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“The Gem of Sacramento”

California State Railroad Museum
Ranked #1 of 168 things to do in Sacramento
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: North America's largest railroad museum draws more than 500,000 train enthusiasts annually.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Folsom, California, United States
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“The Gem of Sacramento”
Reviewed October 10, 2013

Wow! This museum is incredible. The displays are well done and the trains are first rate. I honestly think we enjoy going more than the kids! Plan on 60 quick minutes or 90 minutes to do some of the reading / learning. You can't do much better if you are visiting the Sacramento area.

Visited July 2013
Thank Robert T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,110 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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English first
Bend, Oregon
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Excellent museum, but the movie needs work”
Reviewed October 9, 2013

This was actually my fourth or fifth trip to the museum, and it continues to impress. The exhibits are really extraordinary. My personal favorite is the cab-forward steam locomotive, with is truly awesome. They've opened up the cab for display as well, so you can sit in the engineer's seat and get a real feel for what it was like to drive this monster! The rocking 1930's Pullman car is also a real treat. For kids of all ages, the Lionel and Buddy L toy train exhibit on the second floor is incredible!!

The only negative comment I could make is about the movie. It's so California-politically-correct it's almost laughable. It's also due for a remake, since it's the same one they've been showing for many, many years.

That aside, this is a really great museum for the entire family. And as one other reviewer said - plan on setting aside plenty of time. There's a lot to see!!!

Highly educational, and highly recommended!

Visited September 2013
Thank bendwriter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 6 Contributor
200 reviews
105 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 402 helpful votes
“Fantastic museum for any train enthusiast”
Reviewed October 9, 2013

I have visited this museum at least half a dozen times in the past, and I must say each time I learn something new here. What is great about this museum is its knowledgeable docents who would patiently spend time with visitors to tell about the history behind the many exhibits. There is no doubt all of the exhibits and artifacts are wonderful to look at and experience, but to get a deeper level of appreciation you would really need to have a docent tell you more about them.

My recommendation when you visit the museum is to give yourself at least 2-3 hours to experience everything. Guided tours are given several times a day, so make sure to take advantage of one. Ask the docents to tell you about the exhibits, if you'd like to learn more about them. This is a great museum for kids also (we have 4 and 7 year olds), as there's a giant model train display area, as well as a play area with lots of Thomas and Chugginton sets.

Visited October 2013
Thank vetism
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salisbury, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
509 reviews
157 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
“Fantastic Railroad Museum”
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We have been to several railroad museums and this has to rank as the best so far. Exhibits are well presented and cover the history of railroads supporting the gold rush and the transcontinental link. A number of rail cars you can enter.

Visited September 2013
Thank Gene K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“This needs time to savour - don't arrive late in the day!”
Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

We only had an hour but it was still good to visit here. See the movie to start as it is excellent. The huge exhibits are truly magnificent and every bit as impressive as you expect - maybe even a bit bigger! There is every effort to evoke the whole experience of the railroad and the car which 'moves' on the rails is part of that. Staff friendly and helpful and the volunteer we talked to looked every part like 'Casey Jones'. Would recommend this attraction. Good shop as well. Well done to all involved in keeping this attraction going.

Visited October 2013
Thank Balmillig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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