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A mother smile as her family of four looks at the railroad display in awe

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A historic photo of a group of people looking at the Miniature Railroad and Village
History

Fallingwater
Fallingwater

A close-up image of some of the figurines in the Miniature Railroad and Village
Replicas

Boy pointing at trains with Grandfather
FAQs

Miniature buildings and cars
See More Photos

Miniature Railroad & Village
Resources

Miniature Railroad & Village®

If you’ve realized the holidays aren’t long enough to visit ALL the amazing destinations Pittsburgh offers, allow the Miniature Railroad and Village to help! Our miniature village and model trains encapsulate iconic Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania landmarks, from Primanti’s and Kaufmann’s to Fallingwater and the largest train display in Western PA! The best part? Everything, whether it’s the model railroad, model village, or the holiday village and holiday railroad, is scaled down – so there’s a really quick commute, even if you’re going from the town square all the way over to the quarry!

The Miniature Railroad, which celebrated its’ 100th Anniversary in 2019, features hundreds of wonderfully realistic animated scenes that illustrate how people lived, worked, and played in our region before 1940. New models are added annually to the village.

Spooky Special for Halloween

Miniature Headless Horseman entering a covered bridge

The Miniature Railroad & Village® is decorated for Halloween! Spot mischievous figures and read strange and intriguing stories on the digital text panels throughout the exhibit.

Stories range from the Steel Mill folklore hero Joe Magarac to the mystery of the B-25 Bomber plane crashing into the Monongahela River. Areas from all over Pennsylvania are represented including the Strip District, home to a peculiar banana explosion; Pitcairn, where a home exhibited poltergeist activity; and Tyrone, the site of a circus train wreck.

Some stories even encapsulate tales of cryptids, animals that have claimed to exist but have never proven to exist, such as a squonk, werewolves, and Bigfoot. Seek out these creatures as well as a witch, zombies, the Headless Horseman, Trick-or-Treaters, a ghost, the Mothman, and thirteen jack-o’-lanterns. This haunt ends Mon., Oct. 31.

Newest Models Added to The Miniature Railroad & Village®

Night of the Living Dead Chapel

Miniature model of the chapel from Night of the Living Dead

Built in 1923, the small stone chapel is famous for its appearance in George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968). Just like the zombies in the cult classic, the chapel was brought back to life. In 2011, the chapel located in Evans City Cemetery had one foot in the grave and based on its poor condition was slated for demolition. The chapel needed dire assistance. Headed by Gary Streiner, the film’s sound engineer, a grassroots group consisting of the film’s fans raised $47,000 and saved the structure.

The model is an iconic structure in Evans City and is nestled in the farmlands section of the Miniature Railroad, surrounded by tombstones as well as other historic Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania landmarks. In addition to the new model, from Oct. 1 through Halloween, the digital text panels in the Miniature Railroad will reveal creepy and unusual stories about the Pittsburgh region.

Don’t miss seeing the 1968 film The Night of the Living Dead in The Rangos Giant Cinema on Fri., Oct. 28 and Sat., Oct. 29 at 5:30 pm.

Allegheny County Airport, Fredrick Osterling office, and Oliver Miller Homestead

Vote on the 2023 Model

Choose which model to add to the Village in 2023! Pick from three choices:  Allegheny County Airport,  Fredrick J. Osterling Office and Studio, and Oliver Miller Homestead. Review the historic background of each building; and decide which resonates most with you. Voting runs now through December.

Mark your ballot today! opens in a new window

Gus and Yiayia’s Ice Ball Cart

Gus and Yiayia’s ice ball cart

On the North Side since 1934, Gus and Yiayia’s ice ball cart has served shaved ice treats, popcorn and peanuts to generations of fans. Whenever the weather is warm and the Pirates are playing, Gus and his cart can be found at the park, serving up treats to keep the summertime cool. Now, visitors can come visit the cart no matter the weather at The Miniature Railroad and Village®! Whether your favorite ice ball flavor is cherry, orange or something else, all visitors can enjoy coming to look at the bright orange cart that’s been around “since your dad was a lad!” The ice ball cart was added in 2021.


The Hill District Home of Daisy Lampkin, a Famous Suffragist

Daisy Lampkin

Daisy Lampkin, wearing satin dress with sash, corsage of three flowers, and angled hat. © Carnegie Museum of Art, Charles “Teenie” Harris Archive.

Daisy Lampkin, a dynamic Pittsburgh woman who was a leader in the civil rights and women’s suffrage movements and who lived on Webster Avenue in Pittsburgh for most of her adult life is the Miniature Railroad & Village honoree in 2020. Mrs. Lampkin started her public career in 1912 and her priorities were organizing efforts to end discrimination against and oppression of all African Americans and specifically Black women. She was active in many civil, political, community, and church-affiliated groups and blazed the trail for women in the National Republican Party and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. During her tenure as a stockholder and executive at the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper, she led it to become the most widely distributed Black publication in the nation. Mrs. Lampkin also led a fundraising effort in Allegheny County to raise $2 million in war bonds to support the United States during WWII. A model of the Lampkin’s three-story home in the Hill District — which served as her headquarters for teas, meetings, and strategic planning —and a figure in her likeness are now on display in the Miniature Railroad. She made an indelible mark on the future of Black Americans and American history, and the Science Center is proud to recognize her legacy in this way.


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.


Tender Teddy

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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Presented by:

Reach Cyber Charter School logo

A historic photo of a group of people looking at the Miniature Railroad and Village
History

Fallingwater
Fallingwater

Boy pointing at trains with Grandfather
FAQs

A close-up image of some of the figurines in the Miniature Railroad and Village
Replicas

Miniature buildings and cars
See More Photos

Miniature Railroad & Village
Resources

Gus and Yiayia’s ice ball cart

Gus and Yiayia’s Ice Ball Cart

On the North Side since 1934, Gus and Yiayia’s ice ball cart has served shaved ice treats, popcorn and peanuts to generations of fans. Whenever the weather is warm and the Pirates are playing, Gus and his cart can be found at the park, serving up treats to keep the summertime cool. Now, visitors can come visit the cart no matter the weather at The Miniature Railroad and Village®! Whether your favorite ice ball flavor is cherry, orange or something else, all visitors can enjoy coming to look at the bright orange cart that’s been around “since your dad was a lad!”