Home » Railroad Museum & Foundation Invite Community to Experience Two Activations Celebrating the Contributions of Transcontinental Railroad Workers
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Railroad Museum & Foundation Invite Community to Experience Two Activations Celebrating the Contributions of Transcontinental Railroad Workers

Image courtesy of Golden Spike Foundation

The California State Railroad Museum & Foundation are proud to present two special activations happening both inside and outside the Museum on Saturday, April 27, 2024, in celebration of the contributions of the workers who built the Transcontinental Railroad. The first is a “Unity Through Music” multi-sensory concert event inside the Museum in partnership with the Purple Silk Music Education Foundation that is made possible by Arts in California Parks.  The second is a free, one-day only must-see opportunity and activation outdoors on the 1849 Scene that will include a giant golden spike on display in partnership with the Golden Spike Foundation. 

“Unity Through Music” Youth Orchestra Experience from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For a unique, multi-sensory experience, Railroad Museum visitors will also enjoy special live performances of music from the cultures of railroad workers who built the Transcontinental Railroad. Talented student musicians of the Great Wall Youth Orchestra will perform songs from parts of Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America performed on Chinese instruments with a visual backdrop surrounded by historic locomotives, railcars, and railroad stories that have lasted through the ages. The Unity Through Museum concert event will take place inside the Museum’s roundhouse and is included with the price of Museum admission. For more information about Unity Through Music, please visit www.californiarailroad.museum/purplesilk.

Giant Golden Spike on Display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Special Programming 12 to 3 p.m.

As part of a special Jupiter Tour, a giant Golden Spike Monument that is over 43’ long and weighing 8,000 pounds will be on special display all day outside the California State Railroad Museum on the 1849 Scene at the Old Sacramento Waterfront. Plus, free and family-friendly programming will be provided by the Golden Spike Foundation from noon to 3 p.m. that will include interpretive panels and spot talks. Old Sacramento is one of the Driving of the Spike “whistle stops” for the commissioned public art piece – created by sculptor Douwe Blumberg in 2021 – that will travel from Utah to Sacramento and back with a mission to recognize the contributions of railroad workers of the Central Pacific Railroad. The monument was designed to celebrate the power and diversity of those whose labor and sacrifices contributed to building the nation’s first Transcontinental Railroad. The community is encouraged to see the spike in-person at an interesting horizontal angle (on a flatbed) before it is installed upright in Brigham City, Box Elder County, Utah. For more background on the Jupiter Tour, please visit https://spike150.org/driving/.

The community is also encouraged to take a weekend excursion train ride and tour the world-class Museum. In particular, visitors may want to explore the “Chinese Workers’ Experience” exhibit in the first-floor Transcontinental Gallery that showcases and shares stories of the of Chinese railroad workers who were essential in the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. In addition, the Railroad Museum is home to the priceless “lost” Gold Spike and precious artifacts cast at the same time as the gold spike used at the Promontory Summit ceremony, plus the famous “Last Spike” painting by Thomas Hill that illustrates the scene of the famous joining of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads.

For more information about excursion train rides and the California State Railroad Museum or Foundation in general, please visit www.californiarailroad.museum.

About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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