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San Diego Model Railroad Museum

1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101-1621 (Balboa Park)
619 696 0199
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Ranked #33 of 215 attractions in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: Specialty Museums
Description: One of the world's largest model railroad museums features a scale model railway that replicates San Diego's tracks.
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109 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Boulevard, California
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
21 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

The museum is a great spot to spend a little time while in the Balboa Park area. Watching the trains, looking at all the little towns and buildings is fun, and kids love the kids area.

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Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014 via mobile

By far one of the finest displays of model trains in all gauges. Very much worth seeing. Everything is so life like & full of unbelievable detail.

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Bethesda, Maryland
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
23 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

This is a really rarity - a place that has O, HO and N scale model railroading that is so huge its mind boggling. The layouts have been around for several decades but are really well maintained and growing. A true treat if you like this kind of stuff. Even if you don't, its worth to see something of this... More

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Litchfield, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

This is a fantastic display. There are several model railroad clubs that participate with various gauge train displays. The exhibits are extremely detailed with an overwhelming number of trains and accessories. The layouts represent the significance of railroads to California and the southwest. It offers a nostalgic experience as well as emphasizing the importance of this industry.

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Chula Vista, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

I noticed the kids really liked it too! O.K. I admit it, I had fun and so did my hubby! We learned a bit of local history and everyone in there was really friendly.

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Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
25 attraction reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

I had a model railroad setup when I was young - built a town in the center of the tracks, painted in roads, strung up electric street lights, etc. If you have fond memories of that (or are still doing that), you will be floored by this place. Basically run by a bunch of model rr clubs in the San... More

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Portland, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

This was better than I had anticiapted. There are several different displays of trains in many different scales. Yes, it's true, you can see the "inner" workings of some of the displays, but for me, that was actually a bonus. I like to see how things are actually constructed. There are a few windows with "work in progress" layouts being... More

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Algonquin, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

My grandson loves trains and going with him took it from a 4 to a 5 star attraction for me. Go with someone that loves trains if you can. Their joy will be contagious. The displays are large as others have said. A personal bonus was seeing an old Lionel milk can loader in operation. I had one as a... More

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Tarrytown, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

I wandered in here with family members quite by accident. I was delightfully surprised! There are huge layouts of trains and dioramas from many different model train clubs. They were extraordinary. I loved the old San Diego exhibit…it even had the border fence! Yes, you can see the inside and under of the exhibits…but that doesn't detract from the magic.... More

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Lincoln, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
14 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2013

If you like model railways then this is the museum for you. My Husband has his own model railway at home so we had to visit this museum. He got lots of ideas for adding to his own layout. There are loads of different layouts of different gauges from the very large to the very small. They are also planning... More

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