Inside the California State Railroad Museum

By Aaron Isaacs, HRA editor

At every HRA conference I try to take plenty of photos of the museums and railroads we visit. The California State Railroad Museum is three venues in one.

  1. The indoor display museum
  2. The as yet undeveloped Sacramento Shops
  3. the Sacramento Southern demonstration railroad

So here’s a photo tour. Look for future posts on our side visits to Railtown 1897, the Niles Canyon Railway and the Western Railway Museum.

Central Pacific #1 Governor Stanford was built in 1862, shipped around Cape Horn and entered service within a block of the museum in 1863. It’s one of several 19th century locomotives preserved in the 1930s by the Pacific Coast Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society that became the nucleus of the CSRM collection.

Virginia & Truckee 4-4-0 Genoa (Baldwin 1873) pulls V&T combine #16 through an 1884 truss bridge. At right is a narrow gauge consist headed by North Pacific Coast 4-4-0 #12 (Baldwin 1876).

A display of drumheads, travel posters and china.

Southern Pacific rotary snowplow MW205 (Also-Cooke 1920, converted from steam to electric in 1958.

Southern Pacific cab-forward 4-8-8-2 #4294 (Baldwin 1944). Alongside it is the hand-drawn 60-foot map of the entire Central Pacific, displayed for the first time for the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

The Santa Fe dining car Cochiti (Budd 1936) contains a terrific display of railroad china.

The upper floors contain exhibits on toy trains, model railroads and railroad photography.

A simple but effective display of different gauge models.

After leasing them for over a decade, CSRM has finally acquired the former Southern Pacific Boiler Shop (foreground) and the adjacent Erecting Shop.

Inside the Boiler Shop. There are 25-ton and 50-ton overhead cranes. Replacing the very leaky roofs of both buildings will be the top priority.

The Boiler Shop is full of big machine tools like this mill.

The Boiler Shop drop table.

CSRM had to build a new transfer table to access the two buildings.

The turntable, just north of the transfer table.

The Erecting Shop is really two buildings. This is the newer west half, where CSRM stores rolling stock. Nearest is Nevada Copper Belt motor car #21 Yerrington (Hall-Scott 1911).

This is Southern Pacific #1000 (EMC 1939), SP’s first diesel.

Santa Fe RSD-15 #9820 (Alco 1959) came to the museum as part of the Santa Fe historical collection.

Central Pacific commuter 2-6-2T #233 was a 1882 product of this very shop.

SP tunnel motor SD45 #6819 (EMD 1972) and Santa Fe 2-6-2 #1010 (Baldwin 1901).

San Diego & Arizona Eastern fire truck #1003 (Ford 1931)

The east half of the Erecting Shop was built in 1869.

Excavation to clean up soil contamination unearthed these 19th century boilers.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 #2925 (Baldwin 1944).

3-way stub switch leading to the replica of the original Central Pacific depot.

Inside the train shed are Virginia & Truckee 2-4-0 J. W. Bowker (Baldwin 1875) and ex-Army SW8 #2008 (EMD 1951) and SP 4-6-2 2467 (Baldwin 1921).

The rear of the museum with its roundhouse and turntable. At left is the track connection to the Sacramento Shops. At right is the cutaway F unit.