By Matt Wilson, @WilsonSTComms

Bay Area train enthusiasts of all ages can pair their passions for model trains and railroad history with the real thing this weekend if they elect to take Caltrain to the South Bay Historical Railroad Society’s Spring Train Show and Open House at the Santa Clara Station depot.

On Saturday, April 7, and Sunday, April 8, the Society will open up the depot doors to the public and show off an impressive collection of historic railroad artifacts in the Edward Peterman Museum of Railroad History. There are also two operational HO and N scale model railroad layouts “depicting various railroad eras and operations venues,” according to organizers.

Visitors can also check out the Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation business car, located just outside the depot.

Admission is $5 for everyone 18 and older, and free for kids. If the low, low price of admission wasn’t enough of a persuader, the Internet seems to think the depot is a great day trip for youngsters, too.

The open house runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Folks who can’t make it out to the show this weekend can stop by the depot Tuesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Here’s a YouTube video that gives people an idea of what they might see when they visit.

According to its website, the South Bay Historical Railroad Society (SBHRS) “was incorporated in 1985 to preserve the local area railroad heritage while running a working museum to benefit the community.”

Its members are volunteers and work on the renovation and preservation of the Santa Clara Railroad Depot, the nearby Santa Clara Tower and building maintenance. The depot itself was built in 1863.

Those electing to catch Caltrain to Santa Clara for the full train experience are reminded that it’s a proof-of-payment system; tickets are not sold onboard but can be purchased at vending machines at the stations. To save time on the return trip, passengers are encouraged to buy a Day Pass or utilize the new Caltrain Mobile ticketing app. Clipper card users are reminded to tag on and tag off.

Parking at Caltrain stations costs $5.50 for the day, and permits can be purchased through ticket machines onsite. Paid parking rules are enforced throughout the day. Parking permits cannot be purchased on the Caltrain Mobile app.

For more information about Caltrain schedules and fares or for help planning your trip, call Caltrain Customer Service at 1.800.660.4287 (TTY 650.508.6448) or visit www.caltrain.com.

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