SLO Railroad Museum

The mission of the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum is to educate the public about the history of railroading on the central coast including the Southern Pacific Railroad, Pacific Coast Railway, Santa Maria Valley Railroad, Amtrak, and the Union Pacific Railroad

Camp Roberts Historical Museum

Our Amtrak Exhibit includes a locomotive simulator …

The San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum is housed in the Southern Pacific Freighthouse built in 1894.  It is the oldest surviving railroad building in San Luis Obispo County.   The SP Freighthouse was originally built (along with the original San Luis Obispo Railroad Depot) in 1894 upon arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad to San Luis Obispo.  The 32′ x 150′ Freighthouse served to load and transfer goods between trucks, the local narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railway, and the Southern Pacific Railroad which linked San Luis Obispo with other towns in the County, State and Nation. The Freighthouse exterior has been completely restored by the City of San Luis Obispo.   The core of the interior has been preserved as we have added desired facilities and exhibits to present the story of Central Coast Railroading to our community members and visitors.

The mission of the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum is to educate the public about the history of railroading on the central coast including the Southern Pacific Railroad, Pacific Coast Railway, Santa Maria Valley Railroad, Amtrak, and the Union Pacific Railroad.  The museum includes a wide range of exhibits and artifacts including SP freight cars, a passenger rail car, a caboose, and a 1941 locomotive from Camp Roberts.  Also on display is a large selection of implements and tools used on the railroad.

The museum also includes an operating 1200 square foot HO scale model railroad that depicts the  railroads of San Luis Obispo County. This exhibit models the life and times when the railroads were more directly involved in the economic vitality of local communities and provided the majority of transport for people and freight. The Central Coast Model Railroad depicts portions of the Pacific Coast Railway in the early 1920s and the Southern Pacific Railway in the early 1950s as they operated along the California Coast from Gaviota to Paso Robles. Visit the model to better see how railroads shaped the growth of San Luis Obispo County.

Our Amtrak Exhibit includes a locomotive simulator that lets guests feel what it’s like to sit in the cab of an Amtrak locomotive and operate the train as well as ride in a passenger car and see the scenery of San Luis Obispo county.

The Santa Maria Valley Railroad exhibit documents the history of this shortline railroad with a series of short interactive photo stories.  Learn more about the two men that have shaped this railroad over its more than 110 year history.

The history of the Pacific Coast Railway which ran from Avila Beach to San Luis Obispo and Los Alamos is detailed in a 6 panel exhibit chronicling its creation in the 1870s, operation, and eventual closing in the 1940s.   It also includes a large scale model of PCRy #6 and its tender.

Other exhibits in the museum include an REA Wagon, a Griswold Rotating Stop Sign Crossing Signal, several pieces of SP Maintenance of Way equipment, and large photos showing panoramic views of both historic and current day San Luis Obispo.

The museum and platform with a view of the mainline railroad tracks are available for party rental.  Contact the museum by phone at 805-548-1894 or email at info@slorrm.com for details.

Visit a museum today!