Gulf Coast Model Railroad
Shell Point's Extensive Model Train Display
The 43'-by-41' Gulf Coast Railroad, in the shape of the state of Florida, was originally built at Shell Point by a small group of residents who enjoyed model railroads as a hobby and wanted to share their interest with others. To this day, resident volunteers continue to operate and maintain the railroad for thousands of visitors each year.Length: 5 min 31 sec
The table this exhibit rests on measures approximately 41 feet east to west (Pensacola to Jacksonville) and about 43 feet north to south (Jacksonville to Key West). There are approximately 750 feet of track and about 100 turnouts or switches. All the switches and trains are motivated electronically from four console control panels. Two of the panels contain two individual control modules each. The remaining two panels control switchyards and turntables. There are perhaps a few hundred buildings, automobiles, trucks, tractors, and people in this exhibit.
Most model buildings have lights inside, and when the exhibit room is darkened, it looks like you are in an airplane flying over Florida.
A separate exhibit was constructed to show the four different gauges of track used in model railroading. There are working models with O (1/48 scale), S (1/64 scale), HO (1/87 scale), and N (1/60 scale) gauges. Visitors are allowed to flip switches and become engineers on the four test tracks. (HO is the gauge used in the main Florida display).