway - Niles Station
37001 Mission Boulevard
Fremont, California 94536
(925) 862-9063

Map Sunol  |   Map Niles  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Los Angeles

Travel Town is located off Highway 134 (Ventura Freeway) from Forest Lawn Drive. Situated in the northern portion of Griffith Park next to the L.A. Zoo, Travel Town and Los Angeles Live Steamers Railroad Museum focuses on the railroad history of Los Angeles and Southern California. The town includes miniature train rides, railcars, train station buildings, rail industry artifacts and an old western town. Several different train rides are available aboard scaled-down train cars on 18.5 and 16 gauge tracks. Also found within Griffith Park are the Griffith Observatory, Greek Theatre, L.A. Zoo, Autry Museum, multiple sport venues and much more.

Travel Town Museum
5200 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 662-9678

Map  |   Hotel  |   Travel Town Website  |   Live Steamers Website  |   Other Ideas

San Diego

Pacific Southwest Railway is located off Interstate 8 in the town of Campo. Train tours head to several Mexican border towns including Tecate. The Tecate train tour stops at the Tecate Brewery where one of Mexico's finest beers is made. Tour the brewery or explore the charming town of Tecate on your own. Gather a group and charter a private car for one of these train ride adventures.

WARNING: We highly discourage tourists from entering Mexico due to a history of violence and robberies committed against tourists in recent years.

Pacific Southwest Railway
31123-1/2 Highway 94
Campo, California 91906
(619) 478-9937

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Poway-Midland Railroad is located off Interstate 15 from Camino Del Norte. Situated in Old Poway Park at the Poway Depot, the Poway-Midland Railroad is dedicated to the restoration, operation and maintenance of antique railroad and trolley equipment. Rail cars on display date back to the late 1800's and include a steam locomotive, Los Angeles trolley car, San Francisco cable car, caboose, boxcar and more. Many are fully operational and offer rides around the park on weekends. The depot store sells train-related items.

Poway-Midland Railroad
14134 Midland Road
Poway, CA 92064
(858) 486-4063

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Inland Empire

Orange Empire Railway Museum is located south of Perris off Highway 74 or Interstate 215 from A Street. Situated at a former Santa Fe Railroad train yard, the museum actively restores railcars, engines and historic train artifacts. Museum exhibits include a plethora of electric cars, passenger cars, freight cars, a funeral car, steam locomotives and diesel engines, restored and awaiting restoration. Several original train yard structures include a machine shop, wood shop, train stations, loading platforms, a turntable and water tank. Train rides are offered on most weekends including a hand car where visitors use man power for locomotion. Some train cars are available for event rental. Certification classes are available for those who are serious about learning historic train operation from an Engineer to a Brakeman.

Orange Empire Railway Museum
2201 S. A Street
Perris, CA 92570
(951) 943-3020

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Central Coast

Roaring Camp Railroads is located between Highways 9 and 17 in the town of Felton. Choose between an 1890 steam train ride that travels through dense redwood forest or a more modern train ride that passes through a redwood forest and stops at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for more entertainment. Pass over steel truss bridges and through a tunnel on your way down the mountain to the beach. Special events include Civil War reenactments, train robberies, ghost trains and more.

Roaring Camp Railroads
5355 Graham Hill Road
Felton, California 95018
(831) 335-4484

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Fillmore & Western Railway Company is located off highway 126 in Fillmore. Follow the Santa Clara River on a picturesque train ride for lunch our dinner. There are many train tours to choose from including murder mysteries, spaghetti westerns, 4th of July and more. Typical train rides are 3-hours.

Fillmore & Western Railway Company
351 Santa Clara Street
Fillmore, California 93015
(805) 524-2653

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Central Coast Flyer departs from either Santa Barbara or Goleta on one-day train tours heading north to San Luis Obispo and back. Hop aboard an historic train car and follow the coast past state beaches, vineyards, Vandenberg AFB and more.

Central Coast Flyer
South Coast Railroad Museum
300 North Los Carneros Road
Goleta, CA 93117
(805) 964-3540

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

North Coast

Skunk Train offers historic train rides through the towering Redwoods of the Mendocino Forest. Spot deer drinking from the Noyo River, as you chug the 40 miles of pristine redwood forest through tunnels, over bridges and past open meadows that follow the coastal "Redwood Route". The Skunk Train started out as a logging route in 1885 and now carries visitors to and from the historic logging towns of Fort Bragg and Willits. Take the train tour for a scenic ride or reserve a spot for a dinner train or wine train event. The Skunk Train offers specialty train tours for holidays and celebrations like as 'Crab and Wine Days'.

Skunk Train Fort Bragg Depot
100 W. Laurel Street
Fort Bragg, California 95437
(800) 866-1690

Skunk Train Willits Depot
299 East Commercial Street
Willits, California 95490

Map Fort Bragg  |   Map Willits  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Shasta Cascade

The Western Pacific Railroad Museum is located off Highway 70 east of Graeagle. The Western Pacific Railroad Museum houses one of North America's largest collections of trains and railroad paraphernalia. Over 100 pieces of rolling stock include locomotives, freight cars, passenger cars, cabooses, maintenance vehicles and more. Train rides are offered every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Train rides travel one mile and last about 10 minutes in a historic Caboose. The WPRM also offers a Run-A-Locomotive program where visitors can run a diesel locomotive by the hour.

Western Pacific Railroad
700 Western Pacific Way
Portola, California 96122
(530) 832-4131

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Gold Country

The Sacramento Southern Excursion Train is located off Interstate 5 in Old Sacramento State Historic Park. Situated at Front and K Streets, train tours include a 6-mile, 40-minute vintage train ride along the levees of the Sacramento River. Train rides run on the weekends and depart every hour from 11am to 5pm. The Sacramento Southern Excursion Train is run by the California State Railroad Museum which is also located in Old Sac.

Sacramento Southern Excursion Train
Front and K Streets
Sacramento, California 95814
(916) 445-6645

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Sierra Railroad Dinner Train is located in Oakdale just west of Yosemite National Park. From Oakdale many train ride options are available for trips through Gold Country. Example of packages offered are overnighters in Jamestown or Sonora, raft and train tours, dinner trains and much more. Available shows include murder mysteries, train robberies & gunfights, and movie railroad tours.

Sierra Railroad Dinner Train
220 South Sierra Avenue
Oakdale, California 95361
(209) 848-2100

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is located off Highway 41 in Fishcamp just south of Yosemite National Park. The train ride traverses through the redwoods from Fishcamp to Oakhurst and back. Many train tour options are available including full meals. Train cars include open-air and enclosed models.

TIP: Consider an evening train ride and theatrical show presented by the Golden Chain Theatre of Oakhurst.

Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
56001 Highway 41
Fish Camp, California 93623
(559) 683-7273

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Railtown 1897

Railtown 1897 State Park is located in Jamestown off Highway 49 at 5th Avenue and Reservoir Road. Railtown 1897 is an operational railroad museum and train depot. The featured attraction is a short, historic, steam train ride through Gold Country and back. The grounds include several historic trains (some of which were used in movies), a roundhouse, blacksmith shop and gift shop.

Railtown 1897
18115 5th Avenue
Jamestown, California 95327
(209) 984-3953

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

Central Valley

Sacramento River Train is located off Interstate 5 in Woodland. This two and one-half hour train ride takes you from Woodland to the Sacramento River where it then follows the river to West Sacramento. Cross over an 8,000 foot long wooden trestle, while traveling through the state's most production farming region. Murder mystery, train robbery and many more themed train tours are available. When in season, sample fresh fruit and products from the area at Uncle Ray's Fruit Stand.

Sacramento River Train
341 Industrial Way
Woodland, California 95776
(530) 666-6756

Map  |   Hotel  |   Website  |   Other Ideas

California by Region

San Francisco Los Angeles Orange County San Diego Inland Empire Desert Central Coast Sierra Nevada North Coast Shasta Cascade Gold Country Central Valley