These California Trains Track NorCal’s Railroad History

Consider one of these whistle stops for a weekend adventure.

The first transcontinental railroad connected California to the rest of the country way back in 1869, nearly two decades after statehood. Within the Golden State, railroad entrepreneurs like J.D. Spreckles and Henry Huntington began connecting various cities via their tracks. Some of the oldest California rails still operate today, though mostly for tourism. 7×7 recently feature four NorCal trains you can jump aboard for the full experience. Here are a couple of highlights:

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown

“If you think this railroad looks familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen it before. The Sierra Railway, the third oldest railroad in North America, is aptly known as the Movie Railroad: It has been featured in more than 300 movies, including Back to the Future

Today, you can visit the national park, walk around the historic railroad town of Jamestown, and take a 45-minute train ride into Gold Country to relive the experience. If you’re an especially avid trainspotter looking for deeper knowledge of the railroading industry, be sure to ask about joining the engine crew for the day.”

$15 for adults, $10 for youth, free for children (5 and under) and members, railtown1897.org

Sacramento River Train

“While the Sacramento River Train would be considered a newcomer in comparison to its OG counterparts—the train started running in 2005—its 14-mile route between Woodland and West Sacramento has a rich history. 

An old passenger train operating on the Woodland Branch transported passengers here from 1911 up until World War II; later, the rail was primarily used for freight haulers and was managed by various companies over the years. 

Today, the Sacramento River Train is a thoroughly modern adventure, offering an array of themed onboard experiences including wine and beer tastings, murder mystery dinners, and even a Wild West robbery situation.”

$55-$75, sacramentorivertrain.com

Read about all four here.