Events and Exhibits
Tuesdays, 10:00 - Noon -- Behind-the-Scenes Shop Tours
Due to their popularity, weekly Behind-the-Scenes Shop Tours of Railtown 1897 State Historic Park are now available on Tuesday mornings on an ongoing basis! This is your chance to get an up-close look at routine maintenance and specialized work happening on current projects in the historic Roundhouse as well as in the Tri-Dam shop (a Cold War-era machine shop used to repair, replace or service parts for operating equipment, cars, steam and diesel locomotives). Keep in mind, parts for steam engines -- and sometimes vintage diesel locomotives -- cannot be purchased and must be manufactured on-site making Railtown 1897 SHP one of the most accessible places around to watch this specialized work being performed. After a brief slide show, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteer host will guide visitors to the historic shops to meet and ask questions of skilled paid and volunteer staff who are actively working on projects and activities that keep the historic shops alive. Mark your calendar to spend your Tuesday mornings joining the Shop Tours and watching this important work get done!
April 6 through September 2013 (11:00 - 5:00) Event -- Weekend Steam-Powered Excursion Train Rides
All aboard as Railtown 1897 State Historic Park resumes its popular steam-powered excursion train rides through California's scenic Gold Country! While the Park is open daily, on weekends beginning April 6, guests will enjoy a memorable six-mile, 45-minute round trip ride along the rails of the famous "Movie Railroad." To kick off the new season, excursion train rides will be offered behind "Movie Star Locomotive" Sierra No. 3 on opening weekend. Plus, local residents from Calaveras, Mariposa and Tuolumne counties can visit the Park and ride completely free with proof of residency this first weekend only. And, Railtown 1897 visitors can also enjoy other opening weekend festivities such as live music, tours of the historic Roundhouse and demonstrations of the historic, belt-driven machine shop. Capacity is limited for steam-powered excursion train rides so guests are encouraged to arrive early. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the ticket window beginning at 10 a.m. on the days the trains are running. After opening weekend, Railtown 1897 SHP plans to offer steam-powered excursion train rides behind Sierra No. 3 on Saturdays and vintage diesel locomotives on Sundays through the 2013 operating season. Additionally, diesel train rides will be offered on Wednesdays throughout the summer season (July 10 through August 28). Because the schedule is subject to change with expanded service on holiday weekends, etc., visitors are encouraged to call 209-984-3953 or check this website for updated information..
May 11, 2013 - Event -- National Train Day
All aboard as Railtown 1897 State Historic Park celebrates National Train Day with special activities sure to delight railroad enthusiasts and guests from near and far! Visitors to the State Historic Park can enjoy steam-powered excursion train rides behind the "Movie Star Locomotive" Sierra No. 3 and aboard the famous Caboose No. 7, check out behind-the-scenes tours of the historic Roundhouse and Shops, and view a number of historic locomotives, equipment and vehicles on special display this one-day-only, including the No. 28 & 2 locomotives, historic track maintenance vehicles such as the 1920s Ford Model T custom-adapted for use on the Railroad, and the Hetch-Hetchy 19 car, custom built for use in the construction of the Hetch Hetchy Dam (which will be operational and available for rides). Also, the historic belt-driven machine shop will be up and running so guests can see it in action and understand that on a shortline, much of the work was done "in house" at the shops (with exception of major engine rebuilds). Keep in mind, capacity is limited for steam-powered excursion train rides so guests are encouraged to arrive early. All train ride tickets include Park admission and are available for advance purchase at www.railtown1897.org as well as at the ticket window beginning at 10 a.m. the day of the train ride (based on availability). Don't miss the National Train Day celebration at Railtown 1897 SHP!
May 12, 2013 – (11:00 – 3:00) Event -- Steam-Powered Excursion Train Rides on Mother's Day!
Looking for a unique way to treat mom extra special this Mother's Day? Plan a trip to Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (SHP) in Jamestown for a relaxing steam-powered train ride behind the famous "Movie Star Locomotive" Sierra No. 3 and she'll receive a complimentary commemorative Belgian chocolate bar (while supplies last). And to add to the holiday festivities, children will receive complimentary balloons on this special day. With beautiful wildflowers still in bloom on Mother's Day, Railtown 1897's excursion train rides include a relaxing, six-mile, 45-minute journey that takes passengers through the rolling Gold Country foothills, passing through meadows and along grassy hillsides covered with ancient oak trees. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on-site on the sprawling Roundhouse lawn. In addition, the Railtown 1897 SHP Depot Store, Interpretive Center and grounds are open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and guided Roundhouse tours are available, too. Advanced train ride tickets are encouraged and available online at www.railtown1897.org.
May 25, 26, and 27 (11:00 – 3:00) Event -- Memorial Day Weekend
Regular excursion trains depart Saturday, Sunday and Monday over the holiday weekend, on the hour from 11 to 3, all three days. Special demonstrations, motor cars and other activities are offered.
June 16, 2013 (11:00 – 3:00) Event -- Father’s Day
Father’s Day at Railtown! Bring a picnic and enjoy a relaxing Father’s Day at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. Special treats for dads aboard regular excursion trains when accompanied by a child. Trains depart on the hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vintage diesel locomotive pulls our first-class car and open-air cars.
July 4 – 7, 2013 (11:00 – 3:00) Event -- Fourth of July Days
Spend time with family and friends at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park while you ride, tour and experience steam trains, authentic railroad facilities, live music and Hollywood film and television heritage – things uniquely American!
July 20, 2013 Event -- Spotlight on Railtown Fundraiser
Behind-the-Scenes at Railtown with local wineries serving amongst the locomotives, speeder rides, live music and lots of other surprises, followed by a special, excursion train.
July 27, 2013 Event -- Rods to Rails
Join us for the 2nd Annual Rods to Rails Car Show, as Hot Rods take over the streets of Jamestown and classic cars are on display on our shaded lawn.
August 3, 2013 – Event -- Singing Rails Railroad Music
As long as there have been trains, there have been train songs to sing. Join us for a great time with performers Sourdough Slim, and bluegrass band Red Dog Ash, bring low-backed chairs and a picnic and enjoy an afternoon train ride, then dine on the lawn. Advanced tickets suggested. Join us at Railtown for this unique event, which brings together the best of California folk musicians.
August 31, September 1 and 2 (11 – 3) Event -- Labor Day Weekend
Regular, steam-powered excursion train rides depart Saturday, Sunday and Monday over the holiday weekend.
September 21, 2013 (4:00) Event -- Mark Twain Train
At 4 p.m., join Mark Twain on the lawn at Railtown, while he spins some tales about his adventures in the Mother Lode. Then mingle with Mr. Twain and fiddler Dave Rainwater on the 5 p.m. train. Special, advanced-sale ticket prices apply.
September 28, 2013 Evening Event -- Member Day: Twilight Train Ride
Join us for a special, members-only event. Twilight train rides, live music and more! Invitations will be sent to all Railtown members in September, so watch your mailbox! Advance reservations required.
October Weekends (11 – 3) Event -- Harvest Haunt Express
Climb aboard Railtown’s answer to Halloween: The Harvest Haunt Express, with our “Skeleton Crew” aboard. Specially decorated excursion trains depart on the hour from 11 to 3, filled with fun for the whole family.
November 29-30, and December 1, 14 and 15, 2013 (11 – 3) Event -- Santa Express
Santa visits Railtown! Climb aboard with Santa on our excursion train, departing on the hour from 11 to 3, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend and again December 14 and 15. Hot chocolate served in the carriage room. Regular ticket prices apply.
November 29 and 30, 2013 (Evening Event) -- Santa’s Starlight Express
Bundle up and ride with Santa and a train full of carolers on our most magical excursion of the whole year. Railtown’s cars and buildings are lighted for the season, creating an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Music and hot chocolate on board. Special ticket prices apply.
For more information on any of the listed events, please call (209) 984-3953.