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San Diego Railroad Museum

San Diego Railroad Museum

San Diego Railroad Museum
1649 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
Tue - Fri 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sat - Sun. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

San Diego Railroad Museum Information

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Top 5 Things to Know About the San Diego Railroad Museum:

  1. Mission: The San Diego Railroad Museum serves the public through education about current and past railroads. The museum showcases miniature representations of historic Californian railroad systems while preserving the art and history of model railroading.
  2. Railroad Construction: Members of the various railroad membership clubs create the intricate railroad models at the museum. Roughly 320 volunteers design, fund and operate these miniature creations.
  3. Exhibits: The San Diego Model Railroad Museum features replicas of California railways including the Tehachapi Loop connecting Bakersfield to Mojave, the San Diego and Arizona Eastern railway complete with an impressive 10-foot model of the Carrizo Gorge, and the Pacific Desert Lines, which are modeled around a historical proposal for a railroad to connect San Diego to the east coast.
  4. Toy Train Gallery: The intricately designed trains and landscape scenery, complete with realistic sounding whistles and engine roars barely constitute as toys but rather sophisticated artwork. The remote-controlled gallery even streams a live camera broadcast from the engineer's point of view onto a monitor screen at this exhibit.
  5. Admission and Hours: The Railroad Museum San Diego is open daily except for Mondays. Regular admission is $8, however military, student and senior citizen discounts are available, and children under 14 years of age can enter for free. Every first Tuesday of the month, San Diego residents with proof of residency can access the museum at no additional charge.

The Railroad Museum in San Diego in Balboa Park presents one of the largest indoor train models in the world, and it is also the only accredited railway-themed museum in the United States. San Diego Model Railroad Museum is educational, exciting and interesting for adults and children of all ages. Whether you grew up creating and playing with your own train models or you are a railway connoisseur, the Railroad Museum San Diego will provide you with entertainment as you admire the impressive designs and learn about the history of the railway systems in California. Guests will witness the transformation of trains and the railways through time and gain facts about the early railroad women in history. 

Visitors at the San Diego Railroad Museum will recognize the miniature version of famous San Diego sites and landmarks while trains zoom through the landscapes. The San Diego Railroad Museum features imaginary prototypes and the hypothetical design of the Pacific Desert Lines that were surveyed but constructed. The Railroad Museum San Diego also presents the real-life mountain scenes in the Tehachapi Loop and the Goat Canyon trestle on the San Diego and Arizona Eastern line, as train history and authenticity is preserved in each exhibit. The toy train gallery is also an exciting must-see attraction as it has four tracks and operating accessories. The kids will enjoy pressing the buttons to operate the coal trains, which blow horns, whistles and even smoke at the San Diego Railroad Museum.

  • Do Stop at the Gift Shop: Train lovers will appreciate the gift shop at the Railroad Museum San Diego as much as the exhibits as they browse the train-themed books, movies and artwork.
  • Don't Miss "Work Nights": Every Tuesday and Friday evening the museum is open for free for guests to visit while the volunteers and club members construct and work on the train models and railways in front of you at the San Diego Railroad Museum.

San Diego Railroad Museum Map