Keeping Truckee Railroads Alive!
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Truckee Railroad Museum


We are beginning our fourth year of operating the caboose as a museum. In our first three years we have hosted over 15,600 visitors and received over $8500 in donations. We've managed to achieve this with a small core of active docents, several of whom work several shifts per month.

Truckee Railroad Museum is located next to the historic railroad station in downtown Truckee. This adds historical significance to the area, as the caboose is from the Southern Pacific Railroad and was used in the area. Paint for the caboose matches the original SP paint scheme. Inside the museum are stories, pictures, recreations, and railroad artifacts depicting the impact of railroads in the formation and development of Truckee. The First Transcontinental Railroad, Logging Railroads, and Tourism by Rail all played an important part in Truckee’s history.

New Interactive Display

We've begun a major upgrade of the Logging  Railroad display, making it interactive. When completed, at the press of a button, the visitor can initiate a recorded interpretation of the display with lighting directing his attention to individual features as they are discussed. The sequence begins with a map showing the many logging railroads that were in the Truckee area, while the narration introduces the visitor to the topic. Then, spotlights from overhead illuminate the various individual features (camps, hand laborers, steam donkeys, etc.) while their roll is described by the narration. As a grand finale, the lights in the lower tier of the display will come on directing the visitor's atten­tion to a G scale Shay that will roar to life and demonstrate the unique features that made it a logging railroad favorite. Then, by pressing one of several other buttons, the visitor will be able to select individual subtopics for an expanded, more detailed, discussion.

Hours of Operation...

Are dependent upon availability of docents

  • Saturday 10am to 4pm
  • Sunday 10am to 4pm
  • Holidays 10am to 4pm
  • Open during Truckee Thursdays (Thursdays mid-June through mid- August . The fun starts at 5pm)


Next to the historic train depot in Downtown Truckee.
10075 Donner Pass Road
Truckee, CA 96161

Museum Home


Inside the museum, Truckee Railroad Museum begins to tell the story of railroads in and around TrucVolunteer showing logging & transcontinental exhibitskee and their impact on the Town. From the initial survey parties for the First Transcontinental Railroad, through the variety of logging railroads, and on to the tourist, commuter, and freight railroading of today, railroads have been an integral part of Truckee.
The museum uses railroad artifacts, dioramas, pictures and text displays to convey the impact of various types of railroads on Truckee. It also provides a glimpse of what will come with the permanent museum home.

Below is the layout and exhibits.

Museum Inside


Truckee Railroad Museum Vision

Keeping Truckee Railroads Alive!

Railroads of the Truckee area played a significant role in founding and developing the town of Truckee.
From the blasting of black powder in the granite over Donner Lake, to the hissing of the first steam coming in to town, to whistles of lumberjacks in the mountains, to the crack of ice being loaded in the reefers, and tourists flocking to share the beauty of the area, the Truckee Railroad Museum tells the story.
+ A place to Discover
+ A place to Interact
+ A place to Enjoy

Truckee Railroad Museum rolling stock:

Below: Rolling stock at their new home in Truckee.

Rolling Stock


Brownhoist Crane


Rotary snow plow

sleeper car

Truckee Donner RR Society received a donation from Dobbas of the 160 ton steam-powered  Bucyrus Erie crane which has been sitting in the Truckee yard for 15-20 years.  It has a long history handling railroad wrecks in the Truckee area.   It will be the largest anchor in our growing cast of static displays, outweighing considerably the Rotary snowplow.  The donation was the result of efforts by Jim Hood, Don Davis, Bob Bell and Nelson Van Gundy.


Map to the Museum
May 8, 2010 - Truckee Railroad Museum opened.

Original proposal to the Town Council!
November 20, 2008 - Truckee Town Council approved the TDRS proposal to work with the Town on a railroad museum downtown.

Grand Opening Flyer

The 1605 has arrived!
On December 5, 2007 the 80 ton GE center cab switcher arrived in Truckee. See the action.

Brown Hoisting Machinery Company Crane has arrived!
On May 2nd, 2008, the Brown Hoisting No. 3038 crane was delivered. It was built circa 1905 as a 10-ton crane on a four-wheel rigid truck.  Initially steam-powered, the crane has since been converted to a Hercules Power gas engine.

Caboose has arrived!
TRDS has a new headquarters and gift shop structure. A former Southern Pacific caboose is located with other museum equipment.

Rotary Snow Plow
The rotary snow plow is probably one of the most exiting pieces of equipment to watch. See some in action.

Passenger Car
This is the 10-6 City of San Francisco blunt-end sleeping car. Designated Southern Pacific 9053, it is painted in the COSF scheme for interchange service. It was built by Pullman-Standard in 1950.



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