Image courtesy of Center for Sacramento History, Ralph Shaw Collection
The famed locomotive C.P. Huntington in front of the Sacramento Railyard Shops.
The Railyard Project consists of two historic buildings that were constructed beginning in the late 1800s and were previously used by California State Parks staff under a long-term lease. In November 2018, California State Parks announced the clearing of the path to own and manage the Boiler Shop Building and the Erecting Shop as part of a larger project to revitalize the 240-acre Sacramento Downtown Railyards. The shops provide space for indoor storage of dozens of locomotives, railroad cars, and related equipment. In addition, the shops allow space for locomotive repair and maintenance as an essential component of the operation of the California State Railroad Museum.
Over the course of many years, California State Parks has worked with the State Lands Commission, City of Sacramento, and Downtown Railyard Venture to acquire the historic Boiler Shop Building and the Erecting Shop. On Sept. 8, 2017, the Public Works Board approved the acquisition of the Boiler Shop Building and secured a 30-year lease, with an option to acquire, the Erecting Shop, which closed escrow in early 2018. These buildings could also one day serve as an ideal venue for exhibits and hands-on activities that actively demonstrate how transportation, industry, technology, agriculture, business, and diversity shaped our past and continue to be a part of our vibrant future.
In line with the original plan in place, even before the Railroad Museum was built in 1981, acquisition sets the foundation for the long-term vision of creating an interactive, hands-on exhibit that would complement the current Railroad Museum. With the possible future addition of an interactive venue, the plan is to extend programming and exhibits from the existing Railroad Museum to the Shops buildings. There, museum visitors could have the unique opportunity to participate in on-site tours, watch ongoing and time-honored restoration work underway in the boiler and erecting shops, and learn about the exciting future of railroading.
A rainbow arcs over the Sacramento Railyard shops.