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“Not just for kids or model railroad enthusiasts!”

San Diego Model Railroad Museum
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Ranked #43 of 434 things to do in San Diego
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Owner description: One of the world's largest model railroad museums features a scale model railway that replicates San Diego's tracks.
Appleton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Not just for kids or model railroad enthusiasts!”
Reviewed November 12, 2011

As a train and model railroad enthusiast, I was eager to visit here. I almost decided not to go in when I peeked inside as it didn't look impressive from the entrance, but I'm glad I did.

I withheld an excellent rating because this is not so much a museum (as it's name says), but rather a collection of very large train layouts. There isn't a lot in the way of history and learning as one would expect from a museum, but what there is, is a lot of trains. Some layouts are incredibly done, some are less detailed, and some are in construction--allowing an insight in to complexity and behind-the-scenes workings of elaborate layouts. One can only imagine the amount of hours the modelers and engineers put in to this craft.

Take a close look as the layouts, or be sure to talk to the people operating them, as to not miss some of the neat subtleties they have taken great care to include.

Visited November 2011
Thank PhotoBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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403 reviews from our community

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brunswick, me
Level Contributor
88 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Surprisingly amazing”
Reviewed August 17, 2011

So my son & I are mildly interested in model RR and had to leave the SD Zoo for something laid back and chose to hit this museum. We have been to several including Strasburg PA, but this was IMPRESSIVE! If you don't have a care for model RR then don't go, but if you are even mildly interested in this stuff, you will be amazed! This is HUGE, well laid out and they're expanding to a 2nd floor. The staff was open to conversation and questions too. A low priced, laid back hour of fun!

Visited August 2011
Thank TravellingBs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“A must see for train lovers”
Reviewed August 4, 2011

The layouts here are some of the most detailed as well as historicly accurate in the world you can see Where and How santa fe went bankrupt, and local routes for suppiles and goods of the layouts respective time period and location, and to add i went there years ago with my grandparents durning start-up and construction im Sure its much better now

Thank traveldude420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castle Douglas, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
109 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Waste of money”
Reviewed June 27, 2011

For an attraction that is charging visitors the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is a waste of money. Many of the display are impressive but on the day we wasted our time attending, many of the display were not running because no one had turned up to operate them. This volunteer approach to a museum is fine but not if you are charging the public to attend.

Before we were allowed admission we were given a 10 minute lecture which no one could heard as the lady giving it could not be heard over the general noise. If these lectures are to continue them the museum should either provide the staff with a megaphone or find someone whose voice will project over the general noise of a museum.

The odd train running may keep the kids impressed but not visiting serious model railway enthusiasts.

Visited June 2011
1 Thank Iain Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great for little boys!!”
Reviewed November 10, 2010

This place has a variety of train tables set out and is a wonderful play area for little boys who love trains. It's a nice break from all the "grown-up" stuff that the other Balboa Park Museums offer. My little guy played for hours, and could have stayed even longer if we hadn't needed to go home.

2 Thank swazimummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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