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San Diego Model Railroad Museum, San Diego

Categories: Specialty Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 320+ reviews on the web
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. Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to San Diego Model Railroad Museum by using our San Diego itinerary planner.
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  • We happened across this museum while visiting Balboa Park. It is the largest set up of model railroading I have ever seen and they were still expanding. Very realistic set up with many different train...  read more »
  • If you have never had a model railroad set, you will be surprised at how great this place actually is. If you are a fan of model railroads, you will also be surprised at how much time you could spend ...  read more »
  • This was the only 'paid' museum we visited at Balboa park and what a good choice it was. The displays are incredible and what was especially good was to see new displays being build- what an incredibl...  read more »
  • One of the best museums for small kids (or grown adults). The entrance is considerably less than most other museums. You go through several large rooms where they have made massive landscapes and set up small working model trains. Depending on how long you look at the landscapes/trains, takes approximately 45 minutes.
  • Really amazing, elaborate displays, each by a different train club, made with love by volunteer labor. But I'd advise against bringing anybody under 4 feet tall. I had to carry my 40 pound 4 year old the whole time since there are so few risers and poorly located. Signage is minimal, and this seems to be more of a vanity exhibition than a museum. Also there's nothing for kids to DO there. Other train museums have building sets.
  • Went here with our son on a Saturday since he loves trains. Entrance was $10 for adults and $4 for our son. They had tons of trains and the conductors even spent time telling is the history behind the trains and what they carried. We went into the garden train area and my son had a 20 minute conversation with the gentleman there. I will definitely be coming back here.
  • Generally nice staff. Certainly some big layouts. As others mentioned, short kids have more limited viewing opportunities. I thought entry was a bit pricey for what you got. I thought it was hit or miss on the upkeep of some of the layouts. For sure, of have a train fanatic, go.
  • One of the best railroad museums. Working scale models. Fun for kids too.
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