TrainTopia (Museum of the American Railroad) – Frisco, Texas
TrainTopia is a gift of Steve Sanders & his family, presented by Amanda and Brint Ryan, and made possible by the City of Frisco Community Development Corporation. Climb aboard steam engine trains at this lively museum. Take a first-hand look at luxurious Pullman sleeping cars and Dallas’s oldest depot.
The Museum of the American Railroad
The Museum of the American Railroad, formerly known as the Age of Steam Railroad Museum, is a railroad museum in Frisco, Texas. The museum has more than 70 pieces of steam, diesel, passenger, and freight railroad equipment; guests may walk through some of the equipment on guided tours.
The museum began as a small exhibit at the State Fair of Texas in 1963 and continued as a staple of the annual fair. It officially became a museum in 1986. It remained at its original site at Fair Park until November 2011. The museum has fully moved to Frisco, Texas; the move was based on a strategic plan called Visions 2006, which called for a comprehensive reorganization of the museum, including new facilities, governance, and programs. The museum’s offices and some exhibits are temporarily housed at the Frisco Heritage Museum while construction continues on the museum’s new location two blocks south.
TrainTopia, a G-scale model train layout, opened in July 2018 in the Frisco Discovery Center next to the museum’s site.
The museum has a permanent exhibit called “TrainTopia – A Railroad Odyssey in Miniature” in the Frisco Discovery Center next to the museum. This is a 2,500-square-foot professionally-built G-scale model railroad layout donated to the museum by the Sanders family; a $300,000 donation from the Ryan Foundation funded moving the design and preparing the exhibit space. Located inside the Frisco Discovery Center (8004 N. Dallas Pkwy.) just south of downtown Frisco, Texas, TrainTopia is a genuinely spectacular exhibit you will not want to miss.
The scene spans Texas to Arizona and includes details such as the dramatic rock formations of the Four Corners region near New Mexico, an animated downtown Dallas street scene, the Palo Duro Drive-In Theater with a movie playing, a West Texas refinery, and working sawmills in Colorado. Custom light show changes the exhibit from day to night. The layout has hundreds of locomotives and cars, most made by LGB in Germany.
The TrainTopia exhibit features topography from Arizona to Texas, New Mexico, and Northeast Texas in the 1960s. Among its many features are an animated downtown Dallas street scene and the famed Palo Duro drive-in theater with a real movie playing!
TrainTopia is a gift of the Sanders Family of Dallas and is presented by Amanda and Brint Ryan of Dallas. Proceeds from TrainTopia benefit the Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco, Texas. TrainTopia’s year-round, air-conditioned space is provided by the City of Frisco’s Community Development Corporation.