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great western rail adventure
pre 32nd annual
Garden railway convention tour
June 24 - July 1, 2016
this tour is open to everyone
Welcome Garden Scale Conventioneers to Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. The 32nd National Garden Railway Convention Committee and Trains & Travel Inter-national has teamed up to offer you a very exciting and interesting eight day pre-convention tour that will start and end at the convention hotel in Santa Clara. Half of the proceeds from this tour will go towards making this the best G Scale Convention ever! We welcome conventioneers, their families and our own Trains & Travel clients to join us on this fun packed tour. Once you look at the itinerary below and see what is included on this tour we know you will agree that you are getting the maximum bang for your dollar. We have packed in as much sightseeing and railroading as possible in this eight day tour. Your tour guide will be Chris Skow, who is a retired Western Pacific conductor that was based out of Portola and made most of his runs in the Feather River Canyon but also made it a quest to work the entire Western Pacific mainline including the High line during his 26 years with the railroad. To view the convention website click on this link:
DAY 1 FRIDAY JUNE 24: (D-L)
Depart from the Hyatt Regency Hotel in SANTA CLARA at 8:00am and travel by charter motor coach to Rio Vista Jct for a visit to the Western Railway Museum. This Museum is located in the Sacramento River Delta region and on the former mainline of the Sacramento Northern Railroad which was under the centenary. Shortly after our arrival we board our private charter electric railcar using a former Sacramento Northern Interurban for a run to the end of rail and return, a distance of 16 miles, including photo run-bys. Our next event is a visit to the Sonoma Traintown Railroad. This is a large outdoor model railroad on 15 inch gauge.
We will have a charter steam pulled train which will pull us over the four scale mile layout including special opportunities for some great photos and a visit to the workshops and turntable which are off limits to the public. After our visit it is a short motor coach ride to Napa but on our way we plan to stop at Napa Junction for a guided tour of the California Northern Railroad workshops. From here we head for Napa and hotel check-in for just enough time to clean up and change clothes if you prefer before we board the Napa Valley Wine Train for the dinner run which departs at 6:30pm for a three hour train cruise through the beautiful Napa Valley. We have booked the entire group on luxurious Dome Class. This will be our "Welcome Dinner".
DAY 2 SATURDAY JUNE 25: (B)
After breakfast we depart from our hotel in Napa at 8:30am for the hour bus ride to Woodland where we board the Sacramento River Train on the Sacramento Division of the Sierra Northern Railroad. This excursion train departs Woodland at 10:00am for a leisure 14 mile journey along the Sacramento River to Sacramento. Here our bus will be waiting to take us to Old Town Sacramento where you will have several hours to visit the California State Railroad Museum, ride the Sacramento Southern Railroad and enjoy the old historic section of Sacramento. Next to Old Town is the Amtrak train station. We will all meet here by 3:00pm to board one of Sacramento Light Rail's Gold Line from the Amtrak Station to Folsom departing at 2:53pm and arriving at 3:52pm. The return tram departs Folsom at 4:00pm and arrives back at the Amtrak station at 4:59pm. We will then catch Capitol Corridor train number 536 departing eastbound out of Sacramento at 5:25pm and arriving Auburn at 6:30pm. Our bus will be waiting to take us to Nevada City and hotel check-in at the Northern Queen Inn which has a railroad theme and even has a narrow gauge coach suspended over a small canyon with a creek. You have to see this to believe it. Sometimes the restaurant at the hotel will allow meals to be served in this narrow gauge passenger car.
DAY 3 SUNDAY JUNE 26: (B)
Morning visit to the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad & Transportation Museum. The museum will operate a narrow gauge railcar over some recent track they recently acquired. After our visit we transfer over to Colfax and board the eastbound California Zephyr which is due to depart at 12:21pm for the ride over Donner Pass to Truckee arriving at 2:38pm. You might want to take this opportunity to go to the dining car for some lunch. At Truckee our bus will be waiting to transfer us to Portola in the Feather River Canyon. Before hotel check-in we will visit Chris Skow's G Scale model railroad which is located in nearby Blairsden deep in a pine tree forest over looking beautiful Mohawk Valley. Chris has trains running outside and in his greenhouse plus he will open up his extensive railroad museum In his house of which he has thousands and thousands of items on display. Hotel check-in at Portola.
THE NEVADA COUNTY NARROW GAUGE & TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM
A JOURNEY ON THE EASTBOUND CALIFORNIA ZEPHYR OVER DONNER PASS
DAY 4 MONDAY JUNE 27: (L)
Morning visit to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum. Chris is one of the original five founding fathers of this railroad museum in Portola. Once you have had the opportunity to see all of the displays and motive power we have arranged to hop on a museum train for a ride around the former Western Pacific Balloon Track. We then depart from Portola on our motor coach and head for the North Shore of Lake Tahoe and have a picnic lunch overlooking the lake. We then drop down into Carson City and pay a visit to the Nevada State Railroad Museum. After our museum visit we travel on up to Virginia City and hotel check-in. Enjoy the evening out in the Wild West town of Virginia City.
CHRIS SKOW'S EXTENSIVE RAILROAD MUSEUM
CHRIS SKOW'S G SCALE MODEL RAILROAD IN BLAIRSDEN
THE WESTERN PACIFIC RAILROAD MUSEUM IN PORTOLA
bEAUTIFUL LAKE TAHOE
DAY 5 TUESDAY JUNE 28:
We have arranged to have our private charter train with steam on the Virginia & Truckee that will depart Virginia City at 7:00AM and then spend a couple of hours staging several photo run-bys between VC and Gold Hill. Upon arrival back in Virginia City our train will pull right into the workshop area so you can explore all of the interesting equipment here. After the workshop tour we will set you loose in downtown Virginia City to explore this historic mining town and get some lunch. We then plan to depart on our charter motorcoach around 1:00PM and arrive at Bodie Ghost Town State Park at 3:30PM. You will then have the rest of the afternoon to explore this classic ghost town which was served by the Bodie & Benton Railroad. This state park closes at 6:00PM. We then continue on to Lee Vining and hotel check-in.
DAY 6 WEDNESDAY JUNE 29:
Morning visit to the strange tufa formations that will make you feel being on another planet. You would expect to see an alien. Well, that is not out of the question as recently scientist have discovered a strange form of life in this lake that is not found anyplace else in the world and is very alien to life on Earth. We then go down to Laws to visit the Laws Railroad Museum. This museum tells the story of the Southern Pacific and Carson & Colorado narrow gauge system. You will be able to ride the Death Valley Railroad Brill railcar on the museum grounds. After our visit we return north to Lee Vining and visit the Mono Lake Visitors Center before returning to our motel to relax for the evening.
DAY 7 THURSDAY JUNE 30: (L)
After breakfast we depart from Lee Vining early and enter Yosemite National Park. Just outside of the national park is Fish Camp, location of the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. We plan to ride their last train of the day pulled by one of their Shay Steam locomotives for a one hour scenic run deep into the forest. After our train ride we depart Fish Camp around 3:30pm with a planned arrival in Modesto around 6:00pm and hotel check-in.
DAY 8 FRIDAY JULY 1: (B)
This morning we will catch Amtrak's San Joaquin train number 711 departing Modesto at 8:28am and arriving Richmond at 10:28am. Here we transfer across the platform to BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) for the ride under the San Francisco Bay to the city getting off at Market & Powell Streets. At this location we board one of the famous San Francisco Muni Cable Cars for the fun ride to Fisherman's Wharf. Upon arrival at the wharf you will be set loose to get yourself some lunch before meeting back at the street car station to board one of the classic street cars for the ride to Embarcadero where we will then catch one of the newer trams for the short ride to the Cal Train Station. We would like to be at this station in enough time to catch Cal Train number 360 which is an Express Train, departing at 4:09pm with an arrival in San Jose at 5:08pm. But if we miss this train then we will catch Express train 366 departing at 4:33pm and arriving San Jose at 5:34pm. Our waiting bus will then transfer us back to the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
THE SAN FRANCISCO MUNICIPAL HAS A IMPRESSIVE COLLECTION
OF CABLE CARS, TRAMS AND THE EVER GROWLING FLEET OR
HISTORIC STREET CARS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD
ALL PRICES ARE PER PERSON
|DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY....................................||$1995|
|SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT....................................||$395|
|DEPOSIT TO HOLD SPACE CONFIRMED.....................||$500|
|earlybird discount book by october 1, 2015..||$300|
|FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY March 24, 2016|
|*20 TRAIN RIDES|
|*ALL MUSEUM ENTRANCE FEES|
|*ALL LODGING IN UPPER TOURIST CLASS|
DOUBLE ROOM OCCUPANCY$1,995
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$395
earlybird discount book by october 1, 2015-$300
FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY march 24, 2016
*20 TRAIN RIDES
*ALL MUSEUM ENTRANCE FEES
*ALL LODGING IN UPPER TOURIST CLASS