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.


Due to COVID-19, caboose charters are not typically being run, however, please contact us with your interest.


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 experience train travel from a bygone era.


The Niles Canyon Railway is operated by volunteers so our ability to run train charters is directly related to the availability of qualified train crews to staff the charter trains.

Mid-week evenings and selected mid-week afternoon departures have the best availability for charters that can provide a unique setting for off-site business or smaller group meetings.


Train charters are not available October to January.  Our dedicated volunteers and historic equipment have limitations.  All of our efforts are needed to prepare and staff the annual holiday fund-raising event, Train of Lights.  

  • Operated when equipment and crews are available.
  • No charters before 5:00 PM on Saturdays.
  • Charters not available on regular scheduled Sunday operating days.
  • All charters are for two hours and consist of a 2 hour round trip train ride departing from either Fremont/Niles Station or Sunol Depot.

Car Capacities

The Niles Canyon Railway can offer a variety of historical railway cars for charters. Please see description of equipment below.


  • 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 250 passengers per train.
  • For special services or more passengers, contact us.

Charter Rates

  • Up to 100 people = $3000
  • 100 – 250 people = $3500
  • Steam Powered Charter (When available) $4500