The past Tuesday, with the Red Sox-A’s game at night, I took Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor service up to Sacramento for a second visit to the California State Railroad Museum. It’s a pleasant two-hour ride, so I had time to catch a 7:45 train, spend a couple of hours wandering around the museum and through Old Sacramento, and get back to Oakland in time to relax for a few hours before catching BART and heading out to the game.
There are beautifully restored locomotives – this huge cab-forward model was used to haul trains over the Sierras for years – and a fascinating selection of old rail cars, with well-informed docents there to explain things as you tour the facility.
In addition to the locomotives and cars, you can get a lot of history about train travel in California and, in particular, about the building of the trans-continental railroad … entirely understandable since work started in Sacramento.
The museum is an absolute must, even if you are just casually interested in train travel