n the foothills east of Fremont, the small town of Niles is a twee collection of an antique and tea shops (plus an incongruous biker bar). More importantly it is the starting point for the Niles Canyon Heritage Railway, the last link of the first Transcontinental Railway built in the 1860’s. Today you’ll ride 22 miles round trip to Sunol at a stately 25 mph for a total of an hour and 15 minutes. Choose either open or closed carriages. It’s not Great America but it’s great fun especially for your younger friends. During the holidays, festooned with bright bulbs, it is a delightful Train of Lights.
Tickets are tax-deductible suggested donations, free for kids 3 and under, $5 for children 4-12, $10 general and $8 seniors.
Departs from Niles, historic district of Fremont
or Sunol, south of Pleasanton
Complete information at niles canyon trains.