Tours & Teacher Resources

Information about school tour programs, adult group tours and resources for teachers.

Field Trips

Free School Group Reservations for Grades K-12

School Programs Current School Tour Programs Museum Entry Programs

School groups K-12 have the opportunity to visit the Museum on a self-guided tour free of charge. A Reserve California appointment time and reservation number is required upon check-in at the Group Information Desk. Schools must have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 45 persons per reservation. Extra adults will need to purchase admission to the Museum. Limited availability.

Reservations are available on most Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the school year, September-June, by calling Reserve California at 1-800-444-PARK. Limited availability.

The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. There is no entry for school groups to the Museum between noon and 1 p.m. and no group entry after 4 p.m.

For additional information about the California State Railroad Museum, contact the Museum’s Group Information Desk at (916) 323-9274.

School and Youth Group Drop-In Visits (Admission Fees Required)

School Programs Current School Tour Programs Museum Entry Programs

Drop-in groups are always welcome. Drop-in group visits are self-guided tours with chaperones. Your group must make advance reservations through the Museum Group Information Desk at [email protected] or (916) 323-9274.

Click here for a Field Trip Resource Guide.
  • Museum admission is $12 adults, $6 youth (ages 6-17), free for children under age 5.
  • The group rate is $11 adults, $5 youth (ages 6-17), free for children under age 5.
  • One chaperone per 10 students is recommended.
  • Visa, MasterCard, cash or checks accepted.
  • The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. There is no entry for school and youth groups to the Museum between noon and 1 p.m. and no group entry after 4 p.m.

For additional information about the California State Railroad Museum, contact the Museum’s Group Information Desk at (916) 323-9274.

School Tour Programs

Emigrant Train Program

School Programs Current Programs Emigrant Train

The Emigrant Train Program is an interactive experience that runs approximately 40 minutes, followed by a 45-minute train ride. Students meet at the Central Pacific Railroad Passenger Station and explore travel on the Transcontinental Railroad in the 1870s.

Staff members in period attire describe the emigrant travel to students, who experience what it was like to travel across the country in a rail car with no added luxuries. This hands-on experience engages students’ interest and heightens their awareness of a time when travel by railroad was a novel experience. At the conclusion of the program, students walk next door to the depot platform and board the train for a 45-minute excursion along the Sacramento River.

  • A New Way to Travel. The program begins in the waiting room of the passenger station where students learn about the history of travel to California and the impact of the first Transcontinental Railroad.
  • Packing For the Move: What Goes and What Stays? Students learn about important items to pack for the journey; volunteers choose essential items to pack for the cross-county trip and describe the items to the rest of the class.
  • We’re All in This Together: Conditions on an Emigrant Train. Students board a nineteenth-century passenger train to experience what travel by emigrant class would have been like. (This train remains stationary).

The Emigrant Train Program is suitable for Grades 4 through 6 only, and follows the California State curriculum guidelines for westward expansion, from ship and wagon train to the Transcontinental Railroad.

Schedule of Fees:
  • Tuesdays: February, March, April & October (No Train Ride on April 23)
  • 10:00 am, with Train Ride at 11:00 am*
  • 12:00 pm, with Train Ride at 1:00 pm*
  • $200 flat fee (45 people per reservation, includes children and adults) paid by cash or check on the day of visit.
  • Cancellation Policy: If you are unable to keep your reservation, please call us at (916) 323-9274. Groups cancelling 24 hours prior to visit, will receive a full refund of total fees paid, less $25 processing fee. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will forfeit all fees paid.
To book spring 2019 program, click here.

*Download this form and save to your desktop first, then fill it out and email it to [email protected]

For more information on this program, contact the Group Desk at (916) 323-9274.

Horses To Horsepower: Building the Transcontinental Railroad

H2Hp

In the 50-minute, hands-on interpretive program, students are given the opportunity to try their hand at drilling a hole in granite, driving a railroad spike, and meeting people who explain what it was like to ride across the United States on the Transcontinental Railroad more than 125 years ago.

The program is suitable for Grades 4 and 5 only, and is presented by Museum staff and docents dressed in period attire.

Schedule and Fees
  • Cost is $175 per class of 45 persons.
  • The program is offered in the spring (February-April) and fall (October).
  • This popular program is offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays only at 10, 10:15, 10:30, 10:45, 11 and 11:15 a.m.
  • Adult supervision requirement: 1 adult for every 10 students
  • Cancellation Policy: If you are unable to keep your reservation, please call us at (916) 323-9274. Groups cancelling 24 hours prior to visit, will receive a full refund of total fees paid, less $25 processing fee. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will forfeit all fees paid.
To book a spring 2019 program, click here.

*Download this form and save to your desktop first, then fill it out and email it to [email protected]

For more information on this program, contact the Group Information Desk at (916) 323-9274.

Eagle Theatre: Discovering the Gold Rush

Eagle Theatre

What better way to learn about the history of the Eagle Theatre than through melodrama? Our melodrama, aptly named Gone with the Wind, AND the Rain, AND the Flood has an emotion-filled plot set in Gold Rush Sacramento, with good guys, villains, disaster and—finally—redemption. Student volunteers play key roles in this one-hour, interactive experience.

This Eagle Theatre program is suitable for Grades 4-6.

Schedule and Fees
  • Location: Eagle Theatre at 925 Front Street in Old Sacramento State Historic Park
  • Cost is $75 per group with a maximum of 45 people per time.
  • Offered Thursdays & Fridays, February-April, and October. Performances at 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
  • Adult supervision requirement: 1 adult for every 10 students
  • Cancellation Policy: If you are unable to keep your reservation, call us at (916) 323-9274. Groups cancelling 24 hours prior to visit, will receive a full refund of total fees paid, less $25 processing fee. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will forfeit all fees paid.
To book a spring 2019 program, click here.

*Download this form and save to your desktop first, then fill it out and email it to [email protected]

For more information on this program, contact the Group Information Desk at (916) 323-9274.

Interpretive Handcar Program

Handcar

The Interpretive Handcar Program provides school children with a hands-on experience in the safe operation of the most basic of railroad equipment. Students learn about the trials, tribulations and hardships associated with the heavy labor done by railroad workers.

Click here for a Teachers Resource Manual.

The Interpretive Handcar Program is suitable for Grades 4-6.

This one-hour, hands-on program is held on the Museum’s Sacramento Southern Railroad tracks between the Sacramento History Museum and the Central Pacific Railroad Passenger Station. It features instruction on the history and operation of handcars and other railroad maintenance equipment, railroad safety demonstrations, pumping the Interpretive Handcar over 200 yards of track, and 1/8-mile ride behind a motor car.

Schedule and Fees
  • Offered Wednesdays only, March-April, and October.
  • One-hour program runs: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Cost for the program is $150 per class, with a maximum of 45 per reservation.
  • Adult supervision requirement: 1 adult for every 10 students.
  • Must wear tennis shoes.
  • Cancellation Policy: If you are unable to keep your reservation, call us at (916) 323-9274. Groups cancelling 24 hours prior to visit, will receive a full refund of total fees paid, less $25 processing fee. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will forfeit all fees paid.
To book a spring 2019 program, click here.

*Download this form and save to your desktop first, then fill it out and email it to [email protected]

For more information on this program, contact the Group Information Desk at (916) 323-9274.

School Group Train Ride

School Programs Current Programs Tuesday Trian Rides

This program gives students the experience of riding aboard the Sacramento Southern Railroad in vintage cars along the Sacramento River. Knowledgeable docents explain about train travel during this 50-minute roundtrip. Begin your journey in our restored Central Pacific Passenger Station to purchase tickets then board for your train trip.

The School Group Train Ride Program is suitable for Grades K-12.

Schedule and Fees
  • Tuesdays: February-April, and October (No Train Ride on April 23)
  • Train leaves at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • $150 flat fee (45 people per reservation, includes children and adults) paid by cash or check at the Central Pacific Passenger Station on day of visit.
  • Adult supervision requirement: 1 adult for every 10 students
  • Cancellation Policy: If you are unable to keep your reservation, call (916) 323-9274. Groups cancelling 24 hours prior to visit, will receive a full refund of total fees paid, less $25 processing fee. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will forfeit all fees paid.
To book a spring 2019 program, click here.

*Download this form and save to your desktop first, then fill it out and email it to [email protected]

For more information on this program, contact the Group Desk at (916) 323-9274.

Adult Group Tours

Self Guided Tours

Hours And Admission

All adult reservations are self guided unless a prepaid tour is booked in advance. For more information on a self guided Adult Group Tour, contact the Group Information Desk [email protected] or (916) 323-9274.

Guided Tours

Hours And Admission

Guided tours are led by docents and cover the building of the Transcontinental Railroad within 45-50 minutes.

Schedule and Fees

  • $50 for up to 30 people with 1 guide
  • $100 for 31-50 people with 2 guides
  • Museum admission group rate is $11 per adult
  • Fees are paid in advance by credit card, collected by the Museum Group Information Desk at (916) 323-9274.
  • Cancellation Policy: If you are unable to keep your reservation, call (916) 323-9274. Groups cancelling 24 hours prior to visit, will receive a full refund of total fees paid, less $25 processing fee. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will forfeit all fees paid.
Ready to book a Guided Tour of the Museum? Click here.

*Download this form and save to your desktop first, then fill it out and email it to [email protected]

For more information on an Adult Group Guided Tour of the Museum, contact the Group Desk at [email protected] or (916) 323-9274.

Resources

Museum Operating Hours:

10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. - seven days a week
*Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day

School Group Entry:
  • 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
  • No entry between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
  • No entry after 3:45 p.m.
Museum Admission:
  • Adults: $12
  • Youths: $6 (ages 6-17)
  • Children: Free (ages 5 and under)
  • Group admission is $1.00 off for 10 or more paying individuals making one transaction.
Reservation Days for Free Museum Entry:
  • Tuesday through Thursday
  • Mid-September through Mid-June
Read to reserve? Click here.

For more info, please contact the Museum Group Desk at [email protected] or (916) 323-9274

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