San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Casa de Balboa, lower level,
1649 El Prado, Balboa Park
One of the world's largest running train displays is chugging along right in the middle of Balboa Park. The San Diego Model Railroad Museum has seen over a million visitors since opening to the public in 1982. Four huge scale-model displays fill up the gallery's 24,000 square feet, re-creating down to the smallest detail actual southwestern rail lines: the Cabrillo Southwestern (O-scale, 1/48 actual size), the San Diego/Arizona Eastern (HO-scale, 1/87 actual size), Tehachapi Pass (HO-scale), and the Pacific Desert Lines (N-scale, 1/160 actual size). Kids can play with a running Lionel layout and full-sized railroad artifacts are on display, including a track crossing signal and a working semaphore. Admission is $4 adults, children under 15 are free, and everyone gets in free on the first Tuesday of each month.