If you read the reviews on Yelp that have the lowest ratings, you get the feeling that a lot of folks find the trolleys-only format boring and the museum too quiet.
From what I have read on AltamontPress, the museum was more lively when there were steam and diesel trains and the additional staff of volunteers to go with them.
Some reviewers say that CSRM is a better venue because of its trains... oops. That tells me it would have made better business sense if WRM had kept its steam and diesel trains, since the public likes that stuff. However, I do know that WRM has a healthy endowment, so maybe ticket sales are not the end goal for them.
Here are the harshest reviews I could find on Yelp. In fairness, every rail museum gets harsh reviews like these.
Unless you are a major railroad/streetcar buff, don't waste your time or money. Go instead to the railroad museum in nearby Old Town Sacramento - much more interesting and interactive. This place has almost nothing to see, you can't go inside any of the train cars, and on a weekend afternoon we were told we would have to wait an hour for a train ride.
This place is so boring. I'm sorry I don't mean to offend. I think its a good place for people who are really into trains otherwise you'll be waiting for your trip to be over.
Not much to see when you arrive before two o'clock on a Saturday and can't get into the main display building because the tours have ended already. We were disappointed. The trolley ride was enjoyable and informative. The train museum in Old Sacramento is amazing and well worth the fee.
An odd little place to find in the middle of the California countryside. The collection is mainly a bunch of trolleys from around the world. You can enter a few, but not most. Those that you can go in are quite interesting, otherwise there's not much to be seen from the 12 or so they have. Unfortunately, these aren't enough to keep one around for more than 20-30 minutes, so if you'd like to take the train ride they offer, be sure to show up when it begins - we couldn't justify hanging around for an extra 45 minutes after strolling around the collection.
My two year old who loves trains was bored bored bored. Best suited for older train enthusiests in my opinion. Lots of history though just not the most toddler friendly.