Links To: The National Model Railroad Association, San Diego Model Railroad Clubs, Model Railroad Museums, Model Train Public Displays, Train Rides, Public Trains & Trolley Service (in San Diego, California, USA)

 

N Scale freight train and layout by Don Fowler, Master Model Railroader®, San Diego Division member.
N Scale freight train and layout by Don Fowler, Master Model Railroader®
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.

Pacific Southwest Region, National Model Railroad Association

 

National Model Railroad Association (NMRA)

 

Modeling diorama by Trudy Seeley, San Diego Division member.
Modeling diorama by Trudy Seeley, San Diego Division member. 
Picture credit: Trudy Seeley.

San Diego Model Railroad Clubs

All Gauge Toy Train Association (AGTTA)
(San Diego, California, USA)
www.agtta.com

The Centennial Railway Garden
(San Diego, California, USA)

  • Located outside and in the back of the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
  • The scale for this layout is Garden Railroad scale. The San Diego Model Railroad Museum maintains this small Garden Scale railroad layout. The exhibit was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Balboa Park in 2015. The G scale garden railroad is modeled after Balboa Park as it existed in 1915.
  • This outdoor layout is behind the Pacific Beach event room in the back of the museum. You can enter this garden railroad through the back doors of the Pacific Beach event room.

Chula Vista Live Steamers
(Bonita, California, USA)
www.chulavistalivesteamers.org 

  • Chula Vista Live Steamers, established in January 1974, is a group of people interested in building and operating scale models of real (live steam) machinery. Their engines and associated equipment are usually built and operated by the owner and are maintained by them at their considerable expense of time and money.
La Mesa Model Railroad Club with two trains passing each other on the Tehachapi Loop.
La Mesa Model Railroad Club with two trains passing each other on the Tehachapi Loop.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.

La Mesa Model Railroad Club
(San Diego, California, USA)
No website at this time.

  • Located inside the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
  • The HO scale (1:87 scale) La Mesa Model Railroad Club was founded in 1960 in the city of La Mesa (about a 15 minute drive east of the city of San Diego) and is not located inside the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. The club's original layout was located in La Mesa but in the 1970s, they lost the lease in the building where the club's layout was located and the La Mesa Club had to find a new home. The La Mesa Model Railroad Club spearheaded the creation of the San Diego Model Railroad Museum and found its new home. Fast forward to today, the club's layout at the museum is now just over 40 years young and is the largest model train layout in the museum. The club is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization.
  • Today, the La Mesa Model Railroad Club's Tehachapi Pass Exhibit layout is approximately 9,700 square feet in size, possibly making it the largest model railroad club in the world that models a real railroad.
  • The club's layout represents the joint Southern Pacific Railroad and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway from Bakersfield to Mojave, California (USA) of the early 1950s. The current layout consists of the area from the Southern Pacific Bakersfield Railroad Yard (in Central California) going east through the famous Tehachapi Loop, and continues going eastward to the Mojave Railroad Yard (located in the Mojave Desert)
  • What are some of the reasons why the La Mesa Club is famous when compared to other model train clubs?
    1. The club models a real railroad and it is a point-to-point railroad (with several practical return loops). Many other model railroad clubs model what is called freelance or fantasy layouts which is perfectly fine and a very acceptable way to make a model train layout. Many other clubs have a circular mainline track.
    2. They layout is a very large layout with about 9,700 square feet, has a grand total of approximately 90 scale miles of track and is a two-level layout. Many model railroad clubs are smaller in size.
    3. The club's layout is a mountain railroad. The elevation from the lowest track to the highest track is just over 10 feet. Many model railroad clubs have flat layouts.
    4. The club members are very good at successfully running long trains. The goal for all club members and guests are to have no derailments, no uncouplings and no stringlining of trains when running on the club's mountain railroad. Many model railroad clubs run short trains.
    5. The club members typically run prototype typical trains, that is, their trains usually resemble what real world trains look like. Running prototypical trains is not always a priority at other model railroad clubs.
    6. The club has Time Table/Train Order Operation Sessions (set in the 1950s) several times a year with model railroaders traveling from around the USA and Canada. The club needs a minimum of 25 people and can host a maximum of 40 people during these events. There are many variations on Operations Sessions and no one way is better than the other. The La Mesa Club uses a prototypical method for their Operation Sessions.
La Mesa Model Railroad Club with train at Allard.
La Mesa Model Railroad Club with train at Allard.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.
  • There are many stations on the club's layout and some are hidden from the view of the public. There are also several railroad stations. How many station names can you find? Can you find Caliente, Bealville, Cliff, Rowen, Woodford, Walong, Marcel, Cable and Bakersfield?
    • A station is any place along the railroad tracks designated by a railroad by name, in the railroad's timetable. A station is different than a Railroad Station. The railroads name places along their tracks so that railroad employees can talk to each other and know where a train is supposed to go, know where the train is located, where it's heading or where it just came from. A railroad station is where passengers enter and leave trains.
  • The La Mesa Club is known for running long and prototypical trains on its layout. Many model railroad clubs have trains which have have approximately 10 to 12 cars and locomotives for their trains. The La Mesa Club's members usually run much longer trains than this. (In the model railroad hobby, prototypical means running trains or modeling a layout, that is as close as possible to a real railroad.)
  • The La Mesa Model Railroad Club has a grand total of over 90 scale miles of track on its layout. The track on the layout includes mainline track, sidings, industry spurs, railroad yards, staging tracks (are also storage tracks), helixes, wyes, return loops, one turntable (with track), interchange track, branch line track, house track, team track, abandoned track and possibly more. The mainline track alone is over 30 scales miles of track.
  • The club has Time Table/Train Order Operation Sessions (set in the 1950s) several times a year and model railroaders are invited from all over the United States to help operate in the model railroad in real time. Some of the model railroaders will arrive into San Diego days before (and sometimes after) these events and visit with friends or family in San Diego, or visit tourist areas or simply visit and enjoy the camaraderie of other model railroad enthusiasts.
  • The La Mesa Club also has several Operations Sessions each year, exclusively for its own local members.
  • While the entire bench work and most of the track is completed, the club's scenery is still being worked on, more buildings need to scratch built, electrical upgrades continue to take place and many other improvements to the club's layout continue each month.
  • The La Mesa Club uses DCC and Sound, using NCE Power Cabs, NCE Pro Cabs and other types of cabs to control the locomotives. 
  • As the La Mesa Model Railroad Club is most likely one of the most famous model railroad clubs in the world, it's worth the time to visit the club's layout, see the details, watch the long trains roll by and talk to its members. The club's layout is located inside the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
North County Model Railroad Society
North County Model Railroad Society. Union Pacific GP30s are working during an Operations Session.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.

North County Model Railroad Society
(Oceanside, California, USA)
www.ncmrs.org

  • The HO scale (1:87 scale) North Country Model Railroad Society was formed in January 1990 and is an active model train club. The club is open to the public at Heritage Park, Oceanside. Look for the building with the sign that says, "Train Depot", to find where the model railroad layout is located. The club is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization.
  • The club's Inland and Southern Pacific Railroad layout models the Southern Pacific Railroad from San Diego, California (USA) through Temecula and ends in Colton, California (The city of Colton is about 65 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and is in San Bernardino County).
  • The club layout has two levels, has many buildings and industries, has tunnels, railroad yards, industry spurs, sidings and more, and is located in two large rooms.
  • The model train club is set up for Operations Sessions and provides these events to their club members throughout the year.
  • The club uses DCC/Sound to control the locomotives through phone apps and use multiple touchscreen tablets throughout the layout, which control the switches. 
  • One of the wonderful aspects of the club's layout is the public can walk through the entire layout. Be sure to take your time and notice all the details. You can take excellent pictures and videos because you are very close to the layout.
    • Can you count the total number of cities and towns on the layout?
    • Can you count the total number of railroad yards on the layout?
    • What are the touch screen pads found all along the layout for?
    • Can you find the old Civil War era canyon in downtown San Diego?
    • Can you find the nursery? Or is it a small farm?
    • Can you find the blue home used in the movie Top Gun, that is in Oceanside?
    • Can you find the campers with a camp fire and two tents?
    • Can you find the ACME Paints building?
    • Can you find JP's Bait & Tackle?
    • Can you find a campground for travel trailers?
    • Can you find the Santa Fe Buckshot Saloon?
    • Can you find the Ford Ranchero billboard?
    • Can you find the Trading Post store?
    • Can you find the tree house with a tire swing?
    • Can you find the downtown San Diego Railroad Station?
  • The club welcomes new members from anywhere in San Diego County and other areas north of Oceanside.
  • For days and hours when the public can visit the layout, please see their website. There is no charge for the public to visit the model train layout.

San Diego 3-Railers
(San Diego, California, USA)
www.sd3r.org

  • Located inside the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
  • The O scale (1:48 scale) San Diego 3-Railers is an active model train club inside the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. The club's layout has lots of lights, animation, action and fast trains! The layout itself is jam-packed with buildings, industries, road vehicles, people and many, many other things. It's a layout that you can spend hours in, just trying to see all the details on their layout.
  • The club has also packed lots of memorabilia in display cases at the club. and the layout itself is jam-packed with buildings, industries, road vehicles, people and many, many other things. It's a layout that you can spend hours in, just trying to see all the details they have added to their layout.
  • Remember to look at the display cases on the walls, there are many historical trains to see. Be sure to leave enough time to visit this layout to see the layout itself with the trains running, to see their historical trains displayed and don't forget to take pictures and videos.
  • Be sure not to miss this very fun layout, for all ages, at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. 
San Diego Division Member Wayne and his On30 model railroad.
San Diego Division Member Wayne and his On30 model railroad.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.

San Diego Division - National Model Railroad Association
(San Diego County and Imperial County, California, USA)
www.sandiegodivision.org

  • The San Diego Division of the National Model Railroad Association is quite an active group of railroad modelers, modeling many different scales. The members are from San Diego County and Imperial County. While the San Diego Division does not have a layout, we hold monthly meetings and events, every second Saturday of the month. Our Meetings and Events each month, are held at various locations throughout San Diego County.
  • Our meetings include members showcasing their own modeling work, layout tours, and modeling clinics. (A clinic is where one of our members demonstrates techniques or skills needed for modeling. Here are a few examples of clinic topics: An electronics clinic; how to solder; how to weather rolling stock; understanding decoders; techniques and standards to improve rolling stock.)
  • We have Quarterly Meets which can include a variety of activities such as a potluck luncheon, an annual swap meet, annual picnic and other activities for our members.
  • Due to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, many National Model Railroad Association Divisions (including the San Diego Division) started Zoom Meetings across the nation and around the world. By joining the National Model Railroad Association, you will have access to plenty of Zoom Meetings to help improve your scale railroad modeling. As of August 2021, we have gone back to in-person meetings, each meeting or event is determined in advance if masks are required or not.
  • The National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) is a world-wide organization with over 18,000 active members, associates, families and clubs dedicated to the hobby of scale model railroading in all its facets, helping to educate its members in modeling techniques, to learn more about the hobby and to meet others with your same interest. The National Model Railroad Association also develops standards for scale model railroad equipment for model railroad manufactures, to help facilitate the interchangeability and operation of equipment between modelers, clubs and others.
Bob Treat's Snow Creek Railroad, member San Diego Garden Railroad Society.
Bob Treat's Snow Creek Railroad, member San Diego Garden Railroad Society.
Picture credit: Bob Treat.

San Diego Garden Railway Society
(San Diego, California, USA)
www.sdgrs.com

  • The San Diego Garden Railway Society was formed in 1988 by a handful of enthusiasts who wanted a forum to share information about the construction, operation and landscaping of garden railways. As of 2022, the club has over 200 members.
  • The model train club are for members who have large G scale (1:32) model trains which are usually located outside in the yard of a home. There are multiple other scales in Garden Railroading such as (1:22.5), (1:24) (1:29) and there are more.
  • The members are a diverse group of people who share the love of larger trains that can be run outside in the open sun and fresh air. The main goal of the club is to run trains and have fun.
  • The society has monthly meetings for their members and the atmosphere at their meetings is casual and friendly.
  • The society provides clinics, a newsletter, shares new product information to its members, provides model train resources on their website, has raffles and other games, have a sales web page for members to sell train items to each other and more. Members also help each other out with model train advice and share ideas.
  • Some of the garden model railroaders have made their outdoor layouts for Operations Sessions, some are prototypical layouts, some are whimsical layouts and some have live steam. There are many different types of Garden Railroad layouts that people have made in their yards who are part of the society.
  • The society also promotes the planting of small plants and gardening for each person's layout.
  • Many of the club members have had their Garden Railroads written about in model train magazines.
  • It is interesting to note that Garden Railroads can be run in all types of weather such as rain and snow.
  • The club also maintains several public Garden Railroads throughout San Diego County.
San Diego Model Railroad Association's San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway HO scale layout.
San Diego Model Railroad Association's San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway HO scale layout.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.

San Diego Model Railroad Association
(San Diego, California, USA)
www.sdmrra.com

  • Located inside the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
  • The San Diego Model Railroad Association model railroad club has both a HO scale and O scale layout at the San Diego Model Railroad Association. The club was founded in May 1939 as the San Diego Model Railroad Club, changed its name several times, merged with another local San Diego model railroad club, became a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization in 2009 and has settled on its current name as the San Diego Model Railroad Association. Over the years, the club's layout has been located in five or more different locations before finding its home at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
  • The HO layout (1:87 scale) features the 4,500 square feet prototype San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railway from San Diego's Union Station traveling South to Tijuana and through Mexico, recrossing into the United States at Tecate (Mexico and California) through to Campo (California). The line continues into the Carrizo Gorge, to Imperial County past Plaster City, and ending at El Centro (California). Although most of the trackwork and basic scenery is completed, upgrades and detailing continue.
    • The era of the layout is from the late 1940’s through the 1950’s. 
    • A HOn3 (the prototype track is 3 ft narrow gauge line) from Plaster City to a gypsum mine is also loosely modeled. Can you find this industry railroad? Narrow gauge track for the real railroads were used because:
      1. It is easier for rail cars make tighter curves
      2. It costs less to lay the smaller track
      3. There is a substantial savings in engineering costs
      4. It costs less to purchase smaller locomotives and rail cars
      5. If there is a need to move the railroad track, it's easier to move the railroad tracks
    • Finally, the branch line running from San Diego going east to El Cajon (and at one time Foster) is modeled with trolley and branch line service.
    • The layout has been made for Operations Sessions.
    • The layout can be powered by both DC and DCC power sources. The era of the layout is from the late 1940’s through the 1950’s.
    • There are towns, industries and railroad yards on the layout, can you count them all?
    • Can you locate the drive-in movie theater with a movie playing, the whale in the wharf, the border fence between California and Mexico, the Goat Canyon Trestle, the DC-3 passenger airplane next to the Lindbergh Field (1940s era) terminal building and the Tecate Brewery?
    • The layout is protected by windows.
San Diego Model Railroad Association Cabrillo Southwest O scale layout
San Diego Model Railroad Association's Cabrillo Southwest O scale layout (2-rail track, 1:45 scale).
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.
  • The O scale (2-rail track, 1:45 scale) layout features the 2,700 square feet Cabrillo Southwestern representing California circa 1955 and its scenic location is based on an imaginary line from San Diego to Sacramento, California (USA). O scale 2-rail layouts are actually quite rare in the model train hobby because its scale has high modeling standards for their layout (they have very detailed layouts and trains), and the locomotives and rail cars are expensive. O scale (2-rail track) is one of the most realistic ways to model O scale. As a guest of the museum, you'll have a unique opportunity to see an O scale (2-rail) layout in person.
    • The layout has a double mainline track for passenger and freight operations, an On3 narrow gauge branch line for a logging industry, a mountain district for freight trains and a trolley line. There is a total of five lines of continuous loops track on this layout, plus industry spurs, sidings and railroad yards.
    • The double mainline track are the longest mainlines and the narrow gauge, mountain district and trolley line are the three minor lines of the layout.
    • The trolley line is by the windows which gets its power from overhead wires just like real trolleys. This is again another rare modeling feature from the San Diego Model Railroad Association that you'll see in the museum because most model railroaders do not model powered overhead lines for trolleys.
    • The O scale layout has been under construction, refinement and operation for more than 25 years. The trolley is DC powered and all other railroad tracks can run trains using DC or DCC power.
    • The O scale layout is protected by windows.
    • For your information: Lionel O scale model trains have 3-rail track (as opposed to O scale 2-rail track) and Lionel model trains can have not so very realistic trains which are usually affordable to model. Modelers do have the option to purchase more realistic and more expensive trains for O scale 3-rail track, if they desire.

San Diego S-Gaugers
(Grossmont, California, USA)
www.sites.google.com/site/sdsgaugers

  • The S scale (1:64 scale) San Diego S-Gaugers is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit model train club which is in the Grossmont Center mall in La Mesa, California (about a 15-20 minute drive from downtown San Diego).
  • The club welcomes new members. The club welcomes the public to bring in their trains in storage to see if they still run. The club has a several test tracks for HO, S scale, Sn3 and O scale trains, to test your model train locomotives.
  • The club also sells trains and accessories that are donated to the club and 100% of the selling prices goes directly back to the club to support the S scale club.
  • When the club is closed, the trains still run. Just push the button outside the window and the trains on all three window layouts will run for about a minute.
  • Please see their website for visitor's days and hours.
San Diego Society of N Scale Pacific Desert Lines layout, railroad yard.
San Diego Society of N Scale Pacific Desert Lines layout, railroad yard.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.

San Diego Society of N Scale
(San Diego, California, USA)

  • The San Diego Society of N Scale has no website at this time.
  • Located inside the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
  • The N scale (1:160 scale) San Diego Society of N Scale has a beautiful behind windows model train layout at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum.
  • The Pacific Desert Lines layout occupies approximately 1,500 square feet of the museum.
  • If you notice, the club is a flat layout design and has little to grades on the layout.
  • The Pacific Desert Lines layout models the original 1855 route that was surveyed and planned for the San Diego & Arizona Eastern Railroad but was never built.
  • This model train layout is a fun layout to try to find the details that the members have painstakingly labored over to make this train layout a sight to see.
    • You'll find a number of San Diego landmarks including the Carlsbad Flower Fields, Carrizo Gorge, and downtown San Diego.
    • The club has small towns, cities, industries, railroad yards and more.
    • Be sure to find the large railroad trestle.
    • Throughout the layout, you'll see there are several quirky hidden surprises. Can you can spot the pool with a shark? And what else can you find on this fun layout?
  • The layout has viewing steps for the young and young at heart, to help you see the club's fun layout.
San Diego Society of N Scale Pacific Desert Lines layout, railroad yard.
Short Track Railroad Club.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.

Short Track Railroad Club
(Vista, California, USA)
www.shorttrackrr.org

  • In 1991, the N scale (1:160) Short Track Railroad (originally called the Short Trak'N Railroad Club) was formed and operations began in 1992. The club originally started as a module club for over a decade and exhibited their module railroad to local schools, retirement homes, National Model Railroad Conventions (regional and national conventions), other train conventions, the Del Mar Fair (Located in San Diego) and more.
  • The reason why the original name of the club was named the Short Trak'N Railroad Club, is because when N scale model railroaders create and use modules, the hobby term N scale modules is called NTrak. The club originally built eight modules consisting of four 4' straight modules and four 3' corner modules which formed a 10' X 10' layout.
  • For your information, the NTrak Wikipedia page is filled with information about N scale modular systems. There is also a non-profit organization called NRail, Inc. which created the first national modular standards for N scale NTrak module modelers.
  • In 2002, the club joined the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, California (North County of San Diego) where they began construction of their 3,600 square foot air conditioned building. The permanent building is located on the grounds of the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum.
  • In 2003, the club started construction of their permanent exhibit and eventually started to discard their model train modules. The club layout models Donner Pass, a 7,056 feet high (2,151 meters) mountain pass in the northern Sierra Nevada, in Northern California, USA. The club models the city of Colfax, California as well as other towns and industries in that same area.
  • The club started a new layout expansion in 2021-2022 and the veteran members are teaching their members how to build benchwork, lay track and add scenery. The club is expecting to double the size of their current layout (or possibly slightly larger than twice the size).
  • If you live in San Diego or in Orange County and love N scale, this is an excellent N scale club to join because it is a friendly club and has many active members. The club welcomes model railroaders of all skill levels.
  • Please visit the Short Track Railroad's website for more about their club, visitor's hours and location.

 

San Diego Model Railroad Museums, San Diego Railroad Museums, Model Train Club Public Displays and Model Train Public Displays

HO scale Dead Rail model layout by San Diego Division member.
HO scale Dead Rail model layout by San Diego Division member.
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.

Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum
(Vista, California, USA)
www.agsem.com

  • The Short Track Railroad Club (N scale) is located in its own building, on the museum's grounds.
  • Please see the Short Track Railroad Club's website for hours open to the public and its location: www.shorttrackrr.org

Chula Vista Live Steamers
(Bonita, California, USA)
www.chulavistalivesteamers.org 

North County Model Railroad Society
(Oceanside, California, USA)
www.ncmrs.org

Old Town Model Railroad Depot
(San Diego, California, USA)
www.oldtowntrains.com

Pacific Southwest Railway Museum and Association
(Campo and La Mesa, California, USA)
www.psrm.org

Poway-Midland Railway 
(Poway, California, USA)
www.powaymidlandrr.org

San Diego Electric Railway Association, Inc. & National City Depot Museum
(National City, California, USA) 
www.sdera.org

San Diego Model Railroad Museum
(San Diego, California, USA)
www.sdmrm.org

  • Located in Balboa Park, just minutes north by car of the city of San Diego. The San Diego Model Railroad Museum is home to four model railroad clubs. The museum has its own Garden Scale model railroad exhibit called the Centennial Railway Garden.
  • The museum is the largest model railroad museum in North America and is one of the largest model railroad museums in the world.
  • The model railroad clubs in the museum include:
    • La Mesa Model Railroad Club
    • San Diego 3-Railers
    • San Diego Model Railroad Association
    • San Diego Society of N Scalers
  • The San Diego Model Railroad Museum is home to the Erwin Welsch Research Library. As of December 2021, the library has over 6,000 books, 800 magazine titles, 40,000 photos and slides, many types of maps, timetables, railroad calendars, 2,000 VHS and DVDs, 400 file folders (filled with additional information) and has information about the four model railroad clubs which are located inside the museum.
    • The library is a reference library and items may not be checked out. It is not a lending library.
    • The librarians are very knowledgeable, when visiting the library make sure to write down your questions so the librarians can assist you.
    • The library's contents are indexed online and you can research their collections using the San Diego Model Railroad Museum's website.
    • The library is open to the public and can be used by anyone with or without an annual museum pass.
  • All guests of the museum have in-and-out privileges. If you leave the museum to get something to eat or explore more of the park, please remember before you leave, to make sure you find out how to re-enter the museum.
  • If you live in San Diego or frequent San Diego, please remember that an annual membership pass for the museum is very affordable.

San Diego S-Gaugers
(Grossmont, California, USA)
www.sites.google.com/site/sdsgaugers

Short Track Railroad Club
(Vista, California, USA)
www.shorttrackrr.org

Walter Anderson Nursery Garden Railroad
(Poway, California, USA)
www.walterandersen.com/garden-railroad

  • The Walter Anderson Nursery has its own Garden Railroad that is 4,459 square feet in size, has many trains, has approximately 1,400 feet of track, has 15 bridges and trestles, and has 45 switches on the layout.
  • Trains run daily from 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Free to the public.

San Diego Train Rides

Balboa Park Miniature Railroad
(San Diego, California, USA)
www.balboapark.org/attractions/miniature-train

  • In Balboa Park, next to the San Diego Zoo.

LEGOLAND Express Train
(Carlsbad, California, USA)
www.legoland.com

Pacific Southwest Railway Museum and Association
(Campo and La Mesa, California, USA)
www.psrm.org

  • The Campo location has train rides, a museum, gift shop, special events, locomotives, switchers, train cars, maintenance facilities, a railroad yard and more. The La Mesa location has a small museum and an outside display which has a steam locomotive, box car and a  caboose.

Poway-Midland Railway 
(Poway, California, USA)
www.powaymidlandrr.org

 

Pacific Surfliner at the Santa Fe train station at downtown San Diego (California, USA).
Pacific Surfliner at the Santa Fe train station at downtown San Diego (California, USA).
Picture credit: San Diego Division Webmaster.

San Diego Public Train and Trolley Service 

The Coaster
(San Diego, California, USA)
www.gonctd.com/services/coaster-commuter-rail

  • Service between downtown San Diego and Oceanside.

Metrolink
(Southern California, USA)
www.metrolinktrains.com

  • Service between Oceanside and Los Angeles. 

Pacific Surfliner
(Southern California, USA)
www.amtrak.com/pacific-surfliner-train

  • Service between downtown San Diego, through Los Angeles with its final destination in San Luis Obispo, with spectacular ocean views. 

San Diego Trolley
(San Diego, California, USA)
www.sdmts.com

The Sprinter
(San Diego North County, California, USA)
www.gonctd.com/services/sprinter-hybrid-rail

  • Service between Oceanside and Escondido.

 

New to Model Railroading or New to Joining Model Train Clubs?
There are model train clubs in many cities and towns across the world. Most model railroaders join clubs that are modeling their favorite scale. Some model railroaders model in multiple scales.

If you are new to model railroading, please remember that when joining any model train club or model train organization that honesty, integrity, being of good character and friendliness are very important qualities to have. The model train hobby has a limited number of people and to keep the model train hobby a fun place for everyone, it is important that all model railroaders do everything possible to get along with each other.

There is an unwritten rule that model railroaders don't discuss religion, politics or other controversial topics at club settings, meetings or events. Now that we wrote the unwritten rule, the unwritten rule has now been written which means the unwritten rule is not unwritten. That's the way the train rolls down the tracks!