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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®

Celebrating 100 years of engineering memories

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 Miniature Railroad & Village® Centennial Celebration is sponsored by:

Tender Care Learning Centers logo

All Aboard! The Miniature Railroad & Village® 100th Anniversary Campaign

Help us keep the trains on track! The Miniature Railroad & Village® 100th Anniversary Campaign  is a crowdfunding effort to support sustainable upkeep of the treasured train layout. Visit bit.ly/MRRV100 opens in a new window for details on how you can give today!

Visitors from Pittsburgh and beyond have made the Miniature Railroad a time-honored family tradition, and its hundreds of animations and replicas paint a fascinating picture of western Pennsylvania history for adults and children alike. But 100 years is a long time, and now the display needs significant updates. Contributions to the Miniature Railroad & Village® 100th Anniversary Campaign will enable the Science Center to refresh the gallery with new carpeting, fresh paint, updated signage, a new entrance video, and LED lighting.

Once the project is completed, visitors will 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.

Follow us on social media for updates:

  


NEW! Kaufmann’s Department Store

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.


NEW! Tender Teddy

The newest 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!


Explore the history of the Pittsburgh region

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.

By the Numbers

The Miniature Railroad & Village® features:

  • 105 animations
  • 250,000+ trees
  • 14 aircraft
  • 85 automobiles
  • 1 Incline (Monongahela Incline)
  • 60 trucks
  • 22 horse-drawn vehicles
  • 23,000 fans in Forbes Field

Miniature Railroad & Village®

Celebrating 100 years of engineering memories

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 Miniature Railroad & Village® Centennial Celebration is sponsored by:

Tender Care Learning Centers logo

All Aboard! The Miniature Railroad & Village® 100th Anniversary Campaign

Help us keep the trains on track! The Miniature Railroad & Village® 100th Anniversary Campaign  is a crowdfunding effort to support sustainable upkeep of the treasured train layout. Visit bit.ly/MRRV100 opens in a new window for details on how you can give today!

Visitors from Pittsburgh and beyond have made the Miniature Railroad a time-honored family tradition, and its hundreds of animations and replicas paint a fascinating picture of western Pennsylvania history for adults and children alike. But 100 years is a long time, and now the display needs significant updates. Contributions to the Miniature Railroad & Village® 100th Anniversary Campaign will enable the Science Center to refresh the gallery with new carpeting, fresh paint, updated signage, a new entrance video, and LED lighting.

Once the project is completed, visitors will 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.

Follow us on social media for updates:

  


NEW! Kaufmann’s Department Store

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.


NEW! Tender Teddy

The newest 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!


Explore the history of the Pittsburgh region

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.

By the Numbers

The Miniature Railroad & Village® features:

  • 105 animations
  • 250,000+ trees
  • 14 aircraft
  • 85 automobiles
  • 1 Incline (Monongahela Incline)
  • 60 trucks
  • 22 horse-drawn vehicles
  • 23,000 fans in Forbes Field

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