All Aboard as Train Days Returns to the Los Altos History Museum

By August 9, 2017January 26th, 2018Press Releases
  • Saturday and Sunday, September 16 & 17, 2017, 10am to 4pm
  • Admission: $5/person (Ages 4 and under free)
  • Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult
  • On site: Quick Dog Catering & Scoops Gourmet Ice Cream carts

Los Altos, CA–August 9, 2017. Train Days will return to the Los Altos History Museum for two days of train-filled fun celebrating the joy and wonder of model railroading September 16-17, 2017 from 10am-4pm both days. Elaborate layouts, intricate scenery, and scaled renditions of prototypes and whimsical engines and theme cars complete with steam, lights and sound, will speed the rails to delight visitors of all ages. Explore the gauges and scales associated with model railroading as private collectors and clubs showcase and field questions about the mechanics and electronics of their trains and layouts and the history behind the locomotives and railroads that inspired them.

Participants include:

  • Live Steamers from the Bay Area Garden Railway Society
  • Diablo Pacific Short Line
  • Golden Gate Lionel Railroad Club
  • European Train Enthusiasts
  • Golden State Toy Train Operators
  • Peninsula NTRAK and AsiaNRail
  • National Model Railroad Association
  • Private Collectors: LEGO Layout

Joining the above is: Swanton Pacific Railroad and California Operation Lifesaver, who’ll provide education on proper rail safety, plus Train Days’ glitter tattoo station and train-themed marketplace will be in full gear, while Quick Dog and Scoops serve up hot dogs and ice cream to keep scores of train enthusiasts well fed throughout the day.

New this year is an HO-gauge operating layout from the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA). Dubbed The Timesaver, the switching layout will be located on the Museum’s 2nd floor and will give operators of most any age the opportunity for a hands-on interactive experience running trains and timing them on a model layout.

“With a desire to introduce something new and fun each year, we’re excited to give visitors an opportunity to run trains,” said, Kristen Fuller, event chair. “With the addition of the NMRA’s Timesaver HO switching demo, children can try their hand at operating a switch engine to move freight cars to specified locations around a freight yard!”

Trains are integral to America’s and our local history. For over 150 years rail service has been transporting passengers along the Peninsula. In 1907 Southern Pacific put Los Altos on the map with its steam railway connecting Palo Alto to Los Gatos. Mirroring railroad development through the years, you’ll see the transition from early steam locomotives to diesel engines up through electric and high-speed passenger trains—all scaled in miniature. Whether you’re new to model railroading or have been an enthusiast for years, come join the fun and see why it is one of the most beloved hobbies around the world.

Train Days is brought to you by the Los Altos History Museum, dedicated to preserving and sharing local history to enrich our community and to shape a more informed future.

The Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collectionspermanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, go to:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact:

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,