This place is so much cooler than Thomas traveling events or other train spots we've been too. Why? Because this place was a real operating train depot a long while ago. We got there before it opened and one of the staff told us we could just wander around the grounds before they opened. We wandered without boundaries and got to see some awesome relics of the past. Railtown does not have nicely rounded corners, it's rough and slippery and AWESOME. Highly recommended for train buffs over 3.
The train ride in Jametown was a must for my daughter. She loved the slow moving train an its whistle. The scenic view was nothing spectacular for this valley girl. I visit the foothills often and only recommend a ride on the train for youngsters and train buffs.
Plan a half-day at this twenty-acre exhibit of vintage steam locomotives and passenger cars, a roundhouse, and a railroad shop. Take a one-hour train ride through the foothills or the two-hour Twilight Limited, a sort of sunset cruise with refreshments, entertainment, and a barbecue dinner at the end. Trains operate weekends, April through October, and there are special theme excursions on holidays.
This is a great place for a picnic at tables or on the lawns under the aspens and maples, within sight and sound of the exciting action on the track—whistles, bells, steam, and smoke. Costumed conductors and workers are railroad and train lovers, and they areloaded with great stories and information.
You can take a guided or self-guided tour of the roundhouse to see one-hundred-ton locomotives and a blacksmith at his fiery task. Around the site are numerous photogenic artifacts from the many movies that were shot here, including Dodge City, High Noon, Back to the Future III, and Wild Wild West. In the train station shop is a huge collection of railroad- and train-related books and lots of fun things for kids, from games and toys to books and kits.
So we were in Sonora for the weekend and found a great stop for train lovers: Railtown 1897.
They have several restored steam trains and one of only two working roundhouses in the US. (the other is in Pennsylvania somewhere) You can take a short ride on the train and learn about it’s history. You can also tour the rail yards with or without a guide. Many of the trains here were used in movies and TV shows including Bonanza, Back to the Future and Petticoat Junction! There is an area for picnics and a small café and bookstore on site. Trains run April though October and they have special holiday rides in December. The kids and grownups all enjoyed the day.
Here is their website