San Diego Model Railroad Museum

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Railroad Museum

What you'll do

Visit the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, located in Balboa Park.

Visit the San Diego Model Railroad Museum with a Go City®

  • Pay nothing upon arrival – simply scan your digital pass
  • Access the largest model railroad display in the world
  • Entry to six permanent train exhibits plus featured rotating exhibits
  • Pass holders also get free access to many more attractions in California

All aboard for a trip to the largest model railroad museum in North America and its interactive toy train gallery. You don't need to be a train enthusiast to enjoy the miniature models and tiny railroading systems at this unique museum.

Explore six massive operating scale-modeled layouts that depict the great and historic railroads of the Southwest and learn all about different subjects in the railroad and model railroad world in our rotating exhibits.

The various educational displays contain a centralized traffic control machine, a working semaphore, and a crossing signal, encouraging both children and adults to feel like a part of the world of model trains.

Model Railway Museum highlights

Tehachapi pass – famous among railroad fanatics for its curvy stretch known as 'The Loop', the Tehachapi Pass is a 70-mile railroad line between Bakersfield and Mojave, and SDMRM has replicated it in full, complete with mountains and the whole thing is built to 1/87th its actual size.

San Diego & Arizona Eastern – this spectacular replica models the prototype railroad connecting San Diego with El Cajon and El Centro, and features an impressive 10-foot high model of the treacherous Carrizo Gorge and Goat Canyon trestle.

Pacific Desert Lines – based on detailed turn-of-the-century plans to lay a railroad from San Diego to the east coast, this computer-controlled replica features a meticulously detailed Santa Fe Depot and Carlsbad Power Plant, which took hundreds of hours to complete.

Toy Train Gallery – everything is tiny in this exhibit, which features a 42 by 44-foot permanent layout including very lifelike scenery, figurines, and trains with horns and real smoke! Also on display are a rare collection of Lionel type models from the 1920s through the 1950s, complemented by select pieces of railroad-inspired artwork by Angela Trotta Thomas.

Freight and Flora: A Garden Railroad – prepare to be captivated by the playfulness of scale as G-gauge trains gracefully navigate gardens that are full of drought-resistant plants native to the Southern California region.  Railroads are renowned for recycling, reusing, and re-purposing, while moving freight all over the country using energy efficient methods. The trains and tablets in the Garden Railway are battery-powered and use electricity from solar panels installed when this exhibit space was first constructed in 2015.  This entire garden honors that planet-friendly commitment. 

Go San Diego passes are the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility when sightseeing in San Diego. Your pass includes San Diego Model Railroad Museum tickets plus entry to other top attractions.

Choose an All-Inclusive for free entry or add to Build Your Own to save up to 20%.

Experience San Diego Model Railroad Museum and many other attractions with the All Inclusive Pass.

View the All Inclusive Pass

Know before you go

Getting in

Show your pass at the admissions counter.

Please note: it's free admission for kids aged 12 and under and therefore your child's pass may not be required at this attraction.

Please Note: For children 3 years and younger, admission is FREE when you use your Build Your Own pass.

San Diego Model Railroad Museum tickets help

Simply ask our help team if you have any questions.

Where you'll be

Operating hours

Tuesday-Sunday: 10AM-4PM

For official opening times and closures, please check the Model Railroad Museum website

Buy with confidence

Free cancellation

Plans can change, we get it. All non-activated passes are eligible for a refund within 90 days from your purchase date.

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