Miniature Railroad & Village®
100 years of engineering memories
Take a walking tour of western Pennsylvania at the world-renowned Miniature Railroad & Village®. 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 before 1940.
Contributions to the Miniature Railroad & Village® 100th Anniversary Campaign enabled the Science Center to refresh the gallery with new carpeting, fresh paint, historic photo montage, updated signage, a new entrance video, and yet to come, LED lighting.
Visitors now enjoy motion-activated digital text panels and the online digitization and publication of the Miniature Railroad’s expansive 100-year-old archive, featuring photos and letters from creator Charles Bowdish. The project also includes the publication of a limited-edition centennial book detailing the history of the exhibit, its models, passionate caretakers, and never-before-seen photographs.
Now you can purchase a limited-edition commemorative book that highlights the history of the Miniature Railroad and the iconic models displayed in it. The book is co-authored by Robert Gangewere, a published author, and Patty Everly, Curator of Historic Exhibits at Carnegie Science Center, who has stewarded the growth of the exhibition for more than 20 years. Titled A Love Story: The Miniature Railroad & Village, a portion of the proceeds from the book go toward sustaining the Miniature Railroad.
The Miniature Railroad & Village® Centennial Celebration is sponsored by:
New Model! The Hill District Home of Daisy Lampkin, a Famous Suffragist
Kaufmann’s Department Store
The historic installation for 2019 was 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.
Another resident in the Miniature Railroad is a miniature replica of Tender Care Learning Centers’ big, huggable teddy bear mascot, Tender Teddy. See if you can spot him during your next visit to the Miniature Railroad!
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