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“Interested in History or Trains? Go Here!”

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
Ranked #2 of 14 things to do in Jamestown
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A working railroad since the 1890's, this park is now run by the California State Railroad Museum. It offers visitors self-guided tours.
Reviewed 2 April 2018

I visited Railtown 1897 State Historic Park with a friend on Easter Sunday. They were holding Easter Egg Hunts with the Easter Bunny, so the place was understandably quite full with families and children.

We expected to take a quick walk around the park, and be done. But we learned that there was a walking tour leaving soon that was included with our admission, so we joined it, and I'm delighted that we did. Our guide was incredibly thorough, and provided tons of technical and historic information. He also let us pick up and try out the old tools and explore the blacksmith shop, which was fascinating.

I understand why this park is popular with families, but I also want to advocate for adults to visit if you have the slightest interest in trains or in the ingenuity required to build a railway in the wild west.

Thank ChicagoTravelingNow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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All reviews
"train ride"
in 44 reviews
"steam train"
in 21 reviews
"round house"
in 18 reviews
"petticoat junction"
in 21 reviews
"guided tour"
in 23 reviews
"railroad history"
in 8 reviews
"rolling stock"
in 6 reviews
"love trains"
in 7 reviews
"movies and tv shows"
in 11 reviews
"the polar express"
in 5 reviews
"blacksmith shop"
in 6 reviews
"western movie"
in 3 reviews
"rail cars"
in 3 reviews
"clint eastwood"
in 3 reviews
"step back in time"
in 6 reviews
"old west"
in 5 reviews
"living history"
in 3 reviews
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7 - 11 of 256 reviews

Reviewed 7 March 2018

The highlight of this park is the working shop where they maintain the locomotives and stock. As a bonus, there have been many (over 100?) film shoots here; both television and film.

1  Thank Curt T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2018

If you like trains then this is a place you will enjoy. You can see an old stream train, Number 3, that is still in use, along with other types of operational trains. This is a working facility that is restoring old trains. On weekends, you can even take a short train ride. Worth the $5 per person for a guided tour.

1  Thank JDtravel4fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2017

The state park has a good collection of railroad items especially from films but the day we were there did not click. The park was getting ready for its version of the Polar Express and some 8000 people seeing Santa Claus. As opening was a day away it was obvious that the volunteers were feeling overwhelmed. We received wrong information on the tours and then we told we were in a place that we should not have gone into. However, there was no one to show us around as promised. This is rather frustrating. We wanted to see things (ex-railroader) but needed a guide, but there was no guide and then one came along and wanted to start all over. We are pretty sure that people were anxious about the opening, but the end result was we did not fully enjoy it. The cost is $5 per adult which was not bad.

Thank Maconthemove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 November 2017

We decided on a whim to visit this park. We are so glad we did! We wandered around on our own for a bit and then joined a tour led by Paul, one of the volunteer docents. He was such a great guide and clearly loves the park and has a passion for trains. We saw some historic Sierra Railroad trains and one that has been in numerous tv shows and movies. The historic roundhouse was really cool especially since it's been in continuous operation for 100 years. Great place for kids and adults who love trains!

Thank Dana R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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