Take a walking tour of western Pennsylvania at the world-renowned Miniature Railroad & Village®.
This beloved exhibit marks its centennial anniversary this year! Since 1919, the Miniature Railroad has delighted millions with its handcrafted replicas of regional landmarks, like Forbes Field and Fallingwater.
The Miniature Railroad’s story began in 1919 with a man named Charles Bowdish of Brookville, PA. Originally a holiday display on the second floor of his house, it moved to the Buhl Planetarium in 1954, and ultimately found its final home at Carnegie Science Center in 1992.
The Miniature Railroad & Village® features hundreds of wonderfully realistic animated scenes that illustrate how people lived, worked, and played in our region during an era spanning the 1880s up to 1940.
The new historic installation for 2019 is Kaufmann’s Department Store, a replica of “The Grand Depot,” the original downtown mecca. Located in the Miniature Railroad’s Main Street cityscape, the model pays tribute to a Pittsburgh icon with 15 miniature window displays, a Swarovski crystal chandelier at its grand entrance, and other elegant details. Learn more about the model and Kaufmann’s history in On Track, our annual publication available at the entrance to the Miniature Railroad.
From its humble beginnings in Brookville, PA to today in its permanent gallery at the Science Center, the Miniature Railroad has delighted, educated, and inspired visitors for 100 years.
Pittsburghers are deeply attached to the Miniature Railroad, even though it didn’t get its start in Pittsburgh. The story of the Miniature Railroad is our story, a celebration of the people, places, and innovations that make the Pittsburgh region a community to be proud of.
One hundred years is a long time, and our train display needs significant repairs. In the spring, we’ll launch All Aboard! The Miniature Railroad & Village® 100th Anniversary Campaign, a crowdfunding effort to help keep this timeless treasure on track for another 100 years.
Your support will help us repair wear and tear on the layout, renovate the gallery, digitize the Miniature Railroad’s archives and enhance the visitor experience.
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Favorite landmarks in the Miniature Railroad include Donora’s Cement City, Primanti Bros. restaurant in the Strip District, Westinghouse Atom Smasher, Crawford Grill, Fallingwater, Forbes Field, Punxsutawney Phil at Gobbler's Knob, Luna Park, Sharon Steel Mill, Manchester Farms, and a historic Pittsburgh incline.
The Miniature Railroad & Village® features: