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A Visit To The California State Railroad Museum
  After riding the world class Napa Valley Wine Train, I planned to take a drive up I-80 to the California State Capital of Sacamento to visit a world class railroad museum, the California State Railroad Museum. After parking the car, I took a few pictures outside before heading inside the museum. It cost $9.00 to get in and its worth every dime! This museum features an enormous collection of steam locomotives as well as rolling stock. You'll want to spend a day here if you have the time. The museum also offers guided tours and a movie in its in-house theater. Included here is a collection of photos I took while visiting the museum along with some equipment parked outside that belonged to the Sacramento Southern Railroad which offers excursions but was not operating the day I visited. Enjoy...
Here's an exterior view of the museum building. This museum is also a California State Park!
As soon as you walk in the building, you see this: Overfair Railway 4-6-2 #1915. This was one of 5 19 inch gauge locomotives
constructed for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915. This particular locomotive's assembly was never finished.
The first big display at the museum is dedicated to the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.
I must say, this display is absolutely stunning!
Central Pacific #1 - A 4-4-0 Steamer on display as part of the Transcontinental Railroad display.
A "head-on" view of CP #1!
A scene depicting the construction of a tunnel on the Transcontinental Railroad!
Georgia Northern Railway Private Car #100 - "The Gold Coast". Beautiful car!
A track gang (not real) installing track the old fashioned way!
A first generation reefer car! Big blocks of ice were loaded into it to keep its cargo cool.
Southern Pacific 4-6-2 #2467, a Baldwin Locomotive Works product with a Vanderbuilt tender!
Northwestern Pacific 4-6-0 #112. This ALCO product is the last surviving Northwestern Pacific steam locomotive!
Union Pacific 0-6-0 #4466. A product of the Lima Locomotive Works.
Santa Fe Dining Car #1474 - Conchiti. This car was last used on Santa Fe's Grand Canyon train and was retired in 1968 thus
never going to Amtrak. Amtrak's Heritage Diners are similar to this 1937 Budd-built diner.
A view inside the kitchen area of the Santa Fe "Conchiti" diner! As evidenced by what I ate yesterday on the Wine Train, its
nothing short of amazing just how good food can be prepared in that small of a kitchen!
The main dining area of the Santa Fe "Conchiti", just beautiful! Each of the tables had dinnerware from different railroads!
One thing I noticed throughout all the dinnerware was that of my favorite old fallen flag, the New York Central! It was nice to
see something from back home on display out in the Golden State!
Canadian National Pullman Sleeper "St. Hyacinth". This car had a really neat feature in the fact that it had a soundtrack
playing of the clicking of the rails along with lights flashing by outside the windows. In addition to the sound and lighting,
the car also rocked back and forth gently to give you the impression you were really moving!
I guess if I was riding trains in the 1950's, that would be how I would be writing my travelogues, with a typewriter!!! Now I never
planned for this, but the rooms inside this sleeper were blocked off with glass, so you see the reflection of an Amtrak P42DC
which was on the t-shirt I was wearing, yep, that's yours truly in the reflection taking the picture! At least you can still ride in a
"Pullman" today on Amtrak. If you ever ride in a Superliner I Sleeping Car, you are riding in a car built by Pullman-Standard so
yes, you are technically riding in a Pullman in the present day if you have one of those cars in your train and its your car!
Amazing how the more things change, the more they stay the same! The two seats in this roomette fold flat to form the bed for
sleeping. This is exactly how its done today whether you're in a Viewliner roomette or Superliner roomette on Amtrak!
Great Northern Railway Post Office #42.
An interior view of the Great Northern Railway Post Office Car #42.
Southern Pacific 4-2-4T #1. Southern Pacific's first locomotive! This engine was originally built for the Central Pacific and was
in service when the Transcontinental Railroad was under construction. This engine is named the "C.P. Huntington" who was
Southern Pacific's vice-president. Central Pacific was an affiliate of the Southern Pacific. Amazing that the Southern Pacific
would eventually be bought out by the Union Pacific Railroad which was the railroad opposite the Central Pacific that raced
across the country to build the Transcontinental Railroad!
And here is by far, the biggest steamer in the museum! Southern Pacific 4-8-8-2 #4294. This Baldwin-built beast is the only one
of its kind still in existence today. The SP was the only railroad that embraced the "cab-forward" design on a steam locomotive.
This would normally be the front of a steam locomotive but on this particular steamer, its the rear end since this is the
Southern Pacific's "cab-forward" locomotive!
The tender on the Southern Pacific "cab-forward"! That thing is enormous!
Outside the museum is this turntable though it would appear its not functioning. The building in the background is the
back of the museum building. These tracks are at the end of the Sacramento Southern Railroad.
Union Pacific Caboose #25256 which is on display outside the station. This is the only piece of equipment the museum has
outside. Everything else is owned by the Sacramento Southern Railroad and there was a fair amount of equipment outside!
Some equipment owned by the Sacramento Southern. I'll have to come back ere sometime when they are operating!
Union Pacific Business Car #103 seen on the Sacramento Southern's property.
Former Southern Pacific Dining Car #290.
  Before I left the museum, I stopped by its gift shop and picked up the Amtrak 40th Anniversary commemorative book titled "Amtrak: An American Story". I then walked over by where the Sacramento Southern keeps some of its equipment outside as you can see from some of the above photos. What I've shown you here is only a sample of what you'll actually see here! Plan on spending the better part of a day at this museum because there's just so much to see! The museum staff is available if you have questions about anything and the museum is very clean and kept up very well! After departing the station, I walked over to the Amtrak station in Sacramento which is right next door to the museum but was not able to get access to the platforms to take any photos (I asked permission and was denied access) so I bought a Diet Pepsi there and headed back towards Vacaville. I stopped in Davis, CA on the way back to Vacaville but wasn't able to find a parking space close enough to the station there that didn't have a short time limit on it coupled with the fact that the weather was deteriorating rather quickly, so I just drove back to Vacaville and had a late lunch at Panda Express before heading back to the hotel and eventually calling it a day. Tomorrow would be my final full day on the west coast and so I wanted to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge! My reason for doing this was more or less just to say I did it! The bridge is something I've always wanted to see in person! Check out the link below...