Friday, November 24, 2006 at 9:33 pm
Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland
I first heard about Minatur Wunderland in an all-too-brief article in the February 2004 issue of Model Railroader. The pictures and the description astounded me: a huge layout open to the public, with hundreds of trains running on thousands of metres of tracks. But not just trains: even the automobiles were automated, running on special software. Located in Hamburg, Germany, Miniatur Wunderland bills itself as the world’s largest model railroad: once finished, it will have 15 kilometres of HO-scale track and more than 1,000 trains. It’s also a major tourist attraction (they claimed 800,000 visitors in 2004, more than anything else in Hamburg), enough so that they actually post estimated wait times for visitors. If I were touring continental Europe again, I’d consider a significant detour to see this place. But for those of us who can’t get there, the rather poorly translated web site has some more information, including a fair number of photo galleries.