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The Western Railway Museum 7/10/09

July 12, 2009

On Friday 7/10/09 I visited the Western Railway Museum, which is located between Susuin City, and Rio Vista, CA. The Western Railway Museum is home to the Bay Area Electric Railway Accosiation, which is dedicated to preserving California’s traction and interurban railroading history. Almost all of their collecton is operational, and the restoration jobs are absolutely beautiful. The museum mainly focuses on Sacramento Northern, the Key System, and Central California Traction. They have 3 steam locomotives, and they are all hidden off in a shed. There were a lot of trolleys inside Barn #1, which is where most of the operational equipment is stored. 5 of the trolleys you can walk into, look at, and sit in. One of them you can ring both the conductor and motorman’s bells. There was one trolley running, the museum always gives rides, and on weekends the operate several trolleys, but since it was a weekday they were only operating one. The trolley was Peninsular Railway 52, and it was built in 1903. The Peninsular Railway was an electric railroad that operated in San Jose and the surrounding areas. The ride takes you from the museum at Rio Vista Junction, to the station at Garfield and back. The ride is 10 miles round-trip and is about 45min – an hour long. You travel on the original Sacramento Northern right-of-way and the operations are almost exactly like the Sacramento Northern’s were.

It was a great day at a fantastic museum, and I hope to become a volunteer there.

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