Set in the beautiful, grassy foothills next to Lake Los Carneros, Goleta’s famed South Coast Railroad Museum teaches adults and children alike about California’s expansive railroading history and the railway technology evolution. The museum explores how the Southern Pacific Railroad played a historical role in rural community life across America. Goleta Depot, the museum’s central attraction, is a country railroad station house built by the Southern Pacific in 1901. Goleta Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as the completion of the Coast Route joined San Francisco and Los Angeles, which was a major step forward in railway transportation in the early 20th century.
The South Coast Railroad Museum provides ample opportunities to educate patrons on the significance of the railway system. Not only will visitors gain valuable knowledge, but they can also explore the historic grounds and take a ride on the train to truly experience the thrill.
Tickets & Admission
Admission to the museum is free, and train tickets are $2.50 per passenger, available Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The last train tickets are sold at 3:30 p.m. Rental packages are available for meetings, birthday parties, picnics and private events.
Driving from the south, take Highway 101 North to exit 107 for Los Carneros Road. Turn right on N Los Carneros Road and the Railroad Museum will be on your right in 0.3 miles. Driving from the North, take Highway 101 South to exit 107 for Los Carneros Road toward Glen Annie Road/Storke Road. Turn left onto N Los Carneros Road and at the traffic circle, continue straight to stay on N Los Carneros Road. The Railroad Museum will be on the right. Parking is available on site.
For those with a special interest in railways and national parks, the Trails and Rails program is a partnership between the National Parks Service and Amtrak. The South Coast Railroad Museum trains and coordinates Trails and Rails volunteers who will assist in teaching Amtrak passengers about the historical significance of the railways along the Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail between Santa Barbara and San Jose. Learn more about this unique and educational volunteering experience here.