Day Trip: Western Railway Perfect Autumn Outing

Perfect for Autumn Outing

A quick day trip to the Western Railway Museum in Suisun gives visitors of all ages the opportunity to ride historic streetcars and interurban electric trains from all over California and other western states.

In 1946, the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association formed to foster interest in such vehicles. By 1960, a collection of rolling stock had been acquired, and in that year the building of a railroad museum began. In 1985, the name "Western Railway Museum" was adopted.

All Aboard

Today, streetcars loop the delightful, shaded picnic grounds, while other vehicles run over the restored main line of the old Sacramento Northern Railway. Visitors can enjoy a 10-mile roundtrip ride through the gently rolling Montezuma Hills that features unparalleled vistas of the tranquil countryside, including Mt. Diablo and the Great Suisun Marsh.

With more than 50 historic cars on display, additional exhibits, a theater, bookstore, barbecue area and gift shop, the museum makes an ideal family outing. The Depot CafÈ in the new Visitors Center offers hot dogs, ice cream, hot and cold beverages, and other snacks. The center, designed in the mission revival style, recently hosted an exhibit entitled "The Key System and Growth of East Bay Cities and Suburbs 1903-1929," which documents the growth of Oakland, Berkeley and Piedmont as bedroom communities for San Francisco.

The museum is supported by members, work from volunteers, admission costs, profits from the bookstore and tax-deductible donations from organizations, friends, associates, and members of the museum.

This autumn and winter, the museum is open Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with special events scheduled for October (Pumpkin Patch train) and December (Santa Train).

The Western Railway Museum

5848 State Highway 12, Suisun, CA 94585


Go online at for up-to-date information.

The museum is on Highway 12, about 12 miles east of Interstate 80, midway between Suisun-Fairfield and Rio Vista. See map for details.

Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: Adults, $7; Seniors (65 and over), $6; Children through age 14, $4.

- Jill Wolfson