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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

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®.  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.

The Miniature Railroad & Village® Centennial Celebration is sponsored by:
Tender Care Learning Centers logo


New Model! 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