School Field Trips to Railtown 1897 SHP

General information

The school field trip program is targetted for fourth grade classes. Dates are available in April, May and June on a first-come first-served basis. Reservations are required. Most visits include a tour of the historic roundhouse and an excursion train ride. Picnic benches are available to enjoy breakfast, snack, or lunch in the park.

We request you bring sufficient adult chaperones to accompany your field trip. We recommend siblings in other grades to not accompany the group. Railtown 1897 is a historic park. There is uneven ground and walkways, and some areas may be dark. We offer an ADA lift to assist in boarding the train. Please inform us how many passengers may require the lift.

There are potential alternatives for other grade levels, dates, and arrangements but they may incur a fee. Please contact us at to discuss the options.

Available dates in 2024

  • Friday, April 12 - FULL
  • Friday, April 19 - FULL
  • Friday, April 26 - FULL
  • Friday, May 3   - FULL
  • Friday, May 17 - FULL
  • Friday, June 21


Railtown's school event coordinator will assist you in scheduling a visit. Confirmed field trip reservations are free, thanks to the generous support of our partner, the California State Railroad Museum Foundation. It is important to arrive on time for your field trip as tours and trains depart on a schedule.

To reserve a school field trip slot at Railtown 1897 SHP, please email the school event coordinator at It is important for us to know your arrival time, and how long you plan to stay at Railtown, for scheduling. Tours and train rides run to a schedule.


New for 2024, we are offering Friday, June 21, as Homeschool Day. Reservations are required. Please email the school event coordinator at to secure a time slot. Please coordinate with fellow homeschoolers to form a group of 15 to 25 students to help us facilitate scheduling.

Activities your students may experience at Railtown include:

  Railroad interpretation Tour guides Train ride
  Railroad interpretation Guided tours Excursion train ride
  Railroad communications Blacksmith demonstration Picnic
  Train crew communication Blacksmith demonstration Picnic in the park

Guided Tours

Students are generally formed into groups of 20 to 25 students, plus adult chaperones, for the tour. We run multiple tours simultaneously using the "stations" teaching approach where students rotate through learning centers. Tours take 30 to 45 minutes. Adult chaperones should assist in keeping children together and focussed on the tour. The school coordinator will assist you in how to organize your students for the tour.

Excursion Train Ride

Students take an excursion train ride through the scenic Motherlode countryside. This area has been filmed extensively by Hollywood leading to Railtown earning the nickname, "The Movie Railroad."

The excursion train ride lasts about 45 minues. There are no restrooms on the train.


It has been our experience that children often need to use the restrooms upon arriving at Railtown. Please allow ample time for students to use the restroom prior to their scheduled tour or train ride. There are no restrooms on board the train.

Railroad Store

If your students wish to visit the Railtown store, we request no more than 20 students enter at a time, with adult supervision. The store typically stocks toys, books, clothing, and gift items.

Bussing Subsidy

The California State Railroad Museum Foundation has allocated funds to help cover the cost of busing students to Railtown to take part in Railtown's school train program. To apply for funds, please use the following link:

More Information

Railtown has a 4th grade teacher's guide on The Sierra Railway and the transformation of California. Ask us for a copy and we will email it to you.

We also offer a fun scavenger hunt if you have time before or after your scheduled field trip.

To reserve a school field trip slot at Railtown 1897 SHP, please email the school program coordinator at