By Jan Wagner
An amazing scale model railroad layout that playfully recreates 1950s America can be found in historic Old Town San Diego.
It is billed as “the largest privately owned O-scale model train interactive San Diego attraction, with over 2500 square feet of fun for all ages.”
Spread over two large rooms — one in daylight and one at night — this retro slice of Americana features a variety of scenes, including a city with a fire department, shops, a motel, a baseball park, movie theaters, car dealerships and even Elvis Presley.
There’s a “Wild West” town, industrial sites, a farming community, a lakeside country resort, a carnival and much more — all reproduced in exquisite, often whimsical attention to detail. Signs on buildings include: “Cook, Books & Hyde Tax Accountants” and “Dewey, Cheetum & Howe” Tax Attorneys.
The display includes tiny cars, trucks, boats, people, animals and computer-controlled trains. The widespread electrification of lights, signs, vehicles, buildings and more is truly mind-boggling.
Remarkably, admission to this miniature wonder is free of charge, thanks to visitors’ voluntary donations and sales of railroad-themed mementos, artwork and clothing items in the gift shop.
The Old Town Model Railroad Depot is open daily except Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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Copyright © 2017 by Jan Wagner
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