Past, Present, Future
Railfair! The name itself suggests the breadth of the celebration - a grand fair celebrating railroads and railroading. In this country, the great railroad fairs have become distinguished by enormous displays of operating railroad equipment, interpretive exhibits and large theatrical railroad productions.
The California State Railroad Museum has distinguished itself by holding three such events to date. The first, Railfair Sacramento 1981, celebrated the opening of the California State Railroad Museum's 100,000-square foot "Museum of Railroad History." Ten years later, Railfair '91 commemorated the tenth anniversary of this magnificent facility.
The third such event, Railfair '99, was hailed as "The Last Great Rail Event of the Millennium." Over 20 guest locomotives were on hand, as well as several other pieces of visiting railroad equipment. Railfair '99 was also characterized by numerous activities, exhibits and re-enactments of historic events.
When's the Next Railfair?
History buffs, rail enthusiasts, and travelers far and wide have visited the three Railfair events held to date at the California State Railroad Museum. Not surprisingly, then, many ask "when is the next Railfair?"
There currently are no definite plans for a Railfair event. On average, the first three were held nine years apart, and each time the date of the event was selected to celebrate or commemorate another ongoing activity (1981=opening of main Railroad Museum building; 1991=tenth anniversary of this facility; 1999=California's 150th birthday).
When is the next Railfair likely? When the Museum's long-awaited Railroad Technology Museum opens! This could be as soon as 2020, if things work out as planned. Please check back for the latest updates, and thank you for your interest in the California State Railroad Museum's Railfair events!