Visiting Southern California Railway Museum in Perris, CA

Well, that was fun!  The girls had a blast on our visit to the Southern California Railway Museum in Perris, CA.  We learned a lot from the passionate volunteers donating their time to refurbish the old trains and teach visitors about the railway’s amazing past.  The museum has a lot of really interesting places to poke around, and the purchasable tickets to ride the trains on the weekend are well worth it.





Southern California Railway Museum visiting info

Website

Address

  • 2201 S A St, Perris, CA 92570

Phone number

  • 951-943-3020

Email

Hours

  • Every Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 5 pm.

Price/Cost

  • It is free to enter the park and to explore their grounds. 
  • Ride ticket prices:
    • Adults (ages 12+): $12
    • Children (ages 5-11): $8
    • Children under age 5 ride free with an adult

Southern California Railway Museum Parking

  • Free parking on their lot.
Southern California Railway Museum main building

Random Tips from our visit

What we observed:

  • (Weekends only) The Mainline Passenger train departs at 10 am, 11 am 12 pm, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm. 
  • (Weekends only) The Mainline Electric train departs (if available) at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm
  • (Weekends only) Loop Line Operations (on demand) between 9:15 am to 4 pm. 
  • Our kids enjoyed the train rides, and we found the trolley ride to be informative. 
  • Be sure to walk the grounds to view antique trains in the barns.  
  • Lots of space to run around outside and explore the nonworking train tracks.
  • A majority of the workers are volunteers and are very passionate about railway trains. They will gladly answer any questions you might have. 
  • It’s a far drive from Los Angeles County and Orange County; we would recommend coming here if you happen to be in the area or a train enthusiast. 
  • This museum has an extensive collection of trains but also has a collection of run-down stuff. The park is not well maintained, but we enjoyed seeing all the history on railway locomotives. 
  • The area could get very hot during the summers, so please dress accordingly.

Activities:

  • Ride the trains and trolleys as many times as you want
  • Explore the museum and see some exhibits with antique trains
  • Have lunch and relax under the shade
  • Lots of great spots to take photos.

Time spent:

  • 2 ½ hours

Stroller/Wagon friendly:

  • Yes. We broke down our umbrella stroller and put it under our seats for the train ride.

Restrooms:

  • Yes, flushing restrooms.

What we brought:

Covid-19 Precautions?

  • They are signs asking all the guests to wear a mask. 
  • The park is fairly large, and it was easy to social distance.
  • A couple of people on the trains weren’t wearing their masks properly, but we could social distance from them without a problem.
Southern California Railway Museum grizzly flats

Should you go?

If your kid is completely addicted to trains, I can confidently say they will love it at the Southern California Railway Museum.  The biggest drawback to visiting is the drive.  Perris, CA isn’t close to most folks in the LA/OC area.  That’s why we recommend bookmarking the Museum and visiting whenever you find yourself in the area.

While we loved our visit, we did see some reviews where people were critical of the museum’s run-down appearance.  Some even compared it to a junkyard, which seems unfair given that most of the folks there are volunteers, donating their time to educate and rehabilitate all the great trains from the past they have onsite.  All the kids running around in awe during our visit didn’t seem to mind how run-down things looked.

Similar places you might be interested in

That being said, we’re always out exploring and encouraging others to spend time outdoors as a family.  Watch our youtube playlist below to see dozens of other options you can take the kids to for little to no money 🙂

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