SACRAMENTO — Interested in riding the rails along the picturesque Sacramento River? Or maybe exploring the alluring underground is more your style. Either way, 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 5 & 6, with each program offering fun new twists to experience this season.
California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum announce the opening of the 31st season of weekend excursion trains on the Sacramento Southern Railroad on April 5 & 6 and continuing through September 2014. New this season, guests will treated to updated commentary aboard the trains that changes regularly depending on the special theme for each month. Also, the Railroad Museum will offer special “Diesel Days” one weekend per month when the popular excursion trains are pulled by two gracefully styled, streamlined diesel locomotives.
Excursion train ride guests delight in the sights, smells and sounds of an authentic, working 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 with the chance to enjoy train travel from an earlier era. The train features a combination of vintage closed coaches with comfortable seats, and open-air “gondolas” with bench style seating.
Also new this year, excursion train ride tickets are available to book online in advance at csrmf.org
or can be purchased in-person starting at 10:30 a.m. the day of the train ride (based on availability) at the Sacramento Southern Railroad ticket office located on Front Street between J and K Streets. All excursion trains depart from the Central Pacific Railroad Freight Depot in Old Sacramento (located on Front Street between J and K Streets). Departures are on-the-hour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekends the trains are running.
Regular excursion train tickets cost $10 for adults, $5 for youths (ages 6-17), and ages 5 and younger ride free. For passengers desiring a ride aboard the first-class car El Dorado, tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for youths and are free for children 5 and younger. Note: there is a per-ticket service fee when booking online. Groups interested in reserving the entire El Dorado car for a regularly scheduled ride need to do so in advance by calling (916) 322-8485. 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, call (916) 323-9280.
Now in its fifth consecutive season, the popular Old Sacramento Underground tour program will resume on weekends beginning April 5 & 6 and will continue through mid-December 2014 (with schedules fluctuating and expanding with the seasons). New this year, Old Sacramento Underground Tour guests will have a special, hands-on opportunity to learn what it was like to raise and level a building by operating “mini-jacks” during the tours. Custom-designed jacks will be placed at four corners of a scaled down building and tour participants will work collaboratively to spin the jacks and watch their raising and leveling progress. The hands-on experience allows guests to gain an understanding of and appreciation for the ambitious yet painstaking process successfully completed by Sacramento property and business owners in the 1860s and 1870s.
The Old Sacramento Underground tour program is coordinated by the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation in partnership with the city of Sacramento, California State Parks, Old Sacramento Business Association and participating merchants and businesses. While tour schedules vary with the seasons, Old Sacramento Underground tours will kick off on weekends in April, departing as follows for the month: 11 a.m., noon, 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Additionally, the popular “Adult Only” Old Sacramento Underground Tours will resume in 2014 with the first two offered on April 24 & 25 at 6 p.m. then expanding to every Thursday through Saturday beginning in May. For the “Adult Only” evening tours, guides lead guests on special walking tours while sharing some of the dark secrets and racy tales lurking in Old Sacramento’s underground history.
Regular tours of the underground last approximately one hour in length and cost $15 for adults, $10 for youths (ages 6-17) and children 5 and younger are free. The “adult only” 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 underground tours check-in at the Sacramento History Museum located at 101 I St. in Old Sacramento. Interested tour participants are encouraged to check the website at historicoldsac.org
for tour dates, times, availability and to purchase advance tickets. More information about the Old Sacramento Underground tour program or the Foundation is available by calling (916) 808-7059.