The Steam Trains at Tilden Park are open on their summer schedule now. Advanced reservations are not be required.
Covid-19 Protocols at the Tilden Park Steam Trains
- Everyone over age two should wear a mask.
- Please maintain a 6-foot social distance while on site.
- The train has been extended to 13 open cars with no covered cars. Groups will be seated together in an individual car. Once seated all passengers must remain in their seat until the completion of the ride and then exit in an orderly fashion.
As for ticket sales and reservations: All ticket sales are on-site at the little depot with no advance reservations. Paper tickets will be placed in a ticket collection box before boarding to minimize contact.
Long-time train riders will have paper punch tickets from previous visits, and those will be honored. Conductors have gloves and will punch tickets on an as-needed basis.
All about the Berkeley Steam Trains in Tilden Park
The steam trains in Tilden Park are one of the East Bay’s best-kept secrets. I say that — not because nobody knows about them — only because you really have to know how to drive through the hills to find them. The railroad is located at the south end of Tilden Park, at the intersection of Grizzly Peak Blvd and Lomas Cantadas Rd (That’s the Ashby end NOT the Marin end of the hills for all you directionally challenged folks like myself).
Plan your visit to the Tilden Steam Trains
The steam train is an authentic miniature live steam railroad featuring a collection of live steam locomotives. Open Monday through Friday 11 am – 5 pm and Weekends 11 am to 6 pm through Labor Day.
Bring a few dollars to purchase tickets in advance and enjoy the ride. That’s all you need to know.
$3.50 per ride or $14 for 5 rides. FREE for under 2 years. Buying 5 tickets is recommended to save time in line.
Tips for visiting the steam trains with little kids
Bring layers. It can get chilly in the woods. It is often foggy here and little ones can get cold while on the train.
Avoid busy times, usually between noon-4 pm, especially on sunny days. When not busy, you can ride the train without getting off, again and again.
The parking lot by the trains gets full quickly. You can find additional parking along the path past the entrance. It is a bit of a walk but there are plenty of spaces available.
There are few wooden tables available right off the parking lot, which are terrific for snacks or small parties.
There’s a decent restroom in the parking lot. Since the train rides go in waves, the line for the bathroom can get long, too.
A miniature museum displaying three train engines is situated by the entrance. You can read about the historical facts about the engines here. (It isn’t very exciting for kids)
Kids get a real thrill out of going through the tunnel, twice!
Wondering if the train will be open due to weather? Do you want to get up-to-date information about the steam train? Call (510) 548-6100 or find out on Facebook.
More to do in Tilden Park with Kids
Tilden Park has many affordable — and free! — attractions for families. Though the nearby miniature steam railroad and Lake Anza remain closed, here are several fun things to add to your bucket list: merry-go-round (pretty cheap), Little Farm (free but requires reservations), Regional Parks Botanic Garden (free but requires reservations), and creek stomping in Wildcat Creek (free)!
[Photos by Kat Choi and Heather Flett for 510families; all rights reserved]