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Niles Canyon Railway

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been

Toot! Toot! Allllll Abooooarrrrrrrrd!

Last year, the Husband and I took a ride on the Niles Canyon Railway, a living museum that runs through the gorgeous Niles Canyon in the San Francisco Bay Area. We rode in historic train cars pulled by a vintage diesel engine. It was about a 90-minute round trip between two small historic towns, Niles (which is now part of Fremont) and Sunol (which is off of Highway 680).


The Niles Canyon Railway is operated by volunteer conductors and engineers. They're part of the Pacific Locomotive Association, a non-profit organization. The volunteers in this group rebuilt the line that was once part of the transcontinental railroad. The volunteers continue to obtain and rebuild train cars. Near the Sunol depot is the train yard where the cars are stored and worked.  One of the association's objectives is to provide the public with a sense of what riding trains was like in small communities throughout the United States once upon a time.


You can sit either indoors or outdoors on the train. On good weather days, the outdoor seats are very popular. We took indoor seats and once the train was on its way, we walked towards the front to outside cars where you can stand and gaze at the passing scenery.


Niles Canyon Railway schedules several trips on Saturdays and Sundays. You can get on at either the Niles or Sunol station. If you time it right, you can get off at one station, explore the town or eat at a restaurant, and then get back on another train. 

I like starting our round trip at Niles because afterwards we can wander through antique shops. Not that I buy anything. If you're a silent film fan, you'd especially like hanging out in Niles. Between 1912 and 1916, many silent films were made in and around the town, including ones by Charlie Chaplin and Bronco Billy. Check out the Niles Film Museum for details.

Here are a few more photos from our train ride.










Today is the letter N at Alphabe Thursday, hosted by the lovely Mrs. Jenny Matlock. Click here to join in or to read other N posts.



Comments

  1. This looks like a lovely train ride and you are trying to seduce me to get to Niles because of the Silent Films being made there. I would love to see that:) This train ride reminds me of a train ride in Ontario called the Agawa Train Ride (or something like that). It is most popular in Autumn.

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    1. I was thinking of you when I wrote that, Birgit. I cannot lie. But, if you ever come to California, you may want to put Niles on your stops. I'll come up and join you. The Husband will come and keep your Hubby company.

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  2. OK I see some books I need to get from that museum:)

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  3. This is a very interesting trip you made and so wonderful to go back in the time. Thanks for informing us.
    Wil, ABCW Team

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  4. I want to ride the train!!! it's uncanny, at story time on Wednesday we read a train book and i gave out train hats . . and now i think i simply want to ride a restored train treasure . . . well, my "kids' would love an adventure like that, too - all aboard!!!!

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    1. I can see reading a train book before getting on board. Then another book at the other side, while waiting for the train to return. And at the end of the line, the kids writing their own tales. How fun.

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  5. Back from holidays! ... Love the shot inside the carriage of the curved ceiling and luggage racks. They belong to a more genteel age of travel.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Widders! Hope you and the Missus had some wonderful and wondrous R&R.

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  6. Boy, am I glad I visited today. I live nearby and have never even heard of this. My hubby and I will have to try it out!

    =)

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    1. Hope you and the Hubby enjoy the train ride. They also have night trains during the Christmas season.

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  7. Oh my!! I clicked onto your post for letter N and found myself going on a train ride - something that I would love to do. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful day!

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    1. You're welcome, VBR. I hope you get your train ride for real soon.

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  8. My husband and I love riding on old trains! Thanks for sharing your trip.

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