School Group Reservations
Golden Spike National Historic Site is a fantastic location to bring school field trips! We encourage schools to schedule trips early to ensure adequate staff is available at the site. The locomotives are available for viewing year round but only operate from May 1st through Columbus Day. Some of the programs available for school groups are listed below.
Big Fill Loop Trail – (45 min.) This is a 1 ½ mile walking trail. The trail show cases construction techniques used in the building of the railroad. The hike can be self-guided or ranger-guided.
Ranger Programs – (30 min. each)
The Building of the Trancontinental Railroad: This basic program explains how the route for the transcontinental railroad was selected and highlights the differences between the Central Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad during construction.
Snow Wars: Snow Removal was a major problem for the Central Pacific Railroad during construction. Learn about how the CPRR cleared the way through snow packed tracks and how snow removal equipment evolved in the 19th century.
Communications: Besides the ease in travel across the country, the completion of the transcontinental railroad brought about remarkable change in communications
Steam Demonstration- (20 min., May –Sept) Golden Spike is home to two steam powered locomotives that run 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 1:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 4:30 pm.
Engine House Tour- (45 min. Oct – April) During the winter months the locomotives undergo maintenance at the Engine House. Students get to see what it takes to maintain the locomotives to get them ready for the next running season.
Re-enactment – (15 to 30 min) Students can re-enact the ceremony which was the driving of the Golden Spike May 10, 1869.
Re-enactment Script for 7-9th Graders
Re-enactment Script for 4-6th Graders
The Golden Spike Movie (21 min) The building of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad became a race as the Central Pacific starting in Sacramento CA, and the Union Pacific, starting in Omaha, NE, overcame incredible obstacles as they race to complete one of the greatest works of American History.
This is America Charlie Brown (30 min) Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and the whole peanut gang discovers the story behind the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad. Animated, fun-filled musical adventure for kids of all ages.
Jupiter & 119 (25 min) With little more than photographs to go by, O’Conner Engineering craftsman work to recreate the beautifully detailed Jupiter and No. 119. These two locomotives now steam down the tracks at Golden Spike NHS every May – Sept.
Andrew J. Russell: A Visual Historian (28 min) This film, full of historic photos of the construction of the transcontinental railroad, covers the life and work of the man who documented this great work, and the legacy he left for historians.
The Great Train Robbery (10 min) This 1903 silent film produced by Thomas Edison was one of the first feature motion pictures ever made.
School groups typically request the Steam Demonstration/Engine House Tour, Reenactment, a film, and finish with the Big Fill Loop Trail. To make reservations for a school field trip please click on the link below to download your application for fee waiver to help in the process of arranging your field trip.
Fee Waiver Application