Interpretive Handcar Program

School Tour Programs



The Interpretive Handcar Program provides school children with a hands-on experience in the safe operation of the most basic of railroad equipment.

The actual handcar features an enlarged platform with a non-skid surface and a reduced gear ratio for slow speed and ease of pumping. The vehicle can accommodate up to six children plus a Museum staff person.

This one-hour, hands-on program is held on the Museum's Sacramento Southern Railroad tracks between the Discovery Museum History Center and the Central Pacific Railroad Passenger Station. It features instruction on the history and operation of handcars and other railroad maintenance equipment, railroad safety demonstrations, pumping the Interpretive Handcar over 200 yards of track, and 1/8-mile ride behind a Fairmont Speeder motorized track vehicle.

The Interpretive Handcar Program is suitable for Grades 4-6 only and is offered every Wednesday and Thursday from March through mid-May.  Cost for the program is $150 per class, with a maximum of 50 per time slot.

This one-hour program runs on Wednesdays and Thursdays from March thru mid-May and begins at  9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m.

Reservations are required and must be made at least 7 days in advance. To reserve, call Reserve America at (866) 240-4655. For additional information about the Program, please contact the Group information Desk @ (916) 323-9274.