History of Railroads in California

History of the California end of the Transcontinental Railroad, and other historic trains and historic railroads in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Key System Scrapbook
Key System electric transit in the East Bay area from the beginning to the end of WWII. Also the Richmond Shipyard Railway to the Kaiser Richmond Shipyard.

California Railroad & Trolley Corporation
The mission of the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation (CTRC) is to restore, preserve and interpret railroad equipment as it was used to serve the people in Santa Clara Valley, California.

California State Railroad Museum
A two-hour drive to Sacramento is not too far for most railroad buffs to travel to see this tribute to the transcontinental railroad which had its terminus here.

Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum – Transcontinental Railroad
“The visionary Theodore Judah laid the engineering groundwork, but Samuel Montague and Lewis Clement carried it over (and through) the great granite peaks, across the Donner Pass and down the Truckee Canyon.”

Golden State Model Railroad Museum
They have these huge dioramas within which the trains run. Located at 900-A Dornan Drive, Point Richmond, California, close to the east end of the San Rafael bridge (I-580) in the northeast corner of the San Francisco Bay area.


Niles Canyon Railway

Niles Canyon Railway
An operating historic railroad museum on the last link and LAST SPIKE of the Original Trancontinental Railway, takes you back in time aboard the railways of the past.

Niles Canyon Transcontinental Railroad Historic District
Made up of the 11 mile-long section of the First Transcontinental Railroad that passes through Niles Canyon between the towns of Sunol and Fremont (Niles), north of San Jose, California. The rail line through Niles Canyon to San Francisco was the final segment of the First Transcontinental Railroad and was completed in 1870, providing the first rail connection between the San Francisco Bay area and the rest of the United States.

Niles Depot Historical Foundation
Site to hang out at if you are a local “railfan.” Model railroad group meets in the old depot’s basement, and there’s a museum on the main floor.

South Bay Historical Railroad Society
Located at the historic Santa Clara Caltrain Depot, and opened periodically to the public for free.

Western Pacific
Probably the most significant event to occur in the history of Western Pacific subsequent to 1953 was the location of the Ford Assembly Plant on company property at Milpitas, California on the San Jose Branch.

The Zephyrettes – A History
Good morning, this is your Zephyrette Jean Williams. On behalf of the Western Pacific, Rio Grande and Burlington railroads, I welcome you aboard the California Zephyr.” With those words, first spoken in Oakland, California on board the first eastbound #18 on March 20, 1949, a grand tradition was born. From the California Zephyr Virtual Museum.

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