I spent the day today at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. [ http://www.csrmf.org/ ] When I bought the ticket the cashier said most people spend about and hour and a half going through the museum. I spent five hours-- I'm kind of a railroad nut.
This is the first steam engine purchased by the Central Pacific Railroad. It was given to Leland Stanford's widow and was on display elsewhere for a number of years before coming to it's current home. A lot of space at the museum was dedicated to telling the story of the Central Pacific and it's roll in building the transcontinental railroad that was finally completed in 1869.
The 1869 driving of the golden spike in Utah at the completion of the transcontinental railroad's construction.
The Central Pacific operated heavy trains through a lot of tunnels. A normal steam engine, with the cab at the rear, was pretty tough on the crew that had to breath the engine's smoke as it went through tunnels. This cab-forward steam engine saved the operating crew from having to do that.
This is the engineer's seat in the cab-forward locomotive.
Kitchen car display.
This dinning car display had examples of place settings for all of the major railroads... and the guide knew WAY more about railroad place settings than is probably healthy.
The largest model train set up at the museum.
The smallest model train set up at the museum. [ Z-scale ]
The train museum is located in the Old Sacramento district with lots of great old buildings.