The Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola is operated by the Feather River Rail Society

In December 1982, the last built transcontinental railroad ceased to exist when the Western Pacific Railroad was approved for merger into the massive Union Pacific Railroad system, itself part of the original transcontinental railroad. Always a frugal and innovative operation, the WP pioneered important industry advances still in use today, including diesel power, turbocharging, centralized traffic control, roller bearing-equipped freight cars, computerization and the use of concrete ties, just to name a few.

Founding Members FRRS
In September of 1984, several of the founding members of the Feather River Rail Society pose with their first acquisition, Western Pacific F7 #921 in the old WP Diesel shop in Portola, now a world class railroad museum.
In 1983, the Feather River Rail Society was formed to preserve the legacy of the Western Pacific. The UP graciously donated many pieces of equipment and granted use of the former WP locomotive facility in the city of Portola. This 37-acre site includes a 16,000 square foot diesel shop in active use from 1954 until 1974 as well as 2-1/2 miles of track.
This facility is now home to the Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola. By the late 1990s, the FRRS had assembled what is considered by many to be one of the premier collections of equipment and archival material focusing on a single railroad family. This collection includes over 30 locomotives and 128 pieces of rolling stock, as well as corporate records, artifacts and historic photos and films. Visitors to the museum discover this is a hands-on facility where they are encouraged to climb into the cabs of locomotives and even run a locomotive themselves. The working diesel shop features an exhibit room and a variety of other railroad-related displays are located throughout the building.

Western Pacific 805-A leans into the curve on the balloon track at the Western Pacific Railroad Museum with a train of museum owned and privately owned California Zephyr Cars during the 100 year anniversary celebrations at the museum in 2009.
Many unique and important items are preserved in the museum’s collection, including the first diesel locomotive purchased by the railroad, the last operating locomotive built to pull the California Zephyr passenger train, one of only five remaining WP steam engines, a 200-ton rail mounted crane, a passenger car once used for blood donation service during wartime and many of the WP’s surviving corporate records.

The FRRS is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 volunteer organization. The continued existence of this museum and archives depends upon revenue gathered from memberships, donations, fundraising, admissions and store sales. Please help support our mission to preserve and protect the legacy of the Western Pacific and its people.

Portola offers many accommodations and services for travelers and is the only incorporated city in Plumas County. Located at an elevation of 4,856 feet in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Portola is 150 miles northeast of Sacramento and 50 miles northwest of Reno.

Please join us and help preserve the WP