Our Vision

Excursion trains and trails on the Placerville Branch

Sacramento Southern trains and trail users safely share access to the scenic Sacramento River.

Growing tourism and economic development

We operate wine tasting trains in partnership with local Sierra foothill winery, Nello Olivo Wines, and local restaurants.

The Placerville Branch corridor is a unique regional treasure that has enormous potential to grow our local economy by attracting visitors to our area. A 2015 study commissioned by El Dorado County showed that train excursions alongside a paved trail could provide up to $12.6 million in net annual economic benefit and attract up to 850,000 users (50,000 rail users and 800,000 trail users).

Our heritage railroad serves as a gateway to California’s Gold Country and creates opportunities for local business partnerships like our wine tasting trains.

Generating revenue

Passenger fares sustainably fund train operations and improvements to the corridor.

Niles Canyon Railway, another nonprofit tourist railroad located in the Bay Area, generates over $1 million in revenue and carries over 50,000 passengers annually.

Excursion trains produce the recurring revenue needed to fund equipment restoration and maintenance, operation costs, and ongoing improvements to the line with no funding from local government.

And, because we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, all profits are reinvested into the rail corridor and the community.

Increasing accessibility

Rails with trails allow both excursion train passengers and trail users to enjoy access to the scenic Placerville Branch.

Rails allow anyone to experience the area’s beauty and history aboard trains, and a trail next to the rails allows pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians to enjoy the corridor too. With both in place, trains can also transport trail users to and from remote trail locations, making even more of the corridor available to more people.

Raising money for local communities

Our Latrobe Breakfast Specials directly benefit the community of Latrobe.

We donate a portion of our revenue directly to local communities.

Preserving California’s rich railroad history

Our dedicated volunteers have spent over a decade bringing the Placerville Branch back to life after Southern Pacific ended operations in 1986.

We’re passionate about the role that railroads played in the development of our state and our nation, and we think the best way to interpret and preserve California’s rich railroad history is by operating historic trains.

We need your help!

Help us make our vision a reality by being an advocate, making a donation, and/or volunteering.