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“It's the Real Deal”

Texas Transportation Museum
Ranked #110 of 265 things to do in San Antonio
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Attraction details
Owner description: This museum houses a collection of motor vehicles ranging from fire engines to chuck wagons.
Orange, California, United States
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“It's the Real Deal”
Reviewed March 26, 2014

For the volunteers who operate this museum, it is a true labor of love. We really enjoyed walking through a nicely renovated passenger train that included pullman cars with sleeping units and parlor areas. The kids loved climbing onto the steam engine and pretending they were engineers! There was a 1/3 mile ride on a renovated engine and caboose and while 1/3 mile was a pretty short ride, it was fun and they would love donations to allow them to extend the ride! One of our grandsons LOVES trains and he really enjoyed the train ride and the extensive model train layouts, but one highlight for him was riding all around the property on the antique fire engine! There was also an exhibit of classic cars and carriages. I appreciated the young men attending to the model trains and one in particular was patient to answer all our grandson's extensive questions. Well worth the drive out there!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Irene H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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33 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“He said it was "Better than the Zoo train ride!"”
Reviewed November 16, 2013

As a Recreational Therapist, I took one of my young clients with behavior problems to this museum solely to let him ride the train. He hates museums and finds them extremely boring. I told him at the start of the trip, "If you go to a museum with me I'll have a surprise waiting for you at the end." He DID NOT want to go based on that info alone, but eventually agreed. I'm so glad he did!

We weren't even parked yet, and he got so excited! The open layout of this place makes it seem like you're the only family in the park and there are multiple cool things to do. The biggest thing is that you get to ride on a REAL train about .25 miles up a track, and then back. There are multiple large indoor and outdoor model trains set up with different observation decks for the kids. The remote conductors of the trains are all volunteers and most of the trains are their personal trains. For the adults (and smarty kids) they have an old stagecoach that you can walk in and see it all set up like it would have been years ago. (Please be warned, the walkway in the stagecoach is tiny and my guy was a bit scared by the manikins in the rooms).

As other reviewers have said, it's all run by volunteers. This means they need your entry fee (which is VERY low) and it also means they LOVE being there. They will talk to you about anything you ask, and they will often start more model trains on the tracks if you give them a couple minutes after your arrival.

They also have a few events throughout the year and they have adult and youth memberships if you're interested in learning more about what they do there.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mrsthibo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“On the way up”
Reviewed April 13, 2013

This volunteers that operate this museum are really working hard to renovate and update this attraction. Even without outside monetary support, they have restored the depot and several of the train cars. And there are multiple displays. In addition to the short train ride and pullman cars to tour, there are extensive outdoor and indoor miniature train landscapes set up. There are also several antique cars and trucks on display. It took us an hour and a half to see everything and it was fascinating.

Visited April 2013
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1 Thank Roger C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas, United States
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“For train lovers and kids”
Reviewed March 14, 2013 via mobile

First of, this place is run totally by volunteers. Most of these guys are retired and are model train hobbyists and some were actually train engineers. They have always been nice to us and my sons (both under five) love going. We even bought a season pass one year and went every Sunday. This is not a fancy place, but if you like trains you should check it out. They have a garden railroad with Thomas and Percy and also some Amtrak model trains. There is a warehouse that contains some model train layouts. If they aren't running just ask! I absolutely love bringing my kids for Halloween and Christmas, very family friendly especially for the preschool set. the best part are the hay rides they offer during these events!

Helpful?
1 Thank Melissa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“HORRIBLE!!!”
Reviewed December 22, 2012

This was the absolute worst venue I have ever had the misfortune of visiting. A group of approximately two dozen of us went this evening to tour it and evaluate any paranormal activities. The "museum" was hosting a charity day to benefit "Toys For Tots". My family spent more on the toys than we would have the general admission. The Art Deco Pullman cars were moderately interesting, but the rest of a bit grubby. Old cars in a warehouse... toy trains... a couple of carriages. What made the experience horrible was the staff... a rude old man. The place had closed and while we were gathered in the parking lot, not having been there any longer than 8 or 9 minutes at the absolute most, this hateful man went out of his way to walk down the way hollering, "This is not a gathering place! All of you got in on the cheap anyhow, with the Toys For Tots, bringing in cheap toys! Get out of here now!" I don't know his name, (but I intend to find out,) and file a formal complaint. My car club is having a national meet in San Antonio in April and I will make certain than EVERYONE in the Rolls-Royce Owners Club is very much aware what a miserable dump this place is. I could only recommend it as an attraction if you want someone to have an unfavorable impression of San Antonio, if not humanity in general. There's many more WORTHY attractions around without the insufferably rude staff and a venue that is mediocre at best. A dump with an attitude. In short, it sucks.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Ricky C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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