SoCal Stops for Kids Who Love Trains!

All aboard the Kidsguide Express! We’re taking your train-lovin’ family on an adventure across SoCal, chugging along to must-see train stops. Let’s go!



Fillmore & Western Railway | Fillmore

This legendary railroad is home to vintage passenger and dining cars that date back as far as 1914. It’s also home to an operating #14 Baldwin Steam Engine.

Fillmore & Western is known as the “Home of the Movie Trains” that have been used in film productions, such as Disney’s Lone Ranger, Water for Elephants, Sea Biscuit, Get Smart, Bedtime Stories, Race to Witch Mountain and many more. An amazing part of this railroad is the opportunity to ride the movie trains!

All year long they offer train tours, such as weekend scenic adventures, murder mystery comedy lunch and dinner trains, holiday trains, special event trains, steam train rides and more. Click here for upcoming train excursions.



Angels Flight Railway | Los Angeles

Built in 1901, the Angels Flight Railway is a historic one-block ride up and down Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles. The railway appears in popular movie cameos and continues to offer rides to guests today. Double-Train Bonus: ride the Metro to reach this historic LA railway.



Balboa Park Miniature Railroad | San Diego

The Balboa Park Miniature Train takes a three-minute, half-mile trip through four acres of Balboa Park. The train is a model G16 – now a rare antique with as few as fifty currently remaining.



El Dorado Frontier | Long Beach

Take a 1½ mile ride on the El Dorado Express, a one-of-a-kind train built over 60 years ago. A narrated story along with an original music score sets the tone, while telling an educational story about the history of the Gold Rush In California.

Panning for Goldie’s Treasure is now open at El Dorado Frontier. You and your family can pan for stones and treasures. Exciting new attractions are making their way to the Frontier. Keep an eye out for a carousel, storytelling tree, concessions and live entertainment.



Fullerton Train Museum | Fullerton

The Fullerton Train Museum has three historically significant cabooses and two Union Pacific Lounge cars available to the public.



Griffith Park Southern Railroad | Los Angeles

Griffith Park Southern Railroad has operated trains since the 1940’s. The trains are not exact scale models as full trains, but they still provide the same look and feel as the full-sized trains in a smaller, more useable package.

Travel over one mile of track, across a bridge, through a forest and the Old Western Town. You can also try their classic simulator ride, Kid Coaster.



Heritage Park Railroad Exhibit | Santa Fe Springs

The Railroad Exhibit at Heritage Park tells the story of the city’s railroad history through the restoration of the Santa Fe Railway depot, tracks, and signals.

The center of the exhibit has a restored steam locomotive as well as its tender, a refrigerated boxcar, and caboose.

The exhibit includes two meeting rooms, picnic area and rose garden. Other historical park buildings include a carriage barn, a windmill, and a plant conservatory.



Irvine Park Railroad | Orange

Irvine Park Railroad takes children and adults through historic Irvine Regional Park. The 1/3-scale train is located in the foothills of Orange. Bike and paddle boat rentals, OC Zoo and pony rides are also in the park.



Lomita Railroad Museum | Lomita

The Lomita Railroad Museum is truly authentic with its collection of locomotives, cabooses, oil tenders, and box cars all on display.

The museum educates and informs the public about railroads from the past and present and how they will impact transportation in the future.



Orange County Model Engineers at Fairview Park | Costa Mesa

The Orange County Model Engineers (OCME) welcome the public for free rides every third Saturday and following Sunday of each month.

They have a variety of engines and riding cars that run through over 5 miles of actual track. A typical train ride takes about 12 minutes and covers 2 loops of the park.



Orange Empire Railway Museum | Perris

Orange Empire Railway Museum has a collection of over 200 different railway locomotives, passenger and freight cars, streetcars, interurban electric cars, buildings and other artifacts dating from the 1870’s.

Visitors are able to ride streetcars, electric cars, and trains on the Museum railway.

A variety of special events are held throughout the year and include: Day out with Thomas, Tamale Festival, and Civil War Reenactments.



San Diego Model Railroad Museum | San Diego

The mission of the San Diego Model Railroad Museum is to research, collect, preserve, and present the heritage of American railroading using educational programs, displays, toy trains, and scale models of California railroads.

With many different continuing and special exhibits, families can see small model trains operating that will transport themselves and their imagination to a different time.



Southern California Live Steamers | Torrance

Southern California Live Steamers is a non-profit organization that offers free trains rides on miniature 7.5″ gauge trains in Torrance. The free rides are available the first Sunday and the third Saturday of each month (weather permitting).



Travel Town Museum and Railroad | Los Angeles

An outdoor museum with a large collection of locomotives and rolling stock from Southern California. Special events throughout the year include docent-led tours, Junior Engineer Play Days, and volunteer orientations.

Families can ride the miniature train that circles the perimeter of the museum. The museum specializes in restorations and is also a great venue for Boy and Girl Scout leadership projects.





This post was written by Kidsguide


  • Carrie Kleckner

    Thanks for sharing! My boys love trains & we have experienced quite a few of these on your list but will do more now that we know about them!

    • Alina Na

      That’s amazing, Carrie! Let us know if your family comes across any new places we should add to our list! 🙂

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