The Story of the Railways of the West
The Southern California Railway Museum (SCRM) is home to over 200 historic railway cars and locomotives from Los Angeles and the West. The museum’s 90-acre site in Perris, California is open to the public 363 days a year. Railway trains operate every weekend. The museum's mission is to educate the public about railway transportation history of Southern California and the West. We fulfill this mission by helping to support the restoration, operation, and interpretation of the historic railroad equipment at the Southern California Railway Museum.
Southern California Railway Museum operates a Museum Railway where visitors can ride on the historic trains and trolleys that helped shape the Southern California we know today. It also operates as the exclusive Southern California home of the Day Out with Thomas & Friends special event for two weekends each year.
The Museum Railway operates every weekend and on most major holidays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and also on weekdays for charters and other special events. The Museum grounds are open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
On a typical weekend (other than during special events), two city streetcars are running on the half-mile dual-gauge Loop Line, and another train is operating on the 1.5 mile standard gauge Mainline. The northern end of the Museum Railway is presently at 7th Street, although during certain special events trains operate all the way to the historic 1892 Perris Depot at 4th Street. Future plans call for regular operations to be extended to 4th Street as the depot area is rebuilt into the new Metrolink station and transit center.
In addition to the streetcars on the Loop Line, a Pacific Electric interurban or city streetcar also operates on the Mainline on selected weekends. The Mainline train is usually an electrically or diesel powered freight train (with a caboose to ride in if you wish), or consists of passenger train cars. Typically at the Southern California Railway Museum, you can experience riding in one of the early Los Angeles streetcars and a more modern PCC on the Loop Line, and ride in either a caboose (the cupola is very popular with the kids) or open gondola on the freight train. The cars and locomotives are selected on a rotating basis from our historic collection.
Steam locomotive operation at SCRM is scheduled for the third weekend of the month between September and May (no steam operations during the summer) and during certain special events and major holidays. Check the calendar of events for further information. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the availability of any particular piece of equipment on any given day. Some equipment does not operate during rain.
While admission and parking for the Museum is free (except for selected special events – see calendar of events), a ticket must be purchased to ride on the Museum Railway. Your ticket is good for the entire day, for as many trips as you wish. Your fare goes directly towards meeting Museum operating expenses. On regular weekends, an all-day pass to ride the trains costs $12 for adults, $8 for children 5-11, free for kids under 5.
Charters are also available during the week. Bring a school group, or just a group of friends. Check the Charters page for more details. We also offer a Birthday Caboose for parties, and you can even operate one of our historic locomotives as part of the Run One program.
Make plans today to visit the Southern California Railway Museum – SCRM in
Perris, Southern California.