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San Diego Model Railroad Museum

Certificate of Excellence
Neighborhood: Balboa Park
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Address: 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101-1621
Phone Number: 619 696 0199
Website
Today
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Tue - Fri 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sat - Sun 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description: One of the world's largest model railroad museums features a scale model...
One of the world's largest model railroad museums features a scale model railway that replicates San Diego's tracks.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 165 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 102
    Excellent
  • 48
    Very good
  • 10
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Old and young

A real treat for everyone. A lot of work went into this set up and well worth the price. Love all the different scales from very small to very large.

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 21, 2015
Chris A
,
San Diego, California
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165 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
26 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2015 NEW

A real treat for everyone. A lot of work went into this set up and well worth the price. Love all the different scales from very small to very large.

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Salt Lake City, Utah
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
19 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2015

What can you say about miles and miles of model railroads carefully overseen by volunteer enthusiasts? Great fun! And very charming. We enjoyed our 90 minutes there.

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Costa Mesa, California, United States
Top Contributor
310 reviews 310 reviews
188 attraction reviews
218 helpful votes 218 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2015

I have no interest at all in being a model railroader, but I stopped in this museum to check things out. The displays were, in a word, impressive. I couldn’t hazard a guess as to how many hours were involved in creating all the little towns and countryside(s). Some of the rooms were huge! All downstairs tracks have trains running,... More 

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Oakhurst, California
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
19 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015

This museum is amazing and entertaining. On the surface it's just a bunch of model trains but the details they add to the scenery is amazing and takes a lot a creatively. The history is fascinating as well. We stayed for a little over an hour but we would recommend more time in this special museum.

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Concord, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015

We loved this. The one piece of info I'll give you is if you're adults without children, go when they open. It will take you about 90 minutes to 2 hours to go through the whole thing, and by the time it had been open for 2 hours there were little kids running everywhere, and we were there on a... More 

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Rocklin, California
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
27 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015

I have been to the railroad museum in Old Town Sacramento so I was eager to visit this one. I was not disappointed and saw a few things that Sacramento didn't have. The staff is very helpful, friendly and you can tell they really love their jobs.

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San Diego
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015

Lots of trains for a young grandchild, especially when they love trains. The employees are very interactive with the kids and adults alike. Miles and miles of trains of all sizes.

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Boston, MA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2015

This was a not-too-expensive and very impressive area. The volunteers are really into their work, the layouts are great and there's none of the 'pay more for the really cool stuff once you're inside' that some of the Balboa Park museums (like Air and Space) have.

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Berkeley
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015

This is my youngest son's most liked place to visit in the world. Exotic exhibits using all varieties of model guages. A really great place to visit for the model train, or full size train, inthusiast.

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San Diego, California
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
57 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

I like trains, prototype and models. This operating museum is one of the best operations I've seen anywhere. It hosts operating N, HO and O gauge layouts. Memberships are available in any of the clubs. For me it is worth at least a two hour visit. It is kid friendly and the volunteers are a friendly lot.

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?