Miniatur Wunderland

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Miniatur Wunderland GmbH
Type Limited liability company
(Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung)
Industry Model railway
Founded 2000
Headquarters Hamburg, Germany
Key people Frederik & Gerrit Braun, Stephan Hertz
Employees 270
Website www.miniatur-wunderland.de
Miniatur Wunderland in the Speicherstadt district of Hamburg

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. As of January 2011, the railway consists 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).[1]

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).[1] 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.[1]

History[edit]

The construction of the first part started in December 2000 and the first three parts were completed in August 2001. The project was created by twin brothers Frederik and Gerrit Braun.[2]

Overview of the different sections[edit]

Section Name Completion date Size
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
11 England 2019 (planned)

Gallery[edit]

In Popular Culture[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Wunderland Facts – The Wunderland in Numbers". Retrieved 2011-01-27. 
  2. ^ "Train Trip". Kidzworld.com. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°32′38″N 9°59′20″E / 53.54389°N 9.98889°E / 53.54389; 9.98889