Napa Valley Wine Train

Note: many of the pictures of the train are courtesy of Jack Snell:

Also several of the pictures are from and the credit is on the picture itself.

This is not a Santa Fe train, but I have ridden it several times and it appealed to me, especially since Aristo Craft did make rolling stock with the proper scheme. Aristo did also make a lot of other rolling stock with this paint scheme, but never existed in reality.

The rail line was build in 1864 by San Francisco's first millionaire, Samuel Brannan, to transport visitors to his spa resort of Calistoga. 42 miles of track ran from Calistoga to Vallejo, where it connected to the San Francisco Bay Area ferry boat service. There were many changes over the years, culminating in the NVRR company in 1987, purchasing the right of way from the current owner, Southern Pacific.


My Napa train model:

Right now just 5 cars. I have the FA units lowered. The cars are all the older style aristo trucks, and are all body mounts. I did some modifications to the trucks as an experiment to try to handle my nasty S curves, which reduced some friction, but could not overcome the poor layout geometry. The S curves have been eliminated.





Rolling stock - locomotives

The railroad owns four Alco FPA-4 locomotives built by Montreal Locomotive Works:

  • NVR 70 is 100% diesel
  • NVR 71
  • NVR 72
  • NVR 73 is 100% cng with an EMD 12-645E prime mover









Rolling stock

#1011 - Cabernet Sauvignon - Observation Lounge Car


Arched top windows


Start with Aristo NVR Observation, available in NVR decoration. I have #1011 with Cabernet Sauvignon

1011 Observation

# 1013 Silverado Trail, diner with arched windows (built from pullman)



diner silverado trail

#1014 Zinfandel Lounge car,  arched windows

Has a bar in it

1014 Zinfandel lounge

#1015 Le Petite Gourmet dining car, arch top windows

1015 Le Petite Gourmet diner

#1017 Merlot Lounge car

individual chairs facing windows

arched top windows

 1017 Merlot Lounge Car

#1018 - Chardonnay Lounge Car


Arched top windows


Start with Aristo NVR Observation, available in NVR decoration, need to obtain, also not sure if it is available with proper number and name

1018 chardonnay

#1085 Champagne vista dome- dining downstairs, kitchen downstairs

a.k.a. super dome

1085 dome


It is believed these were originally from Great Northern:

#1090 Le Chef de Cuisine kitchen car

no windows one side, small square ones on the corridor side

1090 Le Chef De Cuisine kitchen car

#1100 Le Gourmet Express dining car


Square top windows


Start with Aristo NVR Diner, available in NVR decoration. I have #1100, labelled Le Gourmet Express

1100 Le Gourmet Express diner

#480-R Grappa power car, lowered box / generator car


List of prototype cars:

I have also listed closest model available, and also my inventory:

 prototype closest modelinventory
 # 70 - FPA4 Aristo FA-1 have
 # 71 - FPA4 Aristo FA-1 have
 # 5076 NS DP38-2 high nose - leased in 2017  
 #57 44 tonner, black with orange safety stripes, no road name  
 #48, SERA - unknown geep  
 #69 NVRR geep of some kind  
 # 1011 - Cabernet Sauvignon - Observation Lounge Car Aristo #31432 observation "cabernet sauvignon" have
 # 1013 - Silverado Trail, diner with arched windows (built from pullman)  
 # 1014 - Zinfandel - Lounge ,  arched windowsAristo #31399 / #31332 coach "the deli" 1017?? get
 # 1015 - Le Petite Gourmet dining car, arch top windows  
 # 1017 - Merlot - LoungeAristo #31399 / #31332 coach "the deli" 1017 have
 # 1018 - Chardonnay - Observation Lounge Aristo Observation #31432 cabernet sauvignon have
 # 1052 - Quattro Vino - diner - blue and white Aristo #31399 "the deli" 
 # 1085 - Champagne vista dome- dining upstairs, kitchen downstairs LGB or custom car? 
 # 1090 - Le Chef de Cuisine kitchen car - has glassed in passageway one side ?? need pullman with no windows one side? 
 # 1100 - Le Gourmet Express dining car, square top windows Aristo  diner  31599 / 31532 1100 "le gourmet express" have 2
#? - burgandy, whithe and blue coach, unnumbered  
SERA #2740 - Mariposa -some kind of open air car  
SERA #2803 open air car  
SERA #7001  rib sided streamliner coach  
SERA #7000 Half Dome sera smoothside coach  
# 480-R - Grappa -  power car, lowered box / generator car 480-R "GRAPPA" in oval  
unnumbered - large smooth sided box, see picture of #71 loco  


Note: sers - Sierra DonnerTrain

Notes on modelling:

ted has Aristo coach art-31399 with road number 1052, "the deli"

 Need some kind of smooth side box for generator car

Aristo made many cars with Napa paint scheme, but the only other candidate was the aristo 31832 pullman, road number 1014, the prototype 1014 is a coach, not a pullman


The super dome car was added in 1997.

A modified box car containing a 450KW generator was added in 2013 to maintain power as locos were switched to the opposite end of the train at the end of a run. The roof of this car was lowered 2 feet to not obstruct the view from the super dome.

In 2016 two pullman cars were added that are sometimes used. They have black roofs, white window area, and deep purple/blue below the windows

The train operates a 3 hour long trip of 36 miles between Napa and St. Helena.

I have pictures of a 10 car train:



Currently on the web site, there is an image of a 12 car consist:

#70/71/72 (all named)
#1018 Chardonnay Lounge 1018 (observation)
#1017 Merlot - Lounge (coach with seats facing windows)
#1052 Quattro Vino (diner with coach type seats)
#1100 Le Gourmet Express Diner (diner with tables and chairs)
#1090 Le Chef de Cuisine Kitchen Car - like a baggage, few windows on one side
#1015 Le Petit Gourmet Diner (diner with tables and chairs)
#1085 Champagne Vista Dome (full length dome with dining upstairs)
#480-R Grappa - Power Car (smooth side with walkway and arches one side)
#1014 Zinfandel Lounge (diner with fixed bench seats)
#1011 Cabernet Sauvignon Lounge (observation)

from a youtube video 2018.2.3

smoothside box 7 panel superior door with roll up doors at ends
1018 chardonnay - Observation
1017 merlot
1100 Le Gourmet Express
1090 Le Chef De Cuisine
1015 Le Petit Gourmet
480-R Grappa power car
1085 Champagne
1014 Zinfandel

from a youtube video 2014.2.16

#1018 Chardonnay - obs
#1014 Zinfandel
#1052 The Deli
#1100 Le Gourmet Express
#1090 Le Chef De Cuisine
#1015 Le Petit Gourmet
#1085 Champagne - vista dome
#480-R Grappa power car
#1017 Merlot - lounge
#1011 Cabernet Sauvignon - Observation lounge


The current "typical" consist is: (From their web site)

The Napa Valley Wine Train consists of ten railcars and two engines on point:
Lounge Cars (3)
Deli Car (1)
Gourmet Express Dining Cars (2)
Silverado Car Al-Fresco Style Dining(1)
Vista Dome Dining Car (1) **
Grappa Power Car (1)
Chef de Cuisine Kitchen Car with Glass Observation Corridor (1)


Go to this page, and scroll down to the small train pictures that go the width of the page, you can click on the individual locomotive or car to see details and pictures








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