Completed in 1909, the Western Pacific Railroad’s Feather River Route ran between Oakland, California and Salt Lake City, Utah. Because they were competing with the near-monopoly market force of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the engineers and operators of the Western Pacific were forced to be innovative and efficient. They became a driving force, propelling train technology into the new era. Today, in the small town of Portola, CA, you can relive the heyday of locomotives at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum. This hands-on, all volunteer run museum resembling an old train yard is home to over 100 pieces of locomotive history. Visitors are encouraged to climb aboard the mighty “Centennial,” the largest diesel locomotive ever built, or the Western Pacific 805-A, which pulled the world famous “California Zephyr.” And since no visit to a train yard is complete without a ride, an old caboose will take you on a gentle ride through the museum grounds. Train rides are about 10 minutes long and run from noon to 3:30pm on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day. All aboard!