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Model Railroad Museum

Model Railroad Museum Model Railroad Museum Photo: minnemom via Flickr

Model railroading may be a fun hobby for people nowadays, but back in the 1930’s, major railroad companies would hire model makers to create realistic looking sets that were shown at world fairs to generate interest in rail travel. One place where a lot of that work took place was at Balbo Park in San Diego, which is now home to the Model Railroad Museum, which, at more than 27,000 square feet, is the largest of its kind in North America.

There are all kinds of great exhibits on display at the museum, but perhaps none as awe inspiring as the recreations of major lines across the US that are done in HO (1/87th actual size) scale. The details that are included in the model railroads really need to be seen to be believed. You will have plenty of opportunity to do so, as the museum is open to the public 6 days per week, with Mondays being the only day it closes.

Visitors interested in seeing the models being worked on should look at paying a visit on Tuesday and Friday nights. Admission is free at those times, and will the exhibits will not be running, you will get to see the model makers hard at work.


Tuesday through Friday 11pm - 4pm;
Saturday - Sunday 11pm - 5pm. Closed Monday
Address/Map:  1649 El Prado #4 San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 696-0199
Website: Plan your visit to Model Railroad Museum
Adults: $8.00 | Seniors (65+): $6.00 | Students: $3.00 | Military: $4.00
Children (Age 6-14): $1.00 | Free for children 5 and under