The Diablo Pacific Short Line (DPSL) is an all-volunteer membership based organization, engaged in the operation of a portable, large-scale model railroad. The purposes of the DPSL are to promote the hobby of model railroading and to educate the public regarding the importance of railroads, railroad history, and train safety. We also provide education to our members in a variety of woodworking, electrical, and scenic techniques in the construction of modules and other hobby projects. We have access to extensive model railroad resources for members and the public.


The DPSL is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) educational organization, which is funded through memberships, private donations, paid remuneration by exhibit hosts and sponsorships. The DPSL has about 35 member families, with about 60 individual members, and is governed by a five member Board of Directors.

Taking big trains to the far corners of the S.F. Bay Area and beyond.

The DPSL exhibits an average of 12 times each year, for 1-3 days at each venue. The exhibits are often corollary activities to museum or community functions such as historic railroad celebrations or hobby sales events. The exhibits occur in outdoor and indoor spaces, typically attracting a few hundred to thousands of fans each day. These exhibitions are held throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding communities.


The DPSL is constructed in “large scale” (garden railways, G scale) modules to encourage participation and observation by young children through those of senior age. It is built on table-tops low enough to be visible to children in order to stimulate, and respond to, their interests in the railroad. Each module is individually constructed with unique themes or scenery, but the rails are designed to interlock to provide various configurations, depending on the space available at each venue. Trains are run via electrical or battery operated controls. They represent steam locomotives of the late 19th through the middle 20th century and diesels and electric locomotives of the ‘40s and ‘50s until the current era. Both freight and passenger trains are depicted, as well as a Thomas the Tank Engine train for the youngest enthusiasts.