FAIRFIELD — With the near non-existent winter approaching an end, Old Sacramento is poised to start up special tours and excursions once again on April 5-6.
Visitors can take a weekend train ride along the Sacramento River or explore the underground city that rests below the typical tourist section of Old Sacramento.
The weekend excursion train rides through the California State Railroad Museum begins its 31st season and will run through September. New this year are an updated commentary during the train ride that changes regularly depending on the monthly theme. One weekend a month, the museum will offer “Diesel Days,” when the trains will be pulled by two streamlined diesel locomotives.
The ride is a six-mile, 45-minute roundtrip excursion and is billed to appeal to all ages.
Starting this year, train ride tickets can be booked online in advance at www.csrmf.org or, based on availability, can be purchased at the Sacramento Southern Railroad ticket office starting at 10:30 a.m. on the day of the train ride. The office is located on Front Street between J and K streets.
The train leaves on the hour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. from the Central Pacific Railroad Freight Depot in Old Sacramento, also located on Front Street between J and K streets.
Before or after the train ride, visitors can also tour the underground city, getting a taste of what it was like before the city was raised to avoid flooding. New this year, the tour will allow a hands-on opportunity to learn what it was like to raise and level a building by operating mini-jacks during the tour. The original process was undertaken by Sacramento property and business owners and was completed during the 1860s and 1870s.
Visitors will learn about the legends that lie below the history sidewalks and buildings and will explore excavated foundations and enclosed pathways.
The tour schedule varies with the seasons and continues through December. It will begin on weekends in April departing at 11 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
The “adults only” tour will also start up again, with the first two offered at 6 p.m. April 24-25, then expanding to Thursdays through Saturday beginning in May. The walking tour will share “dark secrets and racy tales” from Old Sacramento’s underground history.
For more information, go to www.historicoldsac.org or call 916-808-7059.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.