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Western Pacific Railroad Museum

96122 Portola, CA, United States of America (USA) (California)

Address 700 Western Pacific Way
 
 
Floor area 80 000 m² / 861 113 ft²  
 
Museum typ Exhibition
Railway
  • Bicycles
  • Cranes and Lifts
  • Railway Technique


Opening times
May - September: daily 10am - 5pm; - Trains operating weekends from 12 - 4pm
October: Saturday & Sunday from 10am - 5pm no Train Rides

Admission
Status from 08/2014
adults: $8; children: $4; family pass: $20 - Train ride tickets good all day: $4

Contact
Tel.:+1-530-832-4131  eMail:info wplives.org  

Homepage www.wplives.org

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Location / Directions
N39.803850° W120.476239°N39°48.23100' W120°28.57434'N39°48'13.8600" W120°28'34.4604"

The Western Pacific Railroad Museum is located atop the headwaters of the North Fork of the Feather River in the quaint mountain town of Portola.

The Western Pacific Railroad Museum is located less than an hour's drive from Downtown Reno and Lake Tahoe in Portola, California. Located on California Highway 70 at the top of the scenic "Feather River Canyon", regardless of where you're coming from, the drive to Portola is always a scenic one, worth every bit of the trip itself.

Once you arrive in Portola, follow the signs around town to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum.

- From Highway 70, you will turn southeast and cross the Feather River on the Gulling Street bridge.

- Make the first right turn on Commercial Street, heart of downtown Portola.

- Follow the signs to Pacific Street, where you will make a gentle left turn, followed by a right turn on Western Pacific Way.

- As you pass the city's "Equipment Yard", you'll pass through the front gate, and into the museum grounds,

Description

The Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola is home to North America's largest and most complete collection dedicated to telling the story of one railroad. It is also one of the few places where you can experience rail history in a truly "hands-on" way. Come sit in the cab of the world's largest and mightiest diesel locomotive, climb aboard passenger cars from the California Zephyr, and take the throttle of a real locomotive under your control.

There are many railroad museums all over the United States and Canada. Some are elaborate affairs of polished brass, carpet and theater lighting. Ours is a little different. The Western Pacific Railroad Museum may look more like your average railyard to the uninformed and that's for good reason. We wanted it that way. While the fancier museums are very enjoyable and highly recommended to visit, the Feather River Rail Society, operators of the Western Pacific Railroad Museum, invites their guests to experience railroading in a "Hands-on" environment, just like taking a walk into your local railyard. Experience the various jobs in the railroad industry by riding in the caboose like a "Brakeman", oversee a restoration project with the "Mechanical department", or even pull the throttle on a REAL diesel locomotive yourself!


Wikipedia 2012:

Museum collection

The museum holds in its collection thirty-three diesel locomotives, one electric locomotive, one steam locomotive (under restoration and on display), eighteen passenger cars (including four from the famous California Zephyr train),numerous freight and maintenance cars and sixteen cabooses. They offer excursions and a "Run A Locomotive" program during the summer. The WPRM has one of the larger collections of early diesel era locomotives and freight cars in North America. The museum is often considered to have one of the most complete and historic collections of equipment and materials from a single railroad family. The WPRM is a "hands-on" museum that allows visitors to board and explore locomotives and cars in their collection.

Among the significant pieces in the WPRM collection are Western Pacific 805-A, an FP7 model passenger locomotive that pulled the California Zephyr]; Southern Pacific Railroad's (SP) number 4450, nicknamed "Huff", an EMD SD9 diesel locomotive; WP 2001, the first GP20 model locomotive (an early turbocharged diesel)]; WP 501, an early switch engine and the first diesel purchased by the Western Pacific; Western Pacific 0-6-0 steam locomotive 165, an oil burning switch engine built by ALCO in 1919; WP 37, a 200 ton rail-mounted crane, two track clearing snowplows (one wedge type and one rotary); and several rare, early 20th Century freight cars. Also located at the site are the Portola Diesel Shop built in 1953 and an interlocking tower from Oakland, California, currently stored unrebuilt. The Western Pacific Hospital, built in 1911 and one of the few remaining railroad hospitals in the country, was part of the museum until it was destroyed in an arson fire on September 7, 2011. The WPRM prides itself on maintaining several of their road diesels in mainline operating condition and is well-known for making occasional movements on Class I railroads using their own historic motive power.


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