|Type||Limited liability company
(Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung)
|Key people||Frederik & Gerrit Braun, Stephan Hertz|
Miniatur Wunderland (German for miniature wonderland) is a model railway attraction in Hamburg, Germany, and one of the largest of its kind in the world, built by the twins Gerrit and Frederik Braun. In January 2011 the railway consisted of 12,000 metres (39,370 ft) of track in HO scale, divided into seven sections: Harz, the fictitious city of Knuffingen, the Alps and Austria, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia, and Switzerland. Of the 6,400 square metres (68,889 sq ft) of floorspace, the model takes 1,150 m2 (12,378 sq ft).
By 2020, the exhibit is expected to have reached its final construction phase, including at least a total of ten new sections in a model area of over 2,300 m2 (24,757 sq ft). The next section covering an airport opened in May 2011. The exhibit includes 890 trains made up of over 11,000 carriages, 300,000 lights, 215,000 trees, and 200,000 human figurines. The creators will work on models of Italy and France now that the airport section is completed. The airport is named Knuffingen International Airport and is modeled after Hamburg International Airport. Possible future additions include Africa, England, or a futuristic landscape.
Overview of the different sections
|1||Harz (or Middle Germany)||August 2001||c. 120 m2|
|2||Knuffingen||August 2001||c. 120 m2|
|3||Austria||August 2001||c. 60 m2|
|4||Hamburg||November 2002||c. 200 m2|
|5||America||December 2003||c. 100 m2|
|6||Scandinavia||July 2005||c. 300 m2|
|7||Switzerland||November 2007||c. 250 m2|
|8||Knuffingen Airport||May 2011||c. 150 m2|
|9||Italy||Summer 2015 (planned)||c. 170 m2|
|10||France||2017 (planned)||c. 130 m2|
In Popular Culture
Miniatur Wunderland has featured on the British Television Series James May's Toy Stories twice, with Sebastian and Gerrit helping BBC Top Gear presenter James May building a 00 scale Hornby model railway along the abandoned railway, The Tarka Trail in Barnstaple to Bideford.
It was visited in episode 6 of the BBC series Great Continental Railway Journeys, when the host, Michael Portillo not only visited the exhibition during his stay in Hamburg but also painted a figure of himself. This figure was shown being placed on a platform, dressed in his distinctively colourful jacket and shirt, carrying a copy of Bradshaw's Guide painted red.
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