PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Prospecting

Western Railway Museum celebrates arrival of spring

By From page B3 | April 02, 2014

Rain? Drought? Wildflowers? Whatever the weather, the Western Railway Museum’s spring trains, Scenic Limited and Vintage Comet, will once again roll through the California countryside in April.

Cookies and lemonade are served in the first class observation car of the Scenic Limited, making it perfect for an afternoon outing. If a sampling of local award-winning wines is more your style, check out the Vintage Comet on Saturdays at 4 p.m., which catches some great late-afternoon light.

These 100-year old antique trains are powered solely by electricity and offer an amazing glimpse into the past and the future, of travel.

The trains are pulled by Sacramento Northern interurban No. 1005. A true California native, it was built in 1912 in San Francisco and spent its working life on the same rail line the museum now owns and preserves: the Sacramento Northern Railway.

Also along for the ride is Salt Lake and Utah Railroad observation car No. 751, built in 1914. Volunteers have lovingly and accurately restored both No. 1005 and No. 751 to their historic glory.

Both Scenic Limited and Vintage Comet take visitors on an 11-mile, hour-long ride through the Montezuma Hills along the old Sacramento Northern rail line, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Passengers often catch views of the wildflowers that bloom on the hillsides and fields, including poppies, goldfields and sheep’s sorrel.

Admission also includes the Rail Car Display House, the new Traction Labs interactive energy and transportation exhibit, access to the picnic grounds and parking.

The Scenic Limited departs each Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11 a.m., 12:30 and 2 p.m. from April 2 to April 30.

Coach tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors 65 years and older and $7 for children 2-14. First Class service is $6 extra and includes cookies and lemonade served by uniformed staff. Advanced reservations for first-class accepted at brownpapertickets.com or 800-838-3006. Coach tickets are all first-come, first-served.

The Vintage Comet departs each Saturday at 4 p.m. from April 5 to April 26. All tickets are $25 per person and include a souvenir wine glass. Passengers sample four wines provided by the Suisun Valley Wine Co-op. A portion of the ticket price benefits the Solano Midnight Sun Foundation, which provides temporary financial assistance to women with breast cancer. Advanced reservations are accepted at brownpapertickets.com or 800-838-3006.

 The Western Railway Museum is located on the State Highway 12 in rural Solano County, midway between Interstate 80 in Fairfield and the quaint Sacramento Delta town of Rio Vista.

Western Railway

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