Explorer Express Train | EcoTarium

Explorer Express Train

Enjoy a ride on this two-fifths replica of the 1863 C.P. Huntington steam locomotive, a favorite attraction for many EcoTarium's visitors. Open-air passenger cars take visitors on a scenic 12-minute ride; a relaxing and fun way to see the museum grounds. Best of all, pass through a tunnel that elicits squeals of delight from young (and young at heart) passengers.

All aboard!


$3.00 per person/$2.00 for EcoTarium members (this fare is in addition to General Admission). Tickets are available at the train station on the day of your visit and are not stamped for any particular time; train seats are filled first come, first served, for each departure.

The Explorer Express is closed for the Winter Season and will re-open in the spring.

About the Explorer Express Train:

For 40 years, the Explorer Express Train provided fun and excitement for EcoTarium visitors. In 2014, all the years of operation had taken its toll on the train wheels and tracks, and we embarked on an extensive track repair project. Advances in train and track technology meant that all of the rails would need to be replaced… all 1-1/2 miles of track!

To ensure the Explorer Express Train would delight our visitors for generations to come, we took the opportunity to grade the entire roadbed (in some areas widening the curves), upgrade the train, and paint the coach cars. The system has new 24” narrow gauge rail; all new 20 lb. rail, 2,500 ties, 10,000+ spikes, ballast, switches and automatic railroad crossing gates. The project was completed in May of 2016.

EcoTarium's new Engine 395 came into service in June 2017 and is a 2/5ths replica of the 1863 C.P. Huntington, a 4-2-4T steam locomotive purchased by the Southern Pacific Railroad and named in honor of Collis P. Huntington, President of the Southern Pacific Company. EcoTarium's beloved Engine 308 came into service at EcoTarium in 1999 and serves as a backup engine and may run on occasion. 

In 2016 we retired Engine 3, which had been in operation since the 1960s; it came to EcoTarium in the early 1970s.