great western rail adventure

all prices & options are per person

Year - 2023

Departure Date - Jun 24

Return Date - Jun 30

This Tour Is - cancelled

Tour Type - Railfan / Tourist

$2,995 - Double Room Occupancy

$495 - Single Room Supplement

$500 - Deposit To Hold Space

Final Payment Due By - March 24, 2023

about this tour

The 38th annual National Garden Railroad Convention will be held in Santa Clara, California which is in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay Area Garden Railway Society will be the host for this convention. This tour has been approved by the convention committee. We will accept bookings from both conventioneers and even folks that have not signed up for this convention.

This link will take you directly to the Convention website

day by day - Itinerary

Day 1 - Sat Jun 24

Meet our guides in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Santa Clara, California at 8:30AM. The Hyatt Regency is the official hotel for the 38th Annual National Garden Railway Convention being hosted by the Bay Area Garden Railway Society. Our charter motor coach will depart from the hotel at 8:30AM. First stop will be at the Niles Canyon Railroad at Sunol. This railroad is operated by the Pacific Locomotive Association. We will have our own private charter train which will take us through Niles Canyon on the former Southern Pacific route. We have requested that Clover Valley No. 4 a 2-6-6-2T Mallet. Next we visit the Niles Depot Museum at Fremont. This is the original Southern Pacific passenger depot built in 1901 and now has been made into a railroad museum with operating N and HO scale model trains. We then board Capitol Corridor train 736 due at Fremont at 3:34PM. We will ride this train all the way to the end of the run which is at Auburn in the High Sierra foothills due at 7:06PM. We will have dinner in Auburn then ride our motorcoach to Nevada City and hotel check in at the Northern Queen Inn.

🍽 lunch, dinner

Day 2 - Sun Jun 25

After breakfast and once you have checked out of your room all you need to do is walk down to the narrow gauge railroad depot which is right next to the hotel and board a waiting charter railcar operated by the Nevada County Narrow Gauge and Transportation Museum for the ride through the forest to the railroad museum. Once at the museum you will have plenty of time to enjoy the motive power, rolling stock and displays. After our museum visit we will board our motorcoach for the ride to Colfax where we board Amtrak's eastbound California Zephyr due at 12:21PM for the ride over Donner Pass to Reno, Nevada. You may want to enjoy lunch in the dinning car. Our motorcoach will be waiting at Reno for the 3:56PM arrival of Amtrak and take us to Carson City and hotel check-in.

🍽 breakfast

Day 3 - Mon Jun 26

Morning visit to the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City. We have arranged to have the Virginia & Truckee McKeen Car in operation for ride around the museum loop track. Next we go to the Virginia & Truckee Railroad's Eastgate/Carson City station where our charter train pulled by one of the steam locomotives will be waiting to take us up the steep grade to Virginia City. Several photo run-bys will be made on our way to Virginia City. Upon arrival in Virginia City we will give you a workshop tour before letting you explore colorful Virginia City. Then late afternoon we travel on our motorcoach from Virginia City to Portola, California and motel check-in.

🍽 breakfast, lunch

Day 4 - Tue Jun 27

Morning visit to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum. We have arranged to have WP 165, a 0-6-0 fired up and operating for our visit. This is the only operating WP steam locomotive. Departing Portola we head west down the Feather River Canyon with a stop at Blairsden to enjoy Chris Skow's G scale model railroad and his artifact railroad museum including a Mexican Buffet lunch on the deck as the model trains run through the forest in his backyard. After lunch we then spend the rest of the day watching and photographing the freight trains in the Feather River Canyon on the Union Pacific and BNSF Railroads. Hotel check-in at Oroville which is located at the mouth of the Feather River Canyon.

🍽 breakfast, lunch

Day 5 - Wed Jun 28

Departing Oroville in the morning we travel southwest to Sacramento where we visit the California State Railroad Museum. Mid-afternoon we will take a ride on the Sacramento Regional Transit out to historic Folsom. Upon arrival back in Sacramento we have hotel check-in. In the evening we will visit the Sacramento Model Railroad Historical Society's HO layout. They will have a special operating session for our group.

🍽 breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6 - Thur Jun 29

Today our motorcoach will take us from Sacramento to Rio Vista Junction to visit the Western Railway Museum including an excursion out into the countryside on one of the museum's interurban rail cars. Then mid afternoon we travel from Rio Vista Junction to Walnut Creek on our motorcoach. We have arranged to visit the Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society's huge HO scale model railroad with an operating session just for our group. After our visit we then will board a BART train in Walnut Creek and ride to Richmond where we then transfer across the platform and catch a Capitol Corridor train for the return journey to Sacramento. 2nd night at Sacramento.

🍽 lunch

Day 7 - Fri Jun 30

In the morning we will take you on a tour of the former Southern Pacific workshops which now is where the California State Railroad Museum stores all of their locomotives and rolling stock that is not currently on display. Then at 1:00pm we will take a ride on the Sacramento Southern Railroad excursion along the Sacramento River which is scheduled to be steam hauled. Then mid afternoon you will have time to explore Old Sacramento before we board our motorcoach and head for Napa. In the evening we will have dinner on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Once the train returns to Napa our motorcoach will take us back to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Santa Clara and the end of our tour.

🍽 dinner



Tour Pricing:

All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. Those people that use a credit card for payments a 3% conveyance fee will be added to the tour price. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.