The San Diego Electric Railway Association (SDERA) is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the San Diego Electric Railway – San Diego’s primary streetcar system which operated from the late 1800s to 1949. SDERA is also the operator of the National City Depot, an historic Santa Fe railroad station. We operate a streetcar and railroad history museum within the depot, and the depot is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. An O-Scale model railroad exhibit, operated by our 3-Rail group, is also included in the museum displays. All train buffs, local historians, and people looking for an interesting “day out” in the San Diego area are encouraged to visit the depot, join with us, and help us grow into a major destination within San Diego County.
National City Depot Museum
Unknown to most of the region, National City has its roots in the railroad. Originally constructed by the California Southern Railroad in 1882, this unique building served to bring in new property owners and prosperity to the budding National City. The two-story building is still at the same location alongside the active Santa Fe (now BNSF) train tracks as it was originally.
The San Diego Electric Railway Association operates and maintains the National City Depot Museum focusing on San Diego’s rich streetcar and rail history. The building has been lovingly restored and our volunteers work to ensure that it will be around for generations to come.
Come visit the National City Depot and meet some of our collection of Rail History. Each have a connection to San Diego rail history – even if brief – and offer an insight into the evolution of transportation in our region.