If you love trains, you ought to visit Northern California. This is the destination of numerous diesel and steam locomotives operating along with the modern trains. You can choose from relaxing train rides covering the California Redwoods or, you can choose to enjoy a luxurious time with a train ride through the Napa Valley Wine Country.
Here are the top train rides that you should try in Northern California.
1. California State Railroad
This is an excursion train of California State railroad museum. The train runs for 6 miles covering Old Sacramento. The train runs from April from September. You can also choose the Sacramento Southern railroad, which covers the Sacramento River levees. You can choose between diesel and steam locomotive with vintage coaches. If you are visiting during Halloween, you can enjoy the special train excursion called the Halloween Spookomotive train ride and in the winter (Nov and Dec), you can experience the famous Polar Express.
2. Steam Powered Locomotive in Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
This park is located in the Gold Country of California. This park holds an ancient preserved train repair shop and roundhouse. You can choose the excursion on a steam locomotive through this park. The trains are operational only from April to October. The route starts from Railtown Depot and ends in Sierra foothills, covering 6 miles in one hour. You can also find special train like Santa’s Starlight Express.
3. UP6946 Diesel Locomotive
This ancient train is found in the Portola's Western Pacific Railroad Museum. This diesel locomotive runs through the museum on short trips. You can find seasonal trains in December and other holiday times.
4. Sacramento River Train
This train offers different tour options covering the regions along the Sacramento River. The train journey starts from Woodland and covers the river regions. The route and the type of amenities depend on the type of train you choose. You can enjoy meals in the dining cars of the train. You can also find special trains during holidays and vacations.
5. Napa Valley Wine Train
This is a luxury train, which covers the natural and cultural beauties of the land. The train starts from St. Helena and covers the wineries around the region and returns to St. Helena. The tour covers four-course meal, music performances, and others. During special events, you will find special excursions like Rock the Rails, private twilight tours, and others. The train covers 36 miles of valley and winery beauty. The chefs prepare special meals for the travels and offer an assortment of classic and unique wines.
6. Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad
The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is a nostalgic steam train that covers just four miles through the redwoods and lush forested regions. Although the route is short, the experience is mind-blowing. On the way, you will be enjoying granite domes, plunging canyon, wide meadows, and the famous Yosemite Valley.
7. Sierra Railroad Dinner Train
Do you love a nostalgic murder mystery experience? The Sierra Railroad Dinner train offers numerous themed train journeys with dinner through the central valley's countryside. The train route starts from San Francisco and ends at Yosemite national park.
8. Fort Bragg Skunk Train
If you are travelling with your kids, you ought to try the Fort Bragg Skunk Train. This train offers numerous nature-themed and family friendly train rides. The train rides through beautiful scenic routes and spans for four hours.
9. Roaring Camp Railroad
This train is for those who love a diverse natural beauty. The train starts from Santa Cruz Mountains and runs through the region covering Henry Cowell Redwood State Park and reaches the Santa Cruz Beach Broadwalk. You will be riding in a 19th century steam train through the forested regions of California.
10. Niles Canyon Railway
This is another museum train for excursion lovers. This historic train takes you through the important regions of this museum. Apart from the train, the museum is also famous for numerous train related exhibits.
11. Amtrak California Zephyr
This is one of the most commonly chosen tourist attraction here. The train starts from San Francisco and reaches Donner Summit. The train covers the wild regions of the west in a nostalgic feel.
Are you planning to enjoy the historic moments and natural beauties of Northern California? Choose to cover the rugged coastlines and mountain ranges in a luxury way with the trains. It is easier to relish the history and culture of the land with these train journeys. Remember that not all trains will be open throughout the year. So, plan accordingly.