Tours & Teacher Resources

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

Field Trips

School Groups Are Welcome

School Programs Current School Tour Programs Museum Entry Programs

A limited number of free admissions are available through the reserve California system. Free admissions are typically scheduled Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, in the fall and spring. To request a free admission appointment please call 1-800-444-Park.

For best availability groups are encouraged to visit September thought February. Due to high demand, reservations for March and April fill up quickly. A Reserve California appointment time and reservation number are required upon check-in at the Group Information Desk. Schools must have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 45 persons per reservation. Additional persons over the 45 limit will be charged at the current group rate.

Drop-in groups are always welcome. Drop-in group visits must be scheduled in advance with the Museum Group Information Desk at [email protected] or (916) 323-9274.

All school group visits are self-guided with adult chaperones.

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 Tour Programs

Horses To Horsepower: Building the Transcontinental Railroad

H2Hp

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

A Conductor meets your group and leads them on a 5-station tour through the museum learning about the history, stories and contributions of people working on the Transcontinental Railroad.


Station #1 Transcontinental Gallery - Our Conductor introduces your students to the dreamers and schemers involved in building the transcontinental railroad.

Station #2 Help Wanted – Our crew chief speaks to the contribution and hard labor of the Chinese workers building on the western end of the Central Pacific Railroad through the Sierra and beyond.

Station #3 DONE – Our Master of Ceremonies reenacts the Gold Spike ceremony and telegraph message that took place on May 10 1869 as the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads met at Promontory Utah.

Station #4 Travel to California - Our train traveler explains the immigration of people to California by rail beginning in the 1870’s.

Station #5 Feeding a Growing Nation - Our farmer discusses how Agriculture became California’s Second Gold Rush -Farm to Fork.

Important Information About The Program:

• The Horses to Horsepower Program is offered in the Spring (February-April) and Fall (October).

• This popular program is offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays only at 10:00, 10:15 10:30 11:00 11:15.

• 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.

Cost $175.00 per class of 45 persons. Museum admission is included in this fee.

Group Size 10 person minimum with a maximum of 45

Adult Supervision Requirement 1 adult for every 10 students Location This program is presented within the CA State Railroad Museum. Please assemble at the School Group Entrance located on the east side of the Museum on 2nd street.

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.

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

Interpretive Handcar Program

Handcar

The Interpretive Handcar program is designed to provide students with a safe experience while operating the most basic railroad equipment. Using the principles of STEM and a combination of simple machines, the students learn the history of Maintenance of Way (MOW) the crews and equipment used in maintaining railroad tracks . Students learn about the evolution of MOW equipment from early days until today. Following a safety briefing the students and their adults will experience pumping a handcar followed by a ride on a vintage Fairmont motorcar.

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 and April.
  • One-hour program runs: 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 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.
  • All participants 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.

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 on 45 minutes round trip.

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

Schedule and Fees
  • Tuesdays Only: February-April, and October
  • 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
  • Participants must arrive 30 minutes prior to the departure time.
  • 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.

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

Adult Group Tours

Docent 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 persons with 1 guide
  • $100 for 31-50 persons 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.
  • Due to the large volume of schools visiting the museum, we are unable to offer docent guided tours to school groups.
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. - daily
*Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day

School Group Entry Times:
  • 10:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 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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