Enjoy exclusive use of the caboose for your private party!

Climb up into the cupola for a bird’s-eye view of the train as it rolls through Niles Canyon, along the scenic route of North America’s First Transcontinental Railroad, with a docent aboard to tell you about the railroad.

Our Santa Fe cabooses provide a special ride for groups of up to 24 people (depending on whether they are adult-sized or child-sized). Two small serving tables are available on-board for serving your refreshments. There are windows on the main floor, but the best view of the train is from the seats high up in the cupola.

You may bring your own food and drinks aboard the caboose to enjoy. Your reservation also includes the use of three picnic tables at Sunol Community Park across Kilkare Road from our depot before or after your caboose ride.


Caboose charters are only available on regular weekend trains departing from Sunol.


The reservation fee is $75 (regardless of the number of riders) plus the regular fare for each person. Come to the Sunol ticket window to get your special caboose tickets before your ride. 

The caboose is very popular, so reserve early!


For those truly special occasions, charter the whole train!

Enjoy the scenic Niles Canyon from open and covered viewing cars and a fully-enclosed coach pulled by a classic locomotive. Bring your own food and beverages on board, or enjoy a public picnic area near the station. Our friendly and helpful train crew will do everything possible to see that you and your guests have a good time.


Train charters are available from mid-January to mid-October on weekdays and after regularly-scheduled operations on weekends. Train charters are not available mid-October to mid-January due to Train of Lights.

Car Capacities


  • Charters must be requested at least 2 weeks in advance. We have a limit of three charters per month. First requested, first honored.
  • Mechanical lifts are available at stations to provide wheelchair access to the train.
  • Additional cars with a capacity of 50 riders each may be added (for an extra fee) to reach a maximum capacity of 400 passengers per train.
  • For special services or more passengers, contact us.


Train First Two Hours Additional Hours Capacity Notes
Diesel (One car) $1,500 $75 100Two-hour minimum
Diesel (Four cars) $1,800 $300 250 Two-hour minimum
First Class $2,200 $300 250 Subject to equipment availability
Steam Train $2,500 $300 250 Subject to seasonal availability