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“Very Enjoyable”

San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Ranked #45 of 449 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed 30 August 2014

While in Balboa Park we decided to visit this museum and were not disappointed. It occupies many rooms and offers quite a spectacular scope of railroading in So. Cal.
Enjoyable for both children and adults.

Thank dwdwWausau_Wi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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290 - 294 of 434 reviews

Reviewed 28 August 2014

My brother and I took our 3 boys (5, 4, and 3) there one afternoon in August. It is interesting that they charge (too much) for adults and let kids in free. Nonetheless, the boys had a blast.

The dark "3 rail room" in the back had lots of cool sets that the boys just couldn't get enough of. The employees/volunteers were friendly and gave each of the boys old model train magazines for their amusement after leaving the museum. In one of the other rooms, the employee allowed the boys to press the horn button on the remote to signal that the train was about to depart. We spent about an hour and a half there; we would have spent more time, but the museum closes at 4.

Although I was glad that our stay wasn't longer (I was tired from chasing the kids), it seems to me that an adult model train enthusiast might really enjoy the place. There are historical artifacts and information about model trains and the real life railways the tracks are based upon.

Although parking in Balboa Park is free, it is hard to find nearby spaces. Either plan on a long walk or have some patience (or a lucky charm).

Thank drstats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2014

This is not a hand on, interactive place so if you hope to get to put a layout together and run the trains you will be disappointed. That said, if you are interested in model trains and layouts then it is a good place to visit. The layouts are extensive and detailed. The museum is actually a place where members of 3 model train clubs build layouts. One is still under construction and the process is interesting to watch. The "staff" are very knowledgable and willing to share information. I expect kids might be disappointed because it is a look at place and not a do something place.

Thank Vickie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

I want to be a model railway driver or engineer. This place rocks! Don't try to rush it as there are several levels and lots of detail to take in.

2  Thank dougcoAuckland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

The model railway Museum is very good and a worth while visit if you are into model trains. Adult entry fee is $8 each and I consider it worth the money. A couple of large layouts will keep you amused for an hour or two. The kids will love this place.

The Model Railway Museum is located in Balboa park, just outside downtown San Diego. It is all up hill from downtown and I would not walk it. We took a cab from downtown to the museum complex in the park. Ask the driver to go near the natural history museum as some don't know about the model railway museum. Cab fare from downtown was around $14. The walk back to downtown was all downhill and took about 15-20min to get back to the gaslamp district if you don't want to get a cab back.

1  Thank Chris C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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