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  1. #1

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    HUGE Ca. Train Museum TR! (LOTS of pics!)

    A few weeks ago after almost 12 months of travel for work, I was finally home for the year, as was one of my co-workers. As he just moved to Sacramento and also is learning to use a DSLR, we decided to spend a day at the train museum. my memory on some of the info is a little foggy, so if anybody here knows if some of the facts I mention are off a little, please feel free to fix em! Here are some pics for those of you who haven't been, those who have, and those who like photo trip reports!

    We started out near the Cab-Forward engine:




    A painting of the last spike ceremony. The picture doesn't show how HUGE this painting really is!



    I can't remember the story behind the spike, but I think it is one of three that were made for the last spike ceremony:



    The rear of the cab-forward train. Notice how much fuel the tender could hold!



    Across from the cab-forward is this engine. I really like how they used the mirrors to see under the train.


    Uh-oh. Number 13. This must be an evil train!







    Ahh....the "empire" train...That explains the black paint, and the number....



    Pay no mind to the goofball with the camera.......


    More of the Cab-Forward engine. The design came for the need of protecting engineers from the toxic smoke that they would encounter in the snow tunnels that covered the tracks in mountain areas. This is the last one left on the planet, the rest were scrapped. This particular engine is cosmetically restored, but not functionally restored. One of the volunteers at the museum mentioned that due to the huge size of the engine, it could no longer navigate the current curved radius tracks that are used.



    This thing is HUGE!



    The area of a steam train where the piston usually is:


    A display of a steam engine and some repair tools:


    A postal car:


    A interior shot of the postal car:


    Check out those wages!


    We found the description of the criminals funny:


    Another shot of the interior, and some letters/post cards




    Old news article. Notice the carrier packin heat!


    The rear of another steam train. Notice that the tender holds a little more than half of the cab-forward:


    Not sure what this is called:


    More steams!



    NOT an 80's Australian group!


    Interior of a steam loco cab. Look at the seat. No lumbar support, no heated seats, no seatbelt!


    Close-up of a driver:



    The drive wheels on these were almost 6' tall!



    I think I was told this was the last functional steam train there that would run on wood and not oil




    A passenger diesel:



    Xmas tree!


    Some shots of a stream-lined car. I love the aluminum look these had:





    Some old ads for Pullman cars:


    Random lamp shot!


    The green car simulates riding the rails:


    the inside of one of the cars. The passages are pretty narrow:


    More interior shots. The seats could fold out into beds, with a length of 6'2"!


    When you retire, you want it QUIET!


    The kitchen of the diner car:



    The following shots are of various dishes used by different lines:
















    A shot of the slide show inside of one of the reefer cars. Notice Hank Williams Jr loading produce when he wasn't touring:




    The boilerplate for the above engine (I think)


    This guy would not move for the photo!



    Reproduction gun:


    GODZILLA!




    They had Cal-Trans workers back then too!


    The following shots are upstairs. The first ones are from a donated collection of old-time toy trains, mostly Lionel that were donated when the original owner died. It really is quite impressive, even if you are not into toy (or model) trains













    Remember, this transformer was designed for KIDS!


    The shots of the layout do not use the rare cars of the collection, but the layout is huge! There are several buttons to push that may start a train, turn lights on/off, etc...It also goes to night from time to time. I apologize for the glare from the glass











    One of the locos that ran had a camera hooked up to the front to give a neat first person view of the layout. I think it was this one:


    More layout shots:







    Shots of various gauges of model trains available:










    Misc. shots of the area around the Capital, and inside:

    Vietnam memorial:






    Looking towards the back of the Capital:


    Firefighter's memorial:





    WORST placement of a sundial. Ever.


    This lake usually has rainbow trout in it and several waterfalls. No trout, no falls this time


    Inside the Capital:

    The dome:




    Wreath!


    Grizzly carving on the bannister:


    View towards the bridge. Well, if there was no tree in the way:


    The following needs some explaining. There are paintings of all the governors of California. Most are extremely realistic paintings. Except Jerry Brown's. For some reason, I like it. I do not know why.



    Outside of the Attorney General's:


    Some Misc. night shots from around the Capital. Not taken during this trip, but it ties in!

    Alien lights! Alien lights!


    The front of the Capital:


    Ball Sculpture! Notice the lack of fountains




    Some other weird things:



    Finally, whenever you visit the train museum, remember to drink the Night Train!

  2. #2

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    Re: HUGE Ca. Train Museum TR! (LOTS of pics!)

    Great post! I've been to Sac dozens of times and the Capital but I have never been able to visit the RR Museum. Thanks for the tour!
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  3. #3

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    Re: HUGE Ca. Train Museum TR! (LOTS of pics!)

    An excellent report coupled with outstanding pictures. Thank you very much for sharing!

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  4. #4

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    Re: HUGE Ca. Train Museum TR! (LOTS of pics!)

    Outstanding! Wonderful pictures! Maybe someday I'll have a chance to visit the museum, it looks like a fascinating place!




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  5. #5

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    Re: HUGE Ca. Train Museum TR! (LOTS of pics!)

    Put Sacramento on the list of places I want to visit. That train museum looks awesome.


  6. #6

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    Re: HUGE Ca. Train Museum TR! (LOTS of pics!)

    Very nice TR, thanks!

  7. #7

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    Re: HUGE Ca. Train Museum TR! (LOTS of pics!)

    A couple points...

    4 Spikes, 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Silver/Gold/Iron combo. Here's a bit on the spikes...
    After the Ceremony, the Golden Spike traveled back to California in the laurelwood tie aboard Stanford's coach. Enroute, a group of Army Officers riding with Stanford attempted to "drive" the Spike into the tie with the pommels of their swords, which accounts for indentations on the Spike's head, its only mar. Following a brief time on display, the Spike was returned to David Hewes. Hewes kept it until 1892, when he donated his extensive rare art collection, including the Golden Spike, to the museum of newly built Leland Stanford Junior University, Palo Alto, California.


    Nevada's silver spike was temporarily returned to Virginia City jewelers Nye & Co., who brightly polished the spike and engraved one side, "To Leland Stanford President of the Central Pacific Railroad. To the iron of the East and the gold of the West Nevada adds her link of silver to span the continent and wed the oceans." The spike was then delivered to Stanford and eventually placed along with the Golden Spike in the Stanford University museum.


    It is unknown what happened to Arizona Territory's spike immediately following the Ceremony. By 1943, the Arizona Territory spike was in the possession of Mrs. Arthur Whitney of Mendham, New Jersey, who donated it in that year to the Museum of the City of New York, which retains ownership of the spike. Mrs. Whitney was the wife of Arthur Whitney, a New Jersey Republican politician who ran for governor in 1925, after serving in the New Jersey State Assembly and Senate. How Mrs. Whitney came into possession of the spike isn't clear from the Museum's records. The Museum of the City of New York lent the spike for many years to the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History. It is currently on loan to the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa.


    The whereabouts of the second gold spike is unknown. It has been speculated that the spike was given to one of the Union Pacific dignitaries, but there is no mention of the spike in any of their memoirs. It is also possible that the spike was returned to the News Letter. If so, its fate may well have been the same as the newspaper company, when, in 1906, the San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed the News Letter Building.
    History Page
    Now about your beautiful spike picture... you have a shot of the 5th Spike... which wasn't even known to exsist until 2005... here's a bit on that
    A second golden spike, exactly like the one from the ceremony, was cast and engraved at the same time. It was held, unknown to the public, by the Hewes family until 2005. This second spike is now on permanent display, along with Thomas Hill's famous painting The Last Spike, at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento
    Golden spike - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Also glad to see the Stanford fully restored, if it's the one I am thinking of then it used to sit in the Stanford library.

    Very nice TR... at some point I want to get back to there.
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  8. #8

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    Re: HUGE Ca. Train Museum TR! (LOTS of pics!)

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    A couple points...

    4 Spikes, 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Silver/Gold/Iron combo. Here's a bit on the spikes...

    Now about your beautiful spike picture... you have a shot of the 5th Spike... which wasn't even known to exsist until 2005... here's a bit on that
    Also glad to see the Stanford fully restored, if it's the one I am thinking of then it used to sit in the Stanford library.

    Very nice TR... at some point I want to get back to there.
    EXACTLY the info I was talking about!

    I should start bringing a note-pad to museums!

  9. #9

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    Re: HUGE Ca. Train Museum TR! (LOTS of pics!)

    Quote Originally Posted by PinBrian View Post
    EXACTLY the info I was talking about!

    I should start bringing a note-pad to museums!
    I had to look up the majority of the info. I haven't been to the museum since I was a kid so I'm overdue to head back.

    The only reason I knew which spike it was is because it is completely intact. The other spikes were broken off and placed in predrilled holes on the board... and the excess pieces that were broken off were used to make rings/watch fobs etc. This is the only one to remain fully intact. I also believe this one has the wrong date on it, and the others have the correct date.

    I say "wrong date" but in reality it had the right one... the trains were delayed (I believe due to weather can't remember) and the other spikes were engraved after the ceremony, not before, so they had the delayed date.
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  10. #10

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    Re: HUGE Ca. Train Museum TR! (LOTS of pics!)

    Thanks for the great trip report! The California State Railroad Museum is a museum even non-train-lovers can appreciate. Teh displayes are beautifully done.

    Skip, the Gov. Standfrod was in the Stanford Library, but it has been on display in the Museum since 1981. If you go through the museum "the other way" than Brian did, you will see a short movie about the history of railroads, and when the screen lifts up, the scene with the Stanford is revealed, quite dramatically.

    Thanks for history of the spikes.

  11. #11

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    Re: HUGE Ca. Train Museum TR! (LOTS of pics!)

    Good trip report. I had a chance to go to the Museum a couple of times. I wonder if they are still planning to have a Railfair in the future? I missed the one back in '99.

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