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Get a free ticket to ride into California’s history

Get a free ticket to ride into California’s history
The 1952 Baldwin Whitcomb No.1265 historic diesel locomotive at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown, Calif. (Railtown 1897 State Historic Park)

Travelers can take a historic train ride in California’s Gold Country for free the first weekend in April. It’s the kickoff weekend for Railtown 1897 State Historic Park’s throwback excursions along 6 miles of rugged hilly landscape.

The deal: The park in Jamestown, Calif., offers free excursions on a train pulled by the park’s 1952 Baldwin Whitcomb No. 1265 locomotive. The ride is free on a first come, first served basis at 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 and 3 p.m. on April 6 and 7.

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The ride lasts 45 minutes, passing former filming sites, such as the water tower in the 1960s TV show “Petticoat Junction.”

When: Free rides are offered April 6 and 7 only. The season runs April through October.

Details: The kickoff weekend includes free admission and free tours. Tickets usually cost $15 for adults and $10 for children 6 to 17 (children 5 and younger ride free).

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