Step back in history to a time when the world rode the rails in Tiny Tracks. This charming exhibit features the M.G. Pinky Martin model train as it snakes through approximately 1,000 square feet of town and countryside. Look closely – you might be able to spot Oklahoma City landmarks, such as the Santa Fe Train Station, a working Ferris wheel or even Santa’s Little Helpers around the holidays. Don’t forget to check out the collection of railway artifacts. Peek through the windows of the fully-restored Pullman Parlor Car to get a glimpse of how people travelled in style during the early 20th century. Listen carefully – can you hear the steam hissing and the whistles blowing?
Tiny Tracks is operated and maintained by a group of knowledgeable and passionate engineers. Feel free to ask them questions – they love to talk trains!
Science and history work together to shape the path of the other. Trains and the subsequent opening of the First Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869 revolutionized American life and culture. The 1,907 mile contiguous railroad line was instrumental in the settlement and development of the economy in the American West because it created a quicker, cheaper and more flexible method of transporting people and goods from coast to coast.
The science of trains depended heavily on the idea of locomotion, the act or power of moving from place to place. From the development of steam engines in the early 19th century and their dominance through the mid-20th century, to the rise of electric locomotive models, Amtrak and even subways, trains and the national railways system played a crucial role in the growth of the United States and Oklahoma history.
Tiny Tracks not only explores the evolution of trains and railroads, but also the effects of motorization, electric current and friction on the miniature versions, all crucial elements in keeping these tiny trains chugging along.
It’s real! Fully-restored to its former glory, The 1930s era Pullman Parlor Car was moved to Science Museum Oklahoma in 1981. In fact, a portion of the building was actually built around the train car! Tours of the Parlor Car are given during Spring and Winter breaks, as well as by private reservation.