Sonoma TrainTown Railroad
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Sonoma TrainTown Railroad
TrainTown steam locomotive on the turntable in front of the roundhouse
Sonoma TrainTown Railroad
Quarter-scale steam locomotives at the TrainTown roundhouse
The TrainTown roundhouse

The Sonoma TrainTown Railroad (commonly called "Sonoma Train Town") is a tourist railroad and small amusement park in Sonoma, California. Its logo is based on the logo for the New York Central Railroad. Its main feature is a gauge miniature railway, which closely corresponds to a 1:4 scale model of a railroad.


TrainTown was founded by Stanley L. Frank of Oakland, California. Mr. Frank was a printing magnate, adamant table-top model builder and M.B.A. Harvard University graduate. In 1958 he[1] "began bringing his dream railroad to life, building everything himself, from the houses and landscaping to the line's two steam locomotives and one electric engine." The railroad opened to the public in 1968. Frank died in 1977,[2] and his relatives have continued the business, adding more locomotives, landscaping, amusement park rides and gift shop.


Called "an endearing and surprising modern tribute to trains", TrainTown is "an obsessively accurate model railroad".[2] It has been described as "the most well-developed miniature railroad" in the Americas.[3] It operates in "a wooded 10-acre park on a 20-minute ride past waterfalls and beautifully detailed houses, over a trestle and through several tunnels, all precisely one-quarter the size of the real thing." It carries up to 90 passengers on each ride,[2] and includes four miles of track.

TrainTown features an operating replica of a New York Central Hudson locomotive, but numbered 5212, which no New York Central steam locomotive was ever numbered. This is considered by some to be the "most beautiful steam locomotive of the 1930s".[4]

A travel writer said that "the whole layout is so cleverly crafted that it's a marvel of dedication to the art of the train buff".[5]

In 2009, steam locomotive 4-6-4 Hudson, number 6088, arrived at Sonoma TrainTown. It was built in the 1980s and originally ran on the gauge Goleta Valley Railroad.

Other attractions

The carousel at TrainTown

The park features a petting zoo and six vintage amusement rides:[6]

  • Iron Horse Carousel
  • Sonoma TrainTown Airlines
  • Locomotion Scrambler
  • High Iron Ferris Wheel - a 46-foot Ferris wheel
  • Mine Train roller coaster - A new roller coaster that went into service in July, 2015.[7]
  • Air Scooter


  1. ^ "HISTORIC MODEL RAILROAD WILL DELIGHT YOUNGSTERS". San Jose Mercury News. San Jose, California. September 10, 1993. Retrieved 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c DeCarlo, Tessa (April 8, 1990). "Railways Revisited In Wine Country". New York Times. New York, New York. Retrieved 2011. 
  3. ^ Graham, Jerry; Graham, Catherine (1994). Jerry Graham's complete Bay Area backroads. HarperPerennial. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-06-273238-5. 
  4. ^ Griswold, P.R. (1992). Railroads of California: Seeing the State by Rail. American Traveler Press. ISBN 978-1-55838-121-6. 
  5. ^ Doppenberg (2005). Insiders' Guide to California's Wine Country, 7th Edition. Globe Pequot. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-7627-3688-1. 
  6. ^ "GET ON TRACK - VISIT A TRAIN MUSEUM". Contra Costa Sun. May 14, 2003. Retrieved 2011. 
  7. ^ Stierch, Sarah (July 20, 2015). "TrainTown opens new roller coaster". Sonoma Sun. Retrieved 2015. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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