I liked riding the "Iron Monsters" that were phased out by Muni in the middle '50's.
I used to stand next to the motorman when going through the Twin Peaks tunnel.
A few years ago I was at the Western Railroads Museum at Rio Vista Junction and was allowed to operate one of the "monsters" for a few hundred feet. Big fun!
The WWRM is at the Rio Vista Junction station of the old Sacramento Northern. It's mainly a streetcar museum and they have a few miles of track on which to take passengers on short trips.