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 the Pittsburgh region’s rich and diverse history up until 1940. New models are added annually to the village.
Newest Additions to The Miniature Railroad & Village®
Vote on the 2024 Model
Choose which model to add to the Village in 2024! Pick from three choices: Rodef Shalom Synagogue, National Opera House, and Chinatown Inn. Review the historic background of each building and decide which resonates most with you. Voting is onsite only at a kiosk in the Miniature Railroad and runs now through Locomotion Weekend.
Allegheny County Airport
Formerly known as Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Municipal Airport (AGC), Allegheny County Airport opened to a crowd of 100,000 people on Sept. 11, 1931. Architect Stanley L. Rush designed the art deco-style building. When this airport opened, it was the country’s third largest and the region’s main airport until Greater Pittsburgh Airport, which opened in Moon in 1952.
Allegheny County Airport is the first visitor’s choice model in Miniature Railroad & Village®. For the first time ever, the Miniature Railroad team opened this 2023 model up for a vote from Sept. 5, 2022 to Jan. 15, 2023. Th Airport won with 22,519 votes. This model combines new and traditional methods. The windows, portico, control tower, doors, and the planters were 3D-printed. In true Bowdish-style, the team hand-painted the floors and the elaborate Aztec detailing around the decorative window above the front doors. Behind Allegheny County Airport is a new animation: an airplane with a spinning propeller.
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
On June 4, 1890, the old McDevitt mansion in Oakland transformed into the first Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The idea of a children’s hospital arose from Kirk LeMoyne, son of local pediatrician, Frank LeMoyne. He and his friends decided to raise the necessary $3,000 to endow a single cot at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital. The cot would be used exclusively for babies and children. And in 1887 the Cot Club began its fundraising mission.
Eventually, with guidance from his father and their benefactors, Kirk raised enough money for a dedicated children’s hospital. Word spread and donations poured in, along with $40,000 for a new hospital. This modest hospital with 15 beds represented a huge step for medicine and philanthropy in Pittsburgh—all children received treatment regardless of religion, nationality, or class. It has now grown into a world-renowned children’s hospital.
Staff 3D-printed the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh model onsite and added intricate details such as flowers on the building, stain glass windows crafted from microfilm, and a windy stone path leading up to the building. Look carefully and you will spot the nurse who prescribed a dose of fresh air for her patients, which is also the first animation added to the Miniature Railroad since 2018. This is the 2023 addition and first-ever hospital model in 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.
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!”