Historic Rail LIne Now One-Mile Longer Courtesy of Western Railway Museum
The Western Railway Museum's interpretive ride is about to get even better.
On Saturday June 30 at 11 AM, the museum will open a new 1-mile segment of track for its interpretive ride on the historic Sacramento Northern right-of-way. Visitors can ride authentic historic electric trains all the way from the museum to Birds Landing Road for an 11-mile round trip. The train used to stop just south of Shiloh Road. With the new track extension, riders get around a curve where the views of the Suisun Marsh and Mount Diablo really open up. The addition of a visit to Bird's Landing is a fabulous experience. Once featured in a Clint Eastwood film, Honky Tonk Man (1982), this little-visited Delta burough is a place frozen in time.
The museum's volunteers have been working on refurbishing the track and rebuilding the overhead electric lines for the past 10 years. Over 10,000 volunteer hours and more than $660,000 have gone into the project. Staff used drawings and plans preserved in WRM's archives from when the line was first built in 1912 to achieve as much historic accuracy as possible. A lot of hard physical labor went into this project motivated by Track Superintendent Joel Cox and Overhead Lines Superintendent Chris Pagni.
A whole series or new interpretive displays have been added at the new loading platform. Panels will highlight the area's natural and human history, from the native Patwin people to the first settlers.
The inaugural trip will be headed by Sacramento Northern interurban #1005 on the car's 100th anniversary. #1005 is a true Bay Area native. The Holman Car Company of San Francisco built #1005 in 1912 for the Oakland, Antioch and Eastern Railroad, which ran from Oakland to Sacramento on the very tracks the Museum now owns and operates. Following a 10-year restoration, #1005 has been restored to its 1934 configuration. There are only a few other places in the world where the public can ride a restored historic car that runs on the very system it was originally designed to operate on.
Visitors can also tour the Car House where 25 full-size antique electric rail cars are preserved, picnic under large shade trees in spacious Laflin Park, and shop in the Museum store.
The Western Railway Museum is located at 5848 State Highway 12 in Solano County, halfway between Fairfield and Rio Vista, and 15 minutes east of Interstate 80. At just an hour's drive from San Francisco, Stockton, Sonoma or Sacramento, it's an easy day-trip. For those looking for something fun, relaxing, and educational this summer, a visit to the Western Railway Museum is perfect. There's lots more to explore -- make it a weekend escape in nearby Fairfield.
Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors 65 years and older, and $7 for children 2 through 14, and includes unlimited train rides and free parking.
WRM is open year-round on weekends. Now through Labor Day, the Museum is open 5 days per week: Wednesdays through Sundays from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM. The Museum will also be open and operating trains on Independence Day (Wednesday July 4) and Labor Day (Monday September 3). Trains run every 90 minutes beginning at 11 AM.
For more information about Western Railway Museum and other nearby attractions, contact the Fairfield Conference & Visitors Bureau.
The Western Railway Museum is owned and operated by the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public-benefit, historical and educational organization.