San Diego Model Railroad Museum, San Diego

4.5
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
Create an itinerary including San Diego Model Railroad Museum
One of the largest venues of its kind in the world, San Diego Model Railroad Museum features a number of scale model railorads and layouts. The four clubs that created and maintain these exhibits are the San Diego Model Railroad Association, La Mesa Model Railroad Club, San Diego Society of N-Scale, and San Diego 3-Railers. Children adore the hands-on "Lionel type" layouts at the museum's toy train gallery. Since opening in 1982, almost 3 million visitors have spent time learning and playing at this interactive and informative museum. San Diego Model Railroad Museum is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our , world travel planner Edition.
Improve this listing »
Create a full itinerary - for free!

San Diego Model Railroad Museum reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
537 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • A work-in-progress (aren't all layouts?) - this is a must for train fans of all ages. They display several gauge trains - O, HO and more - professionally done and absolutely wonderful to see. This.....  more
    A work-in-progress (aren't all layouts?) - this is a must for train fans of all ages. They display several gauge trains - O, HO and more - professionally done and absolutely wonderful to see. This.....  more »
  • There are many great displays to view throughout this facility. Try to come early as it does get crowded later on in the day. 
    There are many great displays to view throughout this facility. Try to come early as it does get crowded later on in the day.  more »
  • Really neat train layouts depicting area railroads. They even have a library and gift shop, as well as full size displays. 
    Really neat train layouts depicting area railroads. They even have a library and gift shop, as well as full size displays.  more »
Google
  • My kids loved it! Located in the basement so you take an elevator down from street level. Alot of intricate work displayed. My school age kids enjoyed the scavenger hunt looking for hidden details in each diorama. Our toddler just enjoyed the moving trains and all the vehicles and lights. Takes about an hour to tour about four hallway/rooms. Volunteers are running their trains and working on repairs, ready to answer your question.
  • For me, this is the best museum in Balboa Park. This museum has several train layouts. I know they have N, HO, O, and once in a while (weather permitting), the G outdoor layout is operational. I’m not sure if they have a Z scale layout though. If they do, it’s probably too small that’s why I haven’t seen it 😊 This museum is so massive it has 2 levels. It has several exhibits, it even has a night time exhibit you have to see to believe. The staff and volunteers are awesome too. They are knowledgeable and helpful and they will try to answer whatever questions you may have. Another great thing about this museum is the quarterly swap meet. I’ve been to the last one and they had a lot of used and some new train stuff at very good prices. For those who are not interested in the quarterly swap meet, they have a souvenir shop inside the museum that sells many cool train and train related items. SDMRM is a great museum, it is definitely one of the best spots to see here in S.D.
  • I didn't want to go, but went with family that did. Best 2.5 hours of the day! Displays are amazing and the people that run it are so fun! The details are incredible!! Be sure you grab a scavenger hunt paper at the ticket booth and look for everything.
  • I love the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. It is so much fun to see the artist at work! And they take their craft VERY seriously. This is a must for train and model lovers. All children will enjoy this place. I love watching them work the trains!!
  • I always forget how much fun I have when I go to the railroad museum. I highly recommend this for adults and children. They always put crazy scenarios in there. I'm not sure how else to explain that. There are different areas to explore so make sure you visit everywhere. We had a blast!

Plan your trip to San Diego

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.