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Exhibits > Exhibits Archive

Exhibits Archive

The Transportation Museum has been delighting visitors with intriguing exhibits since 2008, and because each year brings all-new exhibits, there have been tons of interesting exhibits, activities, and games since then. Scroll down to explore the museum's past exhibits. Which one is your favorite? Additionally, every month, the museum's featured exhibit will rotate, offering you a chance to learn even more about a particular exhibit.

12th Annual Transportation Museum:
Sunday, October 27, 2019


Click to download the 2019 map and brochure >


150 Years Overland:
The Legacy of the Transcontinental Railroad

150 years after the hammering of the Golden Spike, explore how the Transcontinental Railroad has fundamentally affected American society.

It Takes a Transit Village (and the LEGO Building Challenge)

Through an analysis of transit-oriented development, discover how traffic, the housing crisis, urban sprawl, and transportation can be addressed through well-planned transit villages. Guests of all ages can also build their own transit village out of LEGOs!

Air Traffic Control Escape Room

A treacherous storm in the remote Alaskan wilderness has just cut off all power to an airport — but a plane is scheduled to arrive in just 10 minutes! With no runway lights, the plane is bound to crash. Can you search around a control tower to find 5 objects that reveal the combination to manually turn on the backup runway lights, before it's too late?

Bus Driver Simulation

Have fun driving a bus through the streets of an urban city on the museum's popular bus driver simulator. Guests can drive carefully — or see how many times they can crash!

Transit Champions Carnival Game

Simulate Amtrak and Greyhound's competition for intercity travel in this EXTREME Connect Four challenge.

Transit Photo Booth

Pose next to famous characters in a transit-themed movie scene, and email yourself the picture.

Solving Bay Area Traffic (by Reina S. and Dhatri V.)

Explore solutions to Bay Area traffic on our local bridges, presented by Reina S. and Dhatri V., two middle school students from Foster City.

Flight Simulation (by Brandan D.)

Pilot your own airplane across the country on a realistic flight simulator, while student pilot Brandan D., a longtime exhibitor at the museum, guides you and describes what it's like controlling a real plane.

Transit Virtual Reality

Travel from the slopes of the Swiss Alps to the depths of New York on this virtual reality experience, involving 360-degree footage from 4 trains around the world.

The World's MOST EXTREME Airports

Soar from 9,000 feet up in Mount Everest to the middle of busy Hong Kong in this video showing the 12 most extreme airports in the world!

SamTrans Remote Controlled Bus Obstacle Course

Test your bus driving skills on an obstacle course using a remote controlled SamTrans bus, on loan from SamTrans. How fast can you finish the route?

Transit Agency Booths

Learn about upcoming projects from the California High-Speed Rail and share your input on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Plan Bay Area 2050 at their exhibitor booths. Visitors also picked up information and giveaways at a SamTrans booth.

11th Annual Transportation Museum:
Sunday, October 14, 2018

Music That Makes Us Move

Listen to 10 transit-themed songs, from Arlo Guthrie's The City of New Orleans to the country hit Convoy. You can also read about the artists' sources of inspiration for each song.

Guess the Artifact

We've dove deep into the museum's collection to find the most unusual artifacts. Can you guess what they are?

Better Commute Ahead: Solving Bay Area Traffic

Survey Bay Area commuters and residents, and one issue that everyone can agree on is traffic. You'll explore a variety of different solutions, from expanding "slug carpooling" to implementing more first-mile, last-mile transit connections.

Vroom! Vroom! Intelligent Cars and Roads

Learn the technology behind autonomous cars while programming your own miniature robot through the city of San Francisco. You're in charge of making sure the robot slows down, speeds up, and turns at the right intersection!

Getting to Grandma's:
Traveling the Peninsula, 1700s-Today

Discover how travel on the Peninsula has evolved over the past 300 years, from the Ohlone Indians' use of tule boats to horse-drawn stagecoach rides during the 1850s and the redevelopment of El Camino following World War II. What will travel along the Peninsula be like in the future?

Bus Driver Simulation

A long-standing tradition at The Transportation Museum, visitors can drive a bus through a bus driver simulator.

Flight Simulation (by Brandan D.)

Student pilot Brandan D. offers visitors the once-in-a-lifetime experience of flying, starting from any airport, on his airplane simulator! As you pilot the plane, Brandon describes what it's like being in the cockpit.

Amtrak Escape Room 

Amtrak needs your help! They've just received word that the southbound Coast Starlight is arriving in 10 minutes, but the switch on the track is set to derail the train. You'll need to search through the ticket office to uncover clues, unlock suitcases, and deduce the 5-letter combination to turn the switch before disaster strikes in the Amtrak Escape Room!

Transit Agency and Local Organization Booths

Representatives from the California High-Speed Rail Authority and Capitol Corridor train were at the museum to answer visitor questions and pass out informative brochures. Also, visitors viewed a portable model railroad display from a local organization and learned about SamTrans and the Rocky Mountaineer train.
Toll Toss

Similar to how drivers would once throw coins into machines to pay the toll, visitors can toss coins into replica toll buckets, with the goal of totaling 66¢.


10th Annual Transportation Museum:
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Transit Detectives

Use your detective skills to match 10 transit collectibles with the city that they came from!

Reaching California

Get a glimpse of what life was like on the trail going to California. You'll get to make the same life-or-death decisions that the pioneers did: Do you pack more clothing or more food? What draft animal should you take? Will you take the shortcut to save time?

Drivers Test

Test your driving skills by playing a simulator game and answering driving test questions. When you've passed, get your own Transportation Museum Driver's License!


You've probably heard a lot about ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft. But do you know how they work? And how they compare to taxis? After going through the exhibit, you can vote on which company you'll use next!

The Loneliest Road in America

In July 1986, Life Magazine described Highway 50 through Nevada as "The Loneliest Road in America." But is this description accurate? What's there to do along the way? A Highway 50 trip will be compared with a Disneyland vacation, and you get to vote for which one you'd prefer to take!

Transportation Mutation Station

Use a fun software program to make transit images come alive — you'll be able to animate a train, bus, or something similar, add emotions, and even record your own sound and make the object talk!

Transit Targets

Based on a fun carnival game, you get fifteen pennies to score as many points as possible by throwing pennies into targets!

Roll Your Ride

Learn how transportation choices affect climate change while playing a fun carnival game.
Up, Up, and Away!

Learn how hot air balloons work before building your own LEGO Helium Balloon and watching it float up toward the sky!

The Great Transportation Trivia Game

Test your knowledge of transportation in this game show, where participants who answer correctly receive a cool prize. 

9th Annual Transportation Museum:
Sunday, September 25, 2016

From Frisbees to Flashlights

Look through a suitcase to find 10 hidden, transportation-related  objects from the museum's collection. How fast can you find them all?

Space: 66 Years and Counting

Learn about the history of space travel and exploration, from what astronauts eat to imagining the future of NASA. And yes, that includes trying out "astronaut ice cream" for yourself!

Lights, Camera, Action: Transit in Movies

View famous scenes from transportation-themed movies and television shows like Duel and Unstoppable.

Click to explore this exhibit more in-depth >

Balloon Helicopter

Play with a fun toy to create a balloon helicopter that soars high through the sky.


Learn about the past, present, and future of transportation between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Click to explore this exhibit more in-depth >

Aeronautics and Flight Simulation (by Brandan D.)

After learning about planes, control an airplane with a realistic flight simulator, guided by 12-year-old student pilot Brandan D.

Bus Driver Training Zone

Drive your own remote-controlled bus through an obstacle course and then drive a bus in a fantastic computer game that has been featured at the museum 

Model Railroad (by Alex C.)

Watch the railroad, complete with steam out its engine, speed through a model village
Float Your Boat

Learn about buoyancy and water displacement and then create your own boat out of LEGOs that can float

The Glades Runner Airboat Experience

Step aboard an airboat, a unique form of water transportation, in the Florida Everglades. You'll go speeding through some very rough territory — there's no guarantee you won't get a little wet! And we've heard there are some crocodiles around...

8th Annual Transportation Museum:
Sunday, September 13, 2015

Around the World with Trip Planning

Discover in-depth tips on various elements of traveling and planning trips, from a comparison of VRBO and Airbnb to learning more about travel agents.

Click to explore this exhibit more in-depth >

Transportation Hall of Fame

Look through cityscapes and scenes from cities across the country, complete with bus and trolley dioramas from the cities' transit agencies.

Submarine Dive

After learning how submarines work, you get to add a special ingredient to a toy submarine and then watch it submerge and, just seconds later, rise to the top!

Click to explore this exhibit more in-depth >

Transportation Collectibles

Explore various artifacts, and the stories behind them, that have been collected over the years by The Transportation Museum.

Flight Simulation (by Brandan D.)

Brandan D. is an 11-year-old who flies actual airplanes, and he's here to share tips with you on flying an airplane simulator!

Transit Simulation

Guests have been loving the Bus Driver simulator for years — come try it out yourself!

Create Your Own Airline

Brainstorm key elements of your airline and then use Boeing's technology to design the look of your airplane.
The Mail Must Go Through!

Learn interesting and unknown facts about the Pony Express, the mail system of the West that only lasted for 18 months but has had a long-lasting legacy.

The Future of Transportation (by Ethan C.)

Hear another  young transportation fan discuss the future of transportation, while also observing various LEGO creations he has built to go along with the exhibit.

Robotic Railroad

Control a LEGO Robot to pick up and move cargo in as short a time as possible.

Slot Car Racing at the Bruins 500

A classic element of many previous years' museums, have fun racing Slot Cars on a track at the Brittan Acres Bruins 500!

Zoom Ziplines!

Build your own zipline seat and harness out of LEGO pieces, and then watch your creation fly down a 30-foot track across the museum.
Soarin' over the Transportation Museum

Inspired by Disneyland Resort's Soarin' over California ride, soar over the marvelous scenery of New Zealand by plane — complete with water, wind, motion, and more!

7th Annual Transportation Museum:
Sunday, August 3, 2014 


Click to download the original 2014 map and brochure >


Outside Entryway

As you enter the museum, make sure to sign our outdoor guest book! Write your name and a message on the front windows of the Mancini Family house.


Featuring all-new replica rooms, the Amtrak exhibit offers guests the chance to experience what it's like aboard Amtrak, the national passenger rail service, including a replicated Dining Car and Sleeper Car, complete with Amtrak collectibles. Schedules and brochures round out the display.

Fire up the Steam Engine

In this interactive game, you're given one minute to shovel pieces of coal into a "fire," replicating the inner workings of a steam engine.

Rolling Resistance

While viewing transit collectibles and bus models, you can learn the science behind how trains run so smoothly. Then, use your knowledge of friction to design your own vehicle that can outrun a train!

The Flight to London

As an introduction to your entry into the London exhibit, discover some fast facts about the city of London and view airplane-related collectibles, including a Reno Air bering.

London Underground

Featuring make-your-own announcements, collectors items, a CCTV camera, and more, this exhibit recreates the atmosphere of being on a London Tube train. Test your knowledge of British phrases and see if you can identify spoof Tube announcements in two interactive activities.
Click to explore this exhibit more in-depth >

How are Streets Named?
Have you ever wondered how some streets with unusual names were chosen? Take a look at two street signs and read the story behind how they were named. 

Bus Driver Simulator

Since its premiere at the museum in 2012, the Bus Driver simulator has always been a hit. You can drive carefully through the streets of London to keep your passengers happy, or drive as fast as possible and crash into things!

Indoor Games and the Amtrak Cafe

In need of a short break? Check out the Amtrak Cafe, featuring casual snacks and pizza for lunch. Nearby, you'll find Hexbug races (originally named "Hexbug Racings" in the 2014 brochure) and an Eyeball Toss game.

Lawn Games

In the backyard, discover more transit-themed activities, including make-your-own giant bubbles, a game where you shoot Nerf bullets to try to derail a freight train, and a Thomas the Tank Engine track for the little ones.

Slot Car Racing at the Grapefruit 500

Under the shade of a grapefruit tree, atop the hot tub cover in Andrew's backyard, race slot cars around a track! Using sand, you can also explore the process used to build tunnels for underground systems in London and elsewhere.

6th Annual Transportation Museum:
Saturday, August 10, 2013 


Click to download the original 2013 map and brochure >


Transit Schedules

Following five previous years' worth of tradition, the entire family sofa includes Andrew's collection of maps, schedules, and other brochures, including SamTrans, MUNI, BART, AC Transit, San Mateo County Guides, Regional Park maps, and other local information. On the hearth, you'll find brochures from all of the California and Nevada transit agencies.

Transit Theater

On a loop, various transit-themed videos — including the car chase scene from Bullitt, a Ryanair parody video, and more — entertain guests in the living room. Showtimes were at 10:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 2:00 p.m.


101 years after the historic sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic, you can learn about the ship and read the messages sent from surrounding ships the night of the event. At the end, you can even send your own Morse code message!

Rolling Resistance

While viewing transit collectibles and bus models, you can learn the science behind how trains run so smoothly before using your knowledge of friction to make your own vehicle.


Learn about various types of bridges and see how truss and arch bridges are made, using a K'NEX model. These bridges and other structures are compiled into Bricksboro, a huge city made of LEGO bricks, complete with a guest-operated remote-controlled train!

Special Collections

Organized by category, you can explore some items from
The Transportation Museum's collection, including posters and transit agency-branded items from the largest 40 cities across the country. These items, ranging from nail files to guitar picks, were organized in a "Top 15" list.

Thomas the Tank Engine World

Recognizing the need to entertain even the youngest of visitors, the museum dedicated space — Andrew's bed — for guests to play with a collection of Thomas engines.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Learn how transit can get you to baseball games, from Caltrain to then-AT&T Park to subways getting you to Citi Field and Yankee Stadium in New York.


Featuring visitor favorites like Hexbug races, a transit-themed "Transportation Museum Quiz," and the eyeball toss, the indoor arcade is where the fun is at! Make sure to keep track of how well you do — you can gather tickets while playing to earn prizes.

Bus Driver Simulator Game

It's your chance to be a bus driver, and as you drive the streets of London in a one-story or double-decker bus, you can choose whether to drive carefully or recklessly.

Amtrak Cafe Car

Guests can pick up snacks, beverages, and warm pizza at lunchtime in the Amtrak Cafe Car, proudly bearing Amtrak's logo and a head rest from the Coast Starlight route.

Games and the Grapefruit 500 at the Carnival

Discover unique transit-themed activities, including a Nerf gun challenge (Derailed), slot car racing at the Grapefruit 500, and two other games, Choose A Car and Pick Up the Passengers.

Transit Surveys

Think fast — which do you like better, the Disneyland Monorail or the Disneyland Railroad? Guests can answer this question and two others spread throughout the museum.

5th Annual Transportation Museum:
Saturday, August 4, 2012 


More details on the exhibits at the 2012 museum are coming soon...

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