All Aboard for Train Days at History Museum

By August 22, 2023Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (August 22, 2023) Get ready to embark on a journey into the world of model railroads at the highly anticipated Train Days event. Presented by Los Altos History Museum, this two-day extravaganza will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17, from 10am-3pm.


Train Days offers an immersive experience that transports visitors into the heart of model railroading. Intricate layouts bring miniature landscapes to life, while steam, lights, sound and speed come together in finely crafted replicas of real-life train prototypes.


One of the highlights of Train Days is the opportunity for visitors to engage with members of model train clubs. These passionate and knowledgeable enthusiasts are excited to share their expertise, answer questions and provide insights into the fascinating world of model railroading.


Dick Blanding, a long-time Museum volunteer who also serves on the board of the Golden Gate Lionel Railroad Club, tells that the club has displayed their O Gauge layout at every Train Days since its inception in 2008. Visitors will find this display under the oak tree behind the Museum.


“Through the years, I’ve witnessed how much excitement this event generates among young families and older folks who owned trains in their youths. Everyone enjoys watching the trains in action and seeing the different layouts,” Blanding said.


In the Museum’s courtyard, The Bay Area Garden Railway Society (BAGRS) Live Steamers display of steam-powered engines showcases G Scale trains equipped with miniature boilers and fireboxes. These engines burn real fire and heat water, channeling it through pistons to drive the wheels, mirroring the mechanics of a real locomotive. Also in the courtyard, kids may participate in the operating of trains in Joan Hodnett’s toy train layout. Diablo Pacific Short Line Club’s G Scale trains behind the J. Gilbert Smith House will be displayed at eye level for children.


Inside the Museum, the On30 narrow gauge O scale group sets up in the Main Gallery, back by popular demand for the second year running. Bob Remley’s train layout, displayed in the upper Geschke Gallery, features loading and dumping of coal, logs and barrels in O scale.


“We’re excited to welcome visitors back to the first two-day Train Days since COVID,” Blanding said. “Everyone will leave with a smile on their face.”


Visitors may purchase food and drinks from Quick Dog and Baskin Robbins. For those looking to take a piece of the experience home, a selection of train-related items will be available for sale in the Gift Shop. Enter a raffle drawing to win a basket of goodies, including a family pass on the historic Niles Canyon Railway.


Cost to attend Train Days is $7/person, with free admission for Museum members and children aged 10 and under. Pay at the gate. For more information, visit

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 collections, permanent and changing exhibitsstore 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 is open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. Tours of the J. Gilbert Smith House are available during open hours. The outdoor agricultural exhibit, gardens and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.


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