SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Interested in riding the rails along the picturesque Sacramento River? Or maybe exploring the alluring underground is more your style. Either way (or both!), Old Sacramento State Historic Park has just the ticket with history-rich weekend excursion train rides and crowd-favorite Old Sacramento Underground Tours resuming on April 1 & 2, 2017.
Weekend Excursion Train Rides
California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation are proud to announce the opening of the 34th consecutive season of weekend excursion trains on the Sacramento Southern Railroad on April 1 & 2 and continuing through September 2017. Each weekend, excursion train ride guests can enjoy train rides pulled by either vintage steam locomotive Granite Rock 10 or historic diesel locomotives on select weekends. Diesel or steam, excursion train ride guests delight in the sights, smells and sounds of an authentic, historic locomotive as it rolls along the levees of the Sacramento River for a six-mile, 45-minute roundtrip excursion. Appealing to all ages, the experience offers guests the chance to enjoy train travel from an earlier era. The train features a combination of vintage closed coaches with comfortable seats, open-air “gondolas” with bench style seating or VIP train ride experiences onboard one of three of the California State Railroad Museum’s first class cars (depending on the weekend): the El Dorado lounge observation car, the Audubon dining car or the French Quarter lounge car from the 1950s that served the famed Southern Pacific “Sunset Limited” service.
Excursion train ride tickets are available to book online in advance or can be purchased in-person starting at 10:30 a.m. the day of the train ride (based on availability) at the Central Pacific Railroad Depot ticket office located on Front Street between J and K Streets. Excursion trains depart from the Central Pacific Railroad Freight Depot on-the-hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends the trains are running.
Regular excursion train tickets cost $12 for adults, $6 for youths (ages 6-17), and ages five and under ride free. For passengers desiring a first class train ride experience, tickets cost $20 for adults, $15 for youths and are free for children five and under. Groups interested in reserving the entire VIP car for a regularly scheduled ride need to do so in advance by calling 916-445-5995. If summer temperatures reach 100 degrees or higher, trains may be cancelled for the remainder of that day. For more information about the weekend excursion train rides or the California State Railroad Museum in general, please call 916-323-9280.
Old Sacramento Underground Tours In addition, the popular Old Sacramento Underground tour program will also resume on weekends beginning April 1 & 2 and continue through December 2017 (with schedules fluctuating and expanding with the seasons). Hidden beneath the city for more than 150 years, Old Sacramento’s underground has long been the capital’s best-kept secret. Underground tour visitors have the unique opportunity to uncover the facts behind the legends that lie below historic buildings and sidewalks. Tour guests explore excavated foundations and enclosed pathways while entertaining and knowledgeable tour guides recount the tales of the devastation, perseverance, and determination that led to California’s only successful street-raising project. Underground tour guests can also enjoy visual components that enhance the understanding of Sacramento’s unique history. In one underground area, an archeological dig has been recreated to show tour guests how artifacts were uncovered and the critical clues they held to piecing together our fascinating history. In a second underground area, tour guests can enjoy a hands-on experience to understand how the buildings were raised plus see an exciting visual element projected onto the wall of the hollow sidewalk that shows the changing water patterns and demonstrates the effectiveness of the lifting process.
Now in its eighth season, the Old Sacramento Underground tour program is coordinated by the Sacramento History Museum in partnership with the City of Sacramento, California State Parks, Downtown Sacramento Partnership (DSP) and participating Old Sacramento merchants and businesses. While tour schedules vary with the seasons, Old Sacramento Underground tours will kick off on weekends in April, departing as follows: 11 a.m., noon, 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. For groups interested in a private tour (up to 20 people), please email [email protected]. Additionally, the popular adult-only Underground After Hours tours will resume on May 4, 2017. For the adult-only evening tours, guides will share some of the dark secrets and racy tales lurking in Old Sacramento’s underground history.
Plus, as a special bonus for tour guests during April and May, a complimentary pass to visit the Sacramento History Museum will be provided to everyone who purchases a tour ticket (i.e. Old Sacramento Underground Tour, Underground After Hours, etc.); please see website for details.
Regular tours of the underground last approximately one hour in length and cost $15 for adults, $10 for youths (ages 6-17), and children five and under are free. The adult-only Underground After Hours evening tours depart at 6 p.m., last approximately an hour and a half in length and cost $20 per person (only guests 21 and older will be admitted). All tours check-in at the Sacramento History Museum located at 101 I Street in Old Sacramento. Interested tour participants are encouraged to check the website at www.sachistorymuseum.org for tour dates, times, availability and to purchase advance tickets. More information about the Old Sacramento Underground tour program or the Sacramento History Alliance is available by calling 916-808-7059.