Toy Train Museum
THE GADSDEN-PACIFIC DIVISION TOY TRAIN OPERATING MUSEUM, LTD
(New and used railroad paraphernalia)
The GADSDEN-PACIFIC TOY TRAIN OPERATING MUSEUM, LTD. (GPDTTOM)
is a charitable, non-profit corporation dedicated to the advancement of
model railroading by the collection and operation of toy and model trains
and railroad memorabilia. The organization also serves to preserve prototype
railroad history by sponsoring railroading related activities and events.
Today's Museum started as a private organization of
twenty-five individuals in 1980 and has grown steadily over the years to
over 130 members. In 1988, the GPDTTOM first opened its doors to the public
with the dedication of its O-Gauge layout in the Foothills Mall. Since then
the Museum has grown to include G-Gauge, Standard Gauge, S-Gauge, HO Gauge,
N-Gauge, Z-Gauge operational layouts throughout the display area. Visitors
may operate the trains and accessories throughout the museum by pushing
buttons located with the displays. The Museum, in the Foothills Mall, closed
its' doors in August 1997. Construction of the Museum's new, 6000 square
foot, wholly-owned facility was begun in January 1998, with building
construction completed on August 28, 1998. Construction of new layouts and
exhibits has progressed significantly ever since.
The Foothills Mall museum contained a 19' x 35' display that
was designed to accommodate three rail O-Gauge equipment of all
manufacturers. It also included an American Flyer S-Gauge layout. The
HO-Gauge layout was the other major display. The G-Gauge and Standard Gauge
layouts were displayed on a "bookshelf" type layout which was mounted eight
feet above the floor and ran over 200 feet in length around the display
room. The N-Gauge was a smaller layout in the corner.
Our new building has provided us
with the opportunity to have much larger layouts of all the popular model
railroading scales all at tabletop level to give visitors a better view of
The Museum contains displays of unique and sometimes rare
examples of our hobby and railroad memorabilia as well. These exhibits
change periodically to offer new insights into our hobby with each visit.
One prized piece of railroad memorabilia is the Rio Grande
Steel Sided Caboose 01433 which is in
excellent condition and is located just outside the museum.
The Museum's walls are decorated with framed railroad art in the form of
photographs, prints, graphic arts, line art, etc. One wall is decorated to
represent a Southern Pacific combine car in Southern Pacific’s Daylight
livery of red and orange. Another wall is being decorated to represent a
Hayden Flour Mill wood-sided boxcar which was also produced as an O-Gauge
model by the Weaver Manufacturing Company for the Museum. Numerous display
cases line one wall with more memorabilia, and antique toy trains.
GPD hosts two toy train
shows/swap meets annually now called the Spring Toy Train Show and a
second Fall meet in November. The Spring meet is held on the second Friday &
Saturday in January. The Fall meet is held on the second Friday and Saturday
in November. Both are open to the public and features sales model and toy
trains as well as prototype railroad memorabilia.
provides special tours for various community organizations and visitors upon
request. To have a tour, the group must have 10 or more persons wishing to
attend. Contact our Tour Chairman Jeff Swanson at 520-310-1392,
firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information on tours.
One of the newer features is that the museum hosts children’s birthday
parties at no charge. Again, contact Jeff Swanson for details.
The Museum continues to be free to the public. GPDTTOM has
and will continue to meet its financial needs through donations and revenue
from the in-house gift shop. All support and donations are greatly
LARGE SCALE RAILROAD:
The Large scale, 7 1/2
gauge railroad is running and circumvents the museum property. Rides are
provided to visitors at no charge. Kids of all ages are welcome to ride.
Outdoor "G" Railroad:
Progress on the Outdoor “G” Gauge Railroad,
known as a Garden Railroad is progressing nicely. There are four lines
currently operating. A fifth will be available for battery operated trains.
Members can bring their personal trains from home and operate them on the
A new attraction outside is the
garden railroad which has two train loops operational.
When this project was approved, there were no expectations that
it would be operational in any way by September 2015, especially
with the tons of earth and rock that had to be moved. Yet
there it is. It is really rough as far as scenery and
growing things are concerned but the potential can be easily
seen. The museum now has another layout that can grow and mature
over the years.
7-1/2" Gauge: Track maintenance is
on-going and various improvements continue to be made at each
The Museum-owned Alco S4, 7 ˝” gauge engine has finally been
painted and has been turned over to the sign shop where vinyl
graphics are to be applied. The paint was expertly applied by
Gilbert Lopez, semi-retired owner of Tucson Auto Collision
Center, 2510 W. Wetmore Road, Tucson, AZ who took this project
on personally in his spare time. He seemed to enjoy the
challenge as this is definitely not something he sees every day.
G-Gauge: The overhead G Gauge system now includes a free
running trolley layout which spans the majority of the building.
Two independent interurbans will carry the 'little folk' from
the gift shop to the display cases.
The Standard Gauge layout has undergone a significant
modification, making it easier for kids to see the trains, and
improving the entrance to the building. A new automated trolley
has been installed, and most of the track plan redesigned. Antique Standard
Trains are running on the two lower level tracks.
The mountain is complete and a new mine train is being
constructed. The track supports are restored Erector set pieces
with concrete bases. A nice display of American Flyer trains.
HO Gauge: There are several on-going projects
being done on the layout including wiring improvements, completion
of the mountain narrow gauge loop, and scenery improvements.
N Gauge: The layout has undergone major changes over the
last two years. Back then, the mountain near the wall was
completely different, with a small loop of track. Complete
leveling of the surface occurred along with other scenery
changes, including two rivers now!
Stop in to
see the new overhead railroad and other on going improvements as
well as all the changes made during the summer break.
When in Tucson stop by and
If the Museum is
not open, contact us for special arrangements.
Open Dates and
The Museum's Answering machine (520) 888-2222
Group Tours (10 or more people)
Call Gerald Baltus 520-571-0304