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“Lots of interesting layouts” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of San Diego Model Railroad Museum

San Diego Model Railroad Museum
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$83.99*
and up
Go San Diego Card
Ranked #47 of 424 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Lots of interesting layouts”
4 of 5 bubbles 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 many more for 2015 so you can see them mid construction - which shows non-modellers how they are constructed and gives existing modellers ideas too.

There are some areas designed specifically for kids - which keeps them entertained and out of the way of the grown up visitors - excellent.

My only advice is to avoid free Tuesday. From what we could gather the museums in the park are free to San Diego residents on certain Tuesdays each month - the day we went! - which means the park and museums are absolutely packed with kids! Less so with this museum though as they were all in the kids model room.Worth a trip.

Visited November 2013
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Thank Lucys_Mum100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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384 reviews from our community

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Gilbert, AZ
Level Contributor
168 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Great place but it takes patience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2013

There are trains of all gauges here and the detail work is exceptional. Some of the layouts are so large it takes an hour or so for the train to make a circuit so you have to wait or catch it the next time. There is a nice place for snacks for the kids. Do watch the video which explain how the trains and their various organizations came together. It also shows some of the days when they recreate a full day trains on a railroad, running all of their trains hopefully on time. The place is set up for birthdays. It is always in flux as they are constantly adding new things to the railroad. Staff is great. This is the first place I go when I visit Balboa Park.

Visited November 2013
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Thank dagda2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Yorkshire
Level Contributor
276 reviews
154 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Not as interesting as I expected”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2013

Children might like it but as one of the other reviews said, some displays weren't running and some of the scenes were spoiled by being able to see inside and under the exhibits. It passed a good half hour but had limited appeal.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Susie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Ohio
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Rip off”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2013

Most displays are not running and it seemed to me the best views are from inside the exhibits where paying guests are not allowed. I felt as if I was paying to fund the volunteers' hobby. Don't waste your time or money.

Visited May 2013
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1 Thank B C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Catania, Italy
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Perfect for Kids!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2013

I took my 4 year old to this museum because he loves Thomas the Train. I really didn't know it would be so nice. There are so many different train setups, and some of them have little towns with moving parts and people. It was incredible! I learned a lot about the trains from the staff too. I couldn't pull my son away from the displays! The best part is it's free for CA residents on the first Tuesday of the month. Fantastic way to spend some time with the kids!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank UhOhSpaghettio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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