The San Diego Model Railroad Museum is the world's largest indoor model railroad exhibit and is located in San Diego, California.
The museum is located on the lower level of the Casa De Balboa on the Prado in Balboa Park
The mission of the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is to preserve the heritage of railroading through a series of miniature representations of California railroads; research and preserve the history of model railroading; and educate the public in the many different aspects of railroading.
With 27,000 square feet
) of exhibit space the museum is home of some of the largest HO
and N scale
layouts of their types. There are two massive HO scale
layouts, a 1,200 sq. ft. N scale
layout, a 2,700 sq. ft. O scale
layout, and a Lionel
type 3-Rail O gauge Toy Train
- Cabrillo & Southwestern — O scale layout
- This 2700 sq. ft. layout is a free-lance representation of a route from San Diego to Sacramento.
- Pacific Desert Lines — N scale layout
- Based on a rail line that was surveyed but never built, this 1200 sq. ft. layout features hand laid Code 40 track (0.040 inches - 1 mm high) and 33 scale miles (1,089 actual feet - 331 m) of mainline track.
- San Diego & Arizona Eastern RR — HO scale layout
- Tehachapi Pass — HO scale layout
- This 2-level layout represents the joint Southern Pacific / Santa Fe railroad from Bakersfield to Mojave, California of the 1950s. The model is unique not only for its size but for its geographic fidelity. Literally thousands of photographs of the prototype have been used to ensure that each detail closely models the features of the actual area. It has been constructed with nearly curve-for-curve and switch-for-switch accuracy. It includes a scale model of the world famous Tehachapi Loop.
- Toy Train Gallery — 3-Rail O gauge layout
- This gallery features operating toy trains of "Lionel type" 3-Rail O gauge. It also features a collection of rare Lionel and American Flyer cars from the 1920s though the 1950s as well as modern toy trains from Lionel, MTH, K-Line, and Atlas-O.
Hours of operation
- Tuesday – Friday, 11:00–4:00
- Saturday – Sunday, 11:00–5:00
- Closed most Mondays — open for special operating days
- Closed on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day