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“Fun; unexpected” 4 of 5 stars
Review of San Diego Model Railroad Museum

San Diego Model Railroad Museum
1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101-1621 (Balboa Park)
619 696 0199
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Ranked #30 of 220 attractions in San Diego
Type: Specialty Museums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: One of the world's largest model railroad museums features a scale model railway that replicates San Diego's tracks.
Northern California
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Fun; unexpected”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

Balboa Park must have more museums grouped in one area that any one single other place in the world (even more than the Mall in D.C.). This was a totally serendipitous find. In fact we were in SD for a conference and just wanted a walk in the park (we know San Diego) when we came upon the Model Railroad Museum. It's terrific fun for young and old. You do have to look for it in the park. It doesn't just hit you in the face.

Visited March 2013
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119 reviews from our community

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English first
Sowerby Bridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“This could blow your mind”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

I used to be a bit of a model railway enthusiast when younger but grew out of any active involvement in my teens, merely visiting the occasional exhibition. This place was below our pre-visit radar so we more-or-less stumbled upon it and boy, are we glad we did. The layouts are so extensive and detailed that they completely outshine anything I have seen before. They would probably impress someone with a better knowledge of Californian geography and railway history even more. As Michelin guides say "worth the journey". I can offer no greater recommendation.

Visited February 2013
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Washington
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
54 attraction reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Staffed by volunteer model railroad enthusiasts, who willingly answer questions and help one tour the facility, it was an awesome experience. One volunteer saw we were having trouble getting photos because of glare on the glass, and invited us into the exhibit. Another volunteer stopped a train on the intricate trestle, so that I could get the shot I wanted without movement blurring it. Each exhibit has historic significance, and they will tell you the places and times for each. One church was so exact that there was stained-glass and a preacher in the pulpit inside.
The film on the creators of Legos was interesting, and the exhibit with the buildings made of Legos intricate. Explore to the end in several directions, so you do not miss this highlight, as has happened to some visitors.

Visited January 2013
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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“History”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

It's always good to go out and explore about the town/city you live in. This was a sunny, fabulous day and it brought more knowledge.

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Oxnard California
Top Contributor
307 reviews 307 reviews
109 attraction reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
“Don't Have to Be A Model Train Enthusiast to Like This!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

While walking around Balboa Park, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Model Railroad Museum. I have always liked them but my wife really is not but said we could go in if I wanted too. So we paid our $8 each to get in. Man oh Man, what a surprise. This place is very large inside and the model train sets are awesome. Even my wife could not believe how detailed these guys get. Each scene is huge. As you walk around you can see the thousands of man hours it has taken to set these up. They even have one large set that you can see where they are still constructing so you can see the details of the pictures and how they create the mountains, hills, sky and everything to make it look like the picture. After going through Balboa Park, this was absolutely one of the best museums they have there - and my wife agreed. One of the guys working in there told me everyone working in there is a hobbyist and works there as volunteers. Don't miss this museum!

Visited January 2013
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