Tours & Teacher Resources

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

Field Trips

Free Entry Reservations for Grades K-12

School Programs Current School Tour Programs Museum Entry Programs

Free entry reservations offer an opportunity for your group to tour the Museum on your own, at the pace you determine. After check in and orientation, your group will have the opportunity to see the Railroad Museum’s 21 restored locomotives and railroad cars, talk with uniformed, knowledgeable Docents, and view exciting, regularly changing exhibits. 

Click here for a Field Trip Resource Guide.

Museum entry is free if reserved in advance with Reserve California. Limited availability.

Reservations are available on most Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the school year. The call center will start accepting requests for the 2018 school year on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 8 a.m. Call 1-866-240-4655. Reservations must be made at least 7 days in advance.

The Museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 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 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. and no group entry after 4:00 p.m.

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

Drop-In Group Visits (Admission Fees Required)

School Programs Current School Tour Programs Museum Entry Programs

Drop-In groups are always welcome. Advance notice must be given to the Museum Group Desk at [email protected] or (916) 323-9274. Drop-In group tours are self-guided tours with chaperones. Recommended one chaperone per ten students.

  • Currently Museum admission is $12 adults, $6 youth (ages 6-17), free for children under age 5. 
  • Group admission is $1.00 off for 10 or more paying individuals making one transaction.
  • Visa, MasterCard, cash or checks accepted day of visit only.

School Tour Programs

Emigrant Train Program

School Programs Current Programs Emigrant Train

The Emigrant Train Program offers students (and teachers) the opportunity to learn what it was like to journey across the United States on an Emigrant Train more than 125 years ago.

The Program begins with a 40-minute Central Pacific Railroad Passenger Station tour experience, circa 1876. The students learn hands-on as they recreate the history of the passenger, riding the rails. 

Students then move one block to the Central Pacific Freight Depot where they board a working passenger train which takes them for a 40-minute round-trip train ride on the Museum’s Sacramento Southern Railroad.

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 and October
  • 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 at the Sacramento Southern Depot 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 $25.00 processing fee. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will forfeit all fees paid.
To book spring 2018 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, please contact the Group Desk at (916) 323-9274. 

Horses To Horsepower: Building the Transcontinental Railroad

School Programs Current Programs Horses To Horsepower

Just how do you drill a hole in solid granite in the 1860s? How many men did it take to build the western portion of the Transcontinental Railroad? From what nation did the majority of the workers come? How much were they paid? These and other questions are answered in our 50-minute, hands-on interpretive program, Horses to Horsepower: Building the Transcontinental Railroad.

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 Horses to Horsepower: Building the Transcontinental Railroad Program is suitable for Grades 4 and 5 only, and is run by Museum staff and Docents dressed in period attire. 

Schedule of Fees:
  • Cost for the fall 2017 program is $125 per class, with a maximum of 45 people per reservation. The cost for the spring 2018 program is $175.
  • Tour “departures” take place Wednesdays and Thursdays only, and begin at 10 a.m. and continue every 15 minutes thereafter, with the last departure at 11:15 a.m.
  • The Horses to Horsepower Program is offered in the Spring (February-April) and Fall (October).
  • 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 $25.00 processing fee. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will forfeit all fees paid.
To book spring 2018 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, please contact the Group 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 of 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 slot.
  • Offered Wednesdays & Thursdays, February through April.
  • 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 $25.00 processing fee. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will forfeit all fees paid.
To book spring 2018 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, please contact the Group Desk at (916) 323-9274. 

Interpretive Handcar Program

Kids Corner Railroad Safety Handcar Crossing

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.

This one-hour, hands-on program is held on the Museum’s Sacramento Southern Railroad tracks between the Discovery Museum History Center 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.

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

Schedule of Fees:
  • Offered Wednesdays only, March and April. 
  • One-hour program runs: 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 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, please call us at (916) 323-9274. Groups cancelling 24 hours prior to visit, will receive a full refund of total fees paid, less $25.00 processing fee. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will forfeit all fees paid.
Ready to book the Interpretive Handcar Program? Click here.

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

School Group Train Ride

School Programs Current Programs Tuesday Trian Rides

This program offers participants a train ride lasting approximately 40 minutes. Classes meet at the Sacramento Southern Freight Depot for a train ride following the tracks of the Museum’s historic Sacramento Southern Railroad, along the Sacramento River’s levees. Knowledgeable, on-board Docents explain to students about train travel during the 1920s.

The School Group Train Ride Program is designed for all students K-12.

Schedule and Fees:
  • Tuesdays: February through April and October
  • Train leaves at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm
  • $150 flat fee (45 people per reservation, includes children and adults) paid by cash or check at the Sacramento Southern Depot on day of visit.
  • 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 $25.00 processing fee. No shows and cancellations made less than 24 hours prior to the program will forfeit all fees paid.
To book spring 2018, 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, please 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. 

Please visit the rest of the website for current exhibits and events.

For more information on a self guided Adult Group Tour, please contact the Group 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 and last about 45-50 minutes.

Schedule of 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 Desk at (916) 323-9274.
  • 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 $25.00 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, please 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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