Bay Area Train Rides: Niles Canyon Railway

Love trains?  Check out this railway with beautiful views located in the San Francisco East Bay…. the Niles Canyon Railway.  You have the option to board in Sunol or Niles for a round trip (out and back) trip.  We rode on the “Education Train”, which is popular with school groups, but other excursions that look fun include the Spring Wildflower Trains and Livermore Valley Wine Tasting Specials.  Another highlight is the Train of Lights, which is an evening ride during the holiday season.  We rode that one before we had a child.  We’re looking forward to taking our son on it one of these years!

For the current schedule, fees, historic information, etc, visit the website,

Sunol Train 004

Sunol Train 035

Sunol Train 037

Sunol Train 036

Photos taken May 30th, 2013

You may also enjoy:  New Experience:  Travel by Train


  1. seinfeldchik says:

    My family and I took our daughter on Father’s Day. We all loved it! Thank you for posting this. I knew about the train service but it had completely slipped my mind. It was a great way to spend Father’s Day. 🙂


    1. Great Father’s Day outing! It’s a fun train ride in the area that I think a lot of people overlook. Glad you enjoyed it!


  2. Deb Platt says:

    We rode a vintage train with a steam locomotive in Texas. To add to the fun, we were subjected to a train robbery! Two men with bandannas over their faces overtook our train on horseback, boarded it, and proceeded to “rob” us (I believe they were collecting for a charity). Since we were there around Christmas, on the return trip, Santa walked down the aisle and gave candy to the children passengers.


  3. mmtread says:

    Oh man, my wee one has a fascination with trains bordering on the psychotic, so he’d love this. We take the forest trains here in Hungary (the Budapest Children’s Railway is particularly cool –, and I’ve already researched some rail options in Spain. Good fun!


    1. Oh, that looks SO fun!! That’s similar to the train here at Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley.


  4. We are big train people! I love to ride the trains, and you’ve mentioned several I haven’t previously enjoyed. I’d love to take the “train of lights” and might have to see if we can plan towards that at some point. I’ve been clear across the country more than once by rail…it’s not for everyone. LOL! Slow! But I love it. 🙂


    1. I love train travel, too! The rides offered by this railway, the Niles Canyon Railway, only last for about an hour and a half, for an out-and-back excursion, but it’s a nice way to see the region. My son went through a serious train phase (don’t all little boys?) a couple years ago.. not sure why we didn’t take him on this then! I knew about it, and the depot is only about fifteen minutes from us. 🙂


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