Western Pacific Railroad Museum
700 Western Pacific Way
P. O. Box 608
Portola, CA 96122
Contact via Email
Visit our Website
- Historical Information
- Education Services
- Railroad Museum
- Feather River Route
- Union Pacific Railroad
- Feather River Rail Society
Fundraisers We Support
- Lost Sierra Chamber of Commerce
Hours of OperationThe museum is open
April: Thursday - Sunday
Hours 10 am - 5 pm - Weather permitting.
The Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola is home to North America's largest and most complete collection dedicated to telling the story of one railroad. It is also one of the few places where you can experience rail history in a truly "hands-on" way. Come sit in the cab of the world's largest and mightiest diesel locomotive, climb aboard passenger cars from the California Zephyr, and take the throttle of a real locomotive under your control.
The Western Pacific Railroad was not the largest of the Western Class-One railroads. It wasn't formed until 1906, with completion in 1909. However, operating in the shadow of giants like the Southern Pacific, Santa Fe and the Union Pacific, the relatively young WP had to work that much harder to survive. Thanks to the tenacious spirit and dedication of its employees, the WP rolled on in the face of occasional adversity with a spirit, humor, and culture that made them a legendary figure in the annals of railroading. In the 1960's, the Western Pacific Marketing Department in San Francisco embarked on an advertising campaign, nicknaming their employees spirit the "Willing People". Today, the volunteers of the Western Pacific Railroad Museum personify this spirit and dedication at our World Class museum. It is this tenacity that carries on the proud tradition of the WP railroaders before them.
The volunteers of the Non-Profit "Feather River Rail Society" come to us from all walks of life. Police officers, medics, businessmen, technology professionals, educators, musicians, truck drivers, pilots, professional railroaders, retirees, the list goes on and on. They all come together in their free time to carry on the proud traditions of the employees of the Western Pacific Railroad on 36 acres in Northern California on the site of the former WP Portola Diesel facility, putting an exclamation point on the credo "WP Lives!"
Regardless of experience, railroad knowledge or physical abilities, these folks work tirelessly to keep the museum open and the trains rolling. Every task they perform, large or small, makes a tremendous difference and is equally important to keeping the Western Pacific alive. The only difference between these folks and the Western Pacific employees before them is that they do not receive a paycheck. On the contrary, a lot of the work they perform is at great expense and sacrifice of time, money and materials. However, this dedication and spirit is paid back ten fold on the faces of happy visitors, young and old. It makes all of the hours spent driving spikes, running trains, restoring equipment and sweeping floors worth it!