‘WOW on rails’ brings Valley students to Lodi museum
Lodi’s World of Wonders Science Museum is excited to roll out a cooperative effort with Amtrak of San Joaquin called “WOW on Rails,” which is aimed at getting students to the museum by train.
WOW ran a pilot of the program on Nov. 29 with fourthgrade students from El Nido Elementary School in Merced County. The train arrived in Lodi around 10:30 a.m. where students then were able to engage in interactive science experiments.
“I think it is absolutely fantastic for students to be able to get here by train,” WOW President Sally Snyde said.
Snyde has been instrumental in developing a partnership with Amtrak over the past couple of months to get the program launched.
“A bus from Stockton to Lodi cost $500 to rent, and if you are traveling father it could cost more, but if schools could take the Amtrak it’s more cost effective,” Snyde said.
WOW offers discounts to groups of 10 or more people at $4 a ticket and provides tickets at $5 per student and $7 for an adult in order to make the museum accessible to all looking to learn and enjoy in a shared interactive science experience.
Amtrak currently provides a program known as Kids 'n' Trains, which is available to students from Bakersfield to Sacramento. The program provides a discounted ticket to passengers for one-way and round-trip fares.
According to Snyde, the discount programs for both the museum and the Amtrak exist independently of one another, but she is looking to utilize both discount programs to get more students to experience travel on the railway.
Snyde believes getting a time slot for Lodi’s drop-off location around 10:30 a.m. is something that can be beneficial for Lodi residents, as it could increase downtown business, connect the town to people from neighboring communities and motivate people to travel with Amtrak.
“The decision to create a designated time slot took months of back and forth but I am very glad it worked out,” said Snyde.
Snyde is confident that this new partnership will increase ridership for the train and get students more engaged with science. Due to the early success of the program, there have been more schools interested in taking part in the “WOW on Rails” program. The museum has already received reservations by schools looking to hitch a train to scienceville.
Students take part in the “WOW on Rails” program.