Redwood Valley Railway, Orinda

The Redwood Valley Railway is a gauge miniature railway in Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley, California.
It was established in 1952 by Erich Thomsen as the Tilden South Gate and Pacific Railway, on a gauge, and has since expanded to of track and over 160,000 passengers a year. Thomsen worked in the engineering department for the Western Pacific Railroad and received at least three patents for his work. The railway occupies land near the base of Vollmer Peak that was previously used as an anti-aircraft gun emplacement.
800 now-mature redwood trees were planted when the railroad was initially laid out. In 1968, the railroad was re-gauged to in. The new 15" gauge, 5" scale equipment allowed two adults to ride side by side and is representative of American narrow gauge railroads. Two of Redwood Valley's locomotives have made trips to England, run on several English 15 in gauge railways, including the Ravenglass and Eskdale. After Thomsen died in 1995, his daughter Ellen assumed operations of the Redwood Valley Railway.
Rides last approximately 12 minutes. As of September 2011, tickets for adults and children are $3 (children under 2 years old ride free). A five-ride ticket costs $12.
ScheduleThe Redwood Valley Railway operates Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm year-round .
During the summer the railway operates 7 days a week from 11 am to 5 pm weekdays and 11 am to 6 pm weekends.
Special eventsThe first full weekend in June is the Anniversary Meet, which is open to the public from 11 to 6. Most of the RVRY's locomotives are under steam, and often visiting locomotives and rolling stock appear for the occasion.
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Redwood Valley Railway Reviews
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29 reviews
  • We (my husband and two young kids age 5 & 1.5) were staying in San Francisco and took a short ride up to Orinda, CA to the Redwood Vally Railway. It did not disappoint! The train ride cost $3 per pers...  more »
  • Fun little train ride, super inexpensive. Free parking. Great for kids, big and small. Really neat. Everyone had a good time.  more »
  • Lovely little toy train through the forest. Great for your little one. We brought our 11 month old for the trip and he was happy. The ride is fun but short. For three bucks it's great. The laid back nature of the park contributes to the experience. Will recommend.
  • Awesome steam train ride for almost 15 mins inside the woods. Kids enjoyed the ride with sound and steam gushing out of the engine. Definitely a different experience for the families too. It brought back our good old memories. It was bit cold inside, carry jackets if carrying small kids. Worthy visiting this place!

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