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Railroad Museum Reintroduces Exhibit “Crossing Lines: Women of the American Railroad”

Crossing Lines

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California State Railroad Museum & Foundation are proud to reintroduce an exhibit titled “Crossing Lines: Women of the American Railroad” that was originally ready for its public debut at the start of the pandemic. As part of the reintroduction, the Museum & Foundation are partnering with female-owned or operated wineries for a celebratory wine tasting and “girlfriend raising” evening event titled “Crossing Wines” on Friday evening, March 25 from 6-8 p.m. During the celebratory event in the Museum’s Roundhouse, ticketholders will be able to explore the exhibit and museum after hours, sample from tasting stations set up to highlight local women-centric wineries, plus meet and network with amazing women. A selection of small bites catered by chef Jill Zenti will accompany wines donated by Teneral Cellars, d'Art Wines, and Truckee River Winery.

With a reintroduction timed to coincide with Women’s History Month, the local exhibit was written, designed, and curated entirely by women who shared a common goal to tell stories about the lives and roles of women associated with the railroad industry. And, as part of an ongoing effort by the Museum to nurture the next generation of museum professionals and scholars, the exhibit was the result of a graduate student internship and master’s thesis of Sacramento State student Nicole Allison. The exhibit is designed for Museum visitors to gain a heightened appreciation for the role of women railroad workers, and to experience a sense of empowerment and inspiration based on the considerable contributions women made to the railroad industry and society in general.

Dating back to 1838 when women first started working in the railroad industry, some of the trailblazing women who challenged the system and who are showcased in the new “Crossing Lines” exhibit include the following: Modesta Avila, Shirley Burman, Jennie Curtis, Olive Wetzel Dennis, Anna Judah, Leah Rosenfeld, Rosina Tucker, and the Railroadettes of World War II. Museum visitors will discover the roles of women in railroading have changed over time. While women in railroading today are responsible for the same jobs as men, women in the railroad industry’s early days were more likely to be restaurant keepers, telegraph operators, station agents or Harvey Girls (gracious servers of “good character” that made travel more enjoyable, a popular role created by visionary entrepreneur Fred Harvey).

Rather than a traditional exhibit set in a contained space, the “Crossing Lines” exhibit is displayed and incorporated into various locations throughout the Museum to allow for greater interpretation about the various impacts of women in the workforce. The important new exhibit will remain on display permanently.

Tickets to the “Crossing Wines” evening event are $30 per person (ages 21 and up) and available in advance via Eventbrite. Viewing and experiencing the exhibit during normal Museum hours is included with admission: $12 for adults; $6 for youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under. For more information about the California State Railroad Museum or Foundation, please visit

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About the California State Railroad Museum Foundation

The mission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation (CSRMF) is to generate revenue and awareness on behalf of its destinations, while supporting the preservation, interpretation, and promotion of our railroad heritage. The Foundation provides funding for ongoing support of numerous programs, both at the museum's Old Sacramento location and at the historic park in Jamestown, Calif. For more information, please visit

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