Museums - California

Back to Resources: Semaphore Lists

Location: Campo, CA (new Tue, 25 May 1999)

The Campo Depot (CA) on the San Diego & Arizona Railway, is used
every weekend by the San Diego Railroad Museum. It still has the original
hand operated, trainorder semaphore signal. I'm just now repainting it!

Information thanks to Jim Lundquist

Location: Bakersfield, CA (new 2/28/99)

The Pioneer Village portion of the Kern County Museum in Bakersfield
has an ex-SP single-arm U.S. & S. Co. Style B semaphore on display.

Kern County Museum
380l Chester Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 9330l
Hours: 8-3:30 Mon.-Fri., l0-3:30 Sat., l2-3:30 Sun. 
The Museum is open to 5PM every day, but you can't buy 
tickets after 3:30.

Information by John Sweetser

Location: Sacramento, CA

The California State Railroad Museum
111 "I" Street
Sacramento, California 95814-2265

One single arm U.S. & S. Co. style B signal is on display in main entry.

Visit the 15 acre railroad museum, one of the finest railroad museums in North
America. Located at 111 I Street, the museum is the largest interpretive
railroad museum in the nation with exhibits and activities for the whole
family. See beautifully restored locomotives and cars from the 1860s to the
1960s. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (916) 445-6645.

Location: Santa Paula, CA

Santa Paula Union Oil Museum
1001 E. Main Street  P.O. Box 48 
Santa Paula, CA 93060 

Museum Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00am to 4:00pm
(805) 933-0076  Fax: 933-0096 

One double arm U.S. & S. Co. style B signal is on display.

Location: San Diego, CA (update and correction 3/7/99)

San Diego Model Railroad Museum 
1649 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101-1621 
Tel. (619) 696-0199

The semaphore in the Model RR Museum is double arm U.S. & S. Co. style B
semaphore, and was donated by Southern Pacific when removed from the Siskyou
line near the California/Oregon border. It has 2 major modifications to its in
service condition:  1) The mast has been shortened to fit the indoor location;
and, 2) a plexiglas panel has been added to the front of the instrument case
so the mechanism can be seen. A button on this panel allows visitors to operate
the semaphore during the 6 days a week the Museum is open to the public. The
museum is located on the lower level of the Casa De Balboa on the Prado in
Balboa Park The museum web page address is:

Information kindly provided by Don Mitchell
Helping build the HO scale Tehachapi Pass layout of the La Mesa Model
Railroad Club in the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.  Current projects
by the club include the SP Bakersfield turntable and roundhouse area;
pushing the mainline up to Tunnel 8; construction of 2 auxiliary
staging yards; connecting the prototype (ATSF) CTC machine to the
layout; evaluating and installing DCC; and scenicking the otherwise
finished parts of Bakersfield.  The Loop itself is at least 5 years
down the road on our construction schedule.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Travel Town Transportation Museum
5200 Zoo Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Operations: (213) 662-5874 

Two double arm U.S.&S. Co. style B semaphores are on display.
A free museum in Griffith Park, dedicated to trains, with dozens of vintage
full-size locomotives, club cars and cabooses.

The Museum is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday and Saturday, 
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed Christmas Day. 

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Live Steamers
P.O. Box 2156
Toluca Lake, CA 91610
Telephone: (213)669-9729

5202 Zoo Dr. In Griffith Park just east from Travel Town, Los Angeles.
Runs 1 1/2" live steam model railroad on Sundays, the only day for public rides.

One single arm U.S. & S. Co. style B signal is in operation.

Location: Santa Clara, CA

South Bay Historical Railroad Society Museum
Santa Clara Caltrain Depot 
1005 Railroad Avenue 
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Web site:

One U.S. & S. Co. style B semaphore is on display.
With the help of former SP signal maintainer Jim Holmes and museum curator Ed Peterman,
a preserved Siskiyou Line semaphore can now be electrically operated by SBHRS members. 

The South Bay Historical Railroad Society (SBHRS) is a non-profit public benefit
corporation whose goals are the renovation and preservation of the Santa Clara Southern Pacific
railroad depot, Santa Clara Interlocking Control Tower and two adjacent storage buildings, along
with the establishment and operation of a railroad museum and library. The Society is located in the
historic Santa Clara Caltrain Depot baggage room and freight house. You may visit the Society on
Tuesdays from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM and Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. No appointment is
necessary. (We are often open later than 3:00 PM Saturday, so call first.)
(Information kindly supplied by Barry Alcott)

Location: Perris, CA

Orange Empire Railway Museum

An extremely rare U.S. & S. Co. Disc signal is on display. 

Rides are available on streetcars and behind steam or diesel locomotives. The museum is located south of the
center of Perris. It is about 80 miles east of the center of the city of Los Angeles. 
The grounds and store are open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) from 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. Trolleys and Trains operate Saturdays, Sundays and major holidays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
For additional information call (909) 657-2605 24 hours a day. 

Location: Sunol, CA

Niles Canyon Railway
P.O. Box 2247
Fremont , CA 94536-0247
Actual location: Sunol, CA
Telephone: (510)862-9063

Two double arm and two single arm U.S. & S. Co. style B semaphores are on trackside display.
There is an effort to have the semaphores in full service by next year. Check out one of 
the signal installations at

Niles Canyon Railway ("NCRY") is located in Sunol, California and is dedicated to restoring 
and preserving the history of the small unusual "railroad" operations of the
Pacific Coast. NCRY's tracks run approximately 6 1/2 miles one way. The total round 
trip takes about 1 hour and 5 minutes. NCRY offers excursion trips year round
including seasonal Christmas Train rides, School trains and chartered services. 
A copy of the schedule is available on-line. One of Niles Canyon Railways
attractions is its working steam engine. Passengers get to experience the sights and 
sounds of a real steam engine as it huffs and puffs its way up the hills, around the
curves and over the bridges along its route. You hear the steam as it builds its pressure 
inside the bowels of the engine and listen to the sound of the whistle as it pierces
the sky while it rounds the curves. 

The semaphores came from two sources.  First, some came from Oregon SP
operations, and a second batch came from the SP Tucumcari to El Paso
line, along with several target signals.

 (Information supplied by Paul "Stumpie" and Patric L. Lewis)

Location: Dunsmuir, CA

Four single arm U.S. & S. Co. style B semaphores are located along the city streets of Dunsmuir. 

Location: Dunsmuir, CA  

At Dunsmuir Park, one double arm U.S. & S. Co. style B semaphore is
on static display.

Location: Redding, CA

One single arm U.S. & S. Co. style B semaphore exists on display in the city of Redding. 
No additional details available.

Location: Fillmore, CA

There is a WORKING ex-SP lower quadrant U.S. & S. Co. style B semaphore on the
Fillmore & Western short line at Fillmore, Calif. This was an "imported"
semaphore...nonetheless, it works! It's in FILLMORE, about 100 yards west of the
depot, easily photographed from public property.

Information kindly supplied by David R. Busse (12/98)

Special thanks go to Rick Somers for much of this information.