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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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!”