Excursion Train Rides

Enjoy a scenic, 45-minute ride along the Sacramento River April - September

All aboard the California State Railroad Museum’s popular excursion railroad

The Sacramento Southern Railroad

2020 marks the 37th consecutive season the excursion trains have been operating in Old Sacramento. Train rides include closed coach cars, open-air gondolas and a first-class observation car pulled by either Granite Rock No. 10 steam locomotive or one of our vintage diesel locomotives from the Museum’s collection.

About the Sacramento Southern Railroad

Since 1984, more than one million guests have taken a ride aboard the Sacramento Southern Railroad, served by all-volunteer crews fully trained and certified under Federal Railroad Administration regulations. Each spring, the Sacramento Southern Railroad takes center stage as visitors enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of authentic locomotives as they roll along the levees of the Sacramento River. Appealing to all ages, the experience offers guests the chance to experience train travel from an earlier era.

Perhaps the most dynamic way to experience railroading is to actually ride a train, as many visitors to the California State Railroad Museum can attest. Since 1982, excursion trains have been a popular offering along the Sacramento waterfront and a rewarding activity for those involved in the myriad, related tasks of construction and refurbishment, operation and maintenance. But what has it taken to get to this point, and where does the name "Sacramento Southern Railroad" come from anyway?

Click here to read about the history of the Sacramento Southern Railroad

Tickets & Information

During the operating season, weekends April – September, tickets for Sacramento Southern Railroad excursion train rides are available to purchase online during the week or on a first-come, first-served basis on the weekends starting about an hour prior to the first departure at the Sacramento Southern Railroad ticket office, located in the Central Pacific Passenger Station in Old Sacramento. To reserve the entire First Class car for a regularly scheduled train ride, April - September, contact [email protected]

Days of operation

Saturdays and Sundays
April 6 - September 29, 2019

Hours of operation

Every hour on the hour 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (weather permitting; July 6 - September 2, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

Ride in First Class Style!

Enjoy a scenic, 45-minute ride along the Sacramento River and sit back in luxury and air conditioned comfort as you are served refreshments in first class style. Each operating day we will be pulling one of our three elegant first class cars.

The El Dorado

This handsome 1920s lounge car offers large windows and comfortable seating. The car is divided into two sections select either the Parlor or Lounge. Passengers in both locations are free to move about the car and step off onto the observation platform for a beautiful view of the Sacramento River.

The French Quarter

This beautifully restored car was inspired by the New Orleans French Quarter, with wrought iron balconies and a “Sunset pink” painted ceiling studded with stars. Complete with its own serving bar, the French Quarter has large windows and a variety of seating combinations including four small dining table booths for seating of four guests; settees and lounge-style chairs.

The Audubon Dining Car

The Dining Car is known as the “Audubon” because of the hand-painted reproductions of bird illustrations by the artist/naturalist John James Audubon. Groups of four passengers are seated around a small dining table.

Group Tickets

First Class Car Rentals:

Rent the full First Class Car during the regular excursion train season (April - September). First Class Car rentals are $700 flat rate ($600 for Museum members) and seat a maximum of 35 people. All rentals will receive the full El Dorado (Parlor & Lounge) or full French Quarter Car during the 45-minute train ride, as well as light refreshments on board. Reservations must be made in advanced, and seating is subject to availability. Please contact [email protected] or call 916-322-7112 for more information or to make a reservation.

Groups of 10 or more:

Groups may purchase tickets for Coach or First Class during the regular excursion train season (April-September). Groups consist of any configuration of 10 or more paid tickets (Adult/Youth), and must be purchased in a single transaction. Each ticket will be discounted by $1. Group tickets will be available in person at the Ticket Office on a first-come, first-served basis, or can be made in advance by contacting [email protected] or 916-322-7112.