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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 #28 of 231 Attractions in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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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126 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2014

This is not a hand on, interactive place so if you hope to get to put a layout together and run the trains you will be disappointed. That said, if you are interested in model trains and layouts then it is a good place to visit. The layouts are extensive and detailed. The museum is actually a place where members... More

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Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
24 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

I want to be a model railway driver or engineer. This place rocks! Don't try to rush it as there are several levels and lots of detail to take in.

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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

The model railway Museum is very good and a worth while visit if you are into model trains. Adult entry fee is $8 each and I consider it worth the money. A couple of large layouts will keep you amused for an hour or two. The kids will love this place. The Model Railway Museum is located in Balboa park,... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Orange, Virginia
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
36 attraction reviews
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

Of course it helps if you love model trains, but really, one would have to be a curmudgeon not to enjoy this little museum. It is well worth the admission. Most of the layouts are based on real California railroads and the level of detail is mind boggling. In one there are little tiny people flying little tiny kites. These... More

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Richmond, Texas
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
20 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Fantastic setup of trains sets. Very well done - very detailed and scaled to landscape of area for each setting. Folks running trains were very friendly. They let our g-kids (age 9 & 12) go behind the scenes to show how everything is set-up and how things work. Spend about 20 minutes showing them the details of the various trains/buildings... More

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Roeland Park, KS, a KC suburb
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
8 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

The variety of layouts here are great- and some are still a work in progress. There are folks there working on the layouts that were very informative when we asked about various items. The attention to details in all of the scenes is absolutely amazing!! They have obviously spent hundreds of thousands of hours on these layouts. If you look... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Irvine, Ca.
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

I took my husband, baby, and mother-in-law to this museum because I thought my 18 month old would enjoy it. My husband and mother-in-law were reluctant to go, but they both really liked it and agreed that it was better than they expected it to be. We were disappointed that two of the rooms were closed for remodeling while we... More

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Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
88 attraction reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2014

I'm guessing that this place got its start through hobbyists. I'm a kid at heart and enjoy model trains, but not crazy about them. As previously stated by others for those not into model trains or the kitsch, memorabilia, and sweet nostalgia it inspires will be bored. I found it to be a great place to spend an hour, but... More

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Aptos, California
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
33 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2014

This is easy. If you like to see model trains, then go. If you don't like to see model trains, don't go. Important information: this is not a Disney-like designed and well-polished exhibit built expressly for the purpose of visitors. The layouts have been built by local modelers who are volunteers. Much of one layout is still under construction (Tehachapi... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

Don't get super high expectations, its small but its wonderful. Take the kids and talk to the hobbyists. They love to share their wisdom, creations and stories.

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