DUNSMUIR, Calif. — Below the jagged peaks of the Castle Crags wilderness is the small railroad town of Dunsmuir. In the late 1880s, railroad workers called the town “Pusher” because it often took multiple locomotives to push cargo through Dunsmuir and across the steep, rugged terrain.
Today, Dunsmuir is the perfect for “foamers." What’s a “foamer” you ask? Well, Mark Lilley, co-owner of the Railroad Park Resort, says its people who foam at the mouth at the sight of trains.
If trainspotting or “foaming” is your thing, the Railroad Park Resort is the place for you. It is one of the few places where you can sleep in a real caboose or boxcar.
“We have 27 rooms; 23 are cabooses, and one is a box car,” Lilley said.
Each one of the cabooses and railcars are fully equipped with all the amenities you would expect inside a typical hotel. Bathrooms, beds and air conditioning are all standard, but each room is a little different, and if you are lucky, you might get a room with a copula and view of the Castle Crags.
“The copula in a caboose is a place where the conductor would sit and get a view of the whole train,” Lilley said.
If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion with that special train enthusiast, you may want to consider the boxcar number 20.
“This is our honeymoon suite," Lilley said. "This is where the romance happens.”
Lilley says at one time, the boxcar may have carried cattle but now carries a claw foot tub, a fireplace and a wall decorated with railroad memorabilia.
Each one of the 27 rooms have their own feng shui. Lilley and his wife have been remodeling the place since buying it from the original owners in 2018.
“In 1968, Bill and Alberta Murphy purchased a bunch of cabooses and made them into lodging,” Lilley said.
Getting the cabooses and railcars to this location was no easy task. Everything had to be trucked over in pieces and put into place with cranes. The railcar restaurant was an engineering feat of its own.
“So, the restaurant is actually nine railcars put together, many deep and a couple wide,” Lilley explained.
Whether you foam at the mouth at the first sight of trains or you just want to enjoy unique lodging experience, the Railroad Park Resort has it all, including a great view.
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