Events and Exhibits
Ongoing Tuesdays - 10am-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!
Park open everyday, winter hours, 10AM-3PM are in effect. Our experienced guides are available to lead visitors on tours of our operating steam roundhouse, where maintenance activities are conducted as they have been for over a century. Visitors get an up-close look at our historic locomotives and gain insight into the challenges of maintaining industrial-age equipment in a modern world. January-March is a busy time in the roundhouse as annual inspections and maintenance are being conducted. Shop Tours of the No. 28 maintenance project are offered every Tuesday from 10-12
Volunteer Training - February & March
If you enjoy sharing your love of Railtown with park visitors, and have a minimum of 8 hours a month to spare, you may just who we are looking for! Previous experience is not required, our orientation and workshops will prepare you to succeed as a car host, tour guide, ticket agent, or fire patrol. Applicants of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Applications are available by calling (209) 984-4408 or at http://railtown1897.org/volunteer.
Opening Weekend - April 5th & 6th
Opening Weekend for Railtown’s regular 2014 Steam Train Operating Season! Grand Opening festivities, both days. This weekend only, Calaveras, Mariposa and Tuolumne County residents ride trains for free (proof of residency required). Arrive at 7am and watch the crew prepare the train for the day in the historic roundhouse.
Wildflower Trains - April 12th & 19th
Special afternoon Wildflower Train departs at 4:30 p.m. from the Railtown 1897 Depot on these two Saturdays only. Prior to boarding the train, passengers will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with wildflowers of the Sierra Nevada foothills. Once aboard the train, Naturalists will answer questions and point out wildflower groupings along the way. Guests take away wildflower seeds to spread at home. Train capacity is limited, and reservations are suggested. Regular steam-powered excursion trains also depart on-the-hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this day.
National Train Day - May 10th
Join us to celebrate National Train Day- an annual celebration of all things trains. We’ll have lots going on in and around the roundhouse, including speeder demonstrations, equipment that is seldom seen, and the belt-driven machine shop in operation.
Mother’s Day - May 11th
Bring a picnic, and enjoy a relaxing Mother’s Day at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. Special treats for moms aboard regular steam-powered excursion trains when accompanied by a child. Trains depart on the hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Memorial Day Weekend - May 24th, 25th & 26th
Regular excursion trains depart Saturday, Sunday, and Monday over the holiday weekend, on the hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. all three days.
Singing Rails Railroad Music Event - June 7th
As long as there have been trains, there have been train songs to sing. An important part of the American Railroad experience, this type of folk music was created and performed by railroad workers, and the communities they lived. Join us for a music contest during the day, followed by an evening concert.
Father’s Day - June 15th
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.
Wednesday Diesel Days Wednesdays from July 9th- August 27th
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!
Rods to Rails - July 26th
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. Sponsored by the Promotion Club of Jamestown.
Labor Day Weekend - September August 30th, 31st and September 1st
Regular excursion train rides depart Saturday, Sunday, and Monday over the holiday weekend.
For more information on any of the listed events, please call (209) 984-3953.