The Miniatur Wunderland (MiWuLa) in Hamburg is the largest model railroad system in the world. It is located in the historical Speicherstadt and is operated by Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg GmbH. On the 1490-square-meter plant surface, a total of 15.4 kilometers of tracks (as of October 2016) are in 1:87 scale (nominal size H0, approximately 1,340 kilometers of railroad tracks), with some 1040 digitally controlled trains running.
View of the Hamburg section
The visitors walk in a long hall between different rooms. The trains run along the walls of the room and on peninsular bulges. The plant (as of September 2016) consists of nine completed sections of 60 to 300 m² each.
The first three sections were created in parallel. They show Middle and Southern Germany with the Harz, as well as a long ICE high-speed road.
The fictitious city of Knuffingen received as a special feature a road system with driving cars.
In the Austrian section, the theme was the implementation of the Alps theme, including a multi-storey Wendel, from which trains from the remaining sections crossed the Flurseite above the heads of the visitors.
The next version includes the section on the topic of Hamburg, German coast.
The US section includes Las Vegas, Miami, some Wild West, a system of driving cars and a space shuttle station.
The Scandinavian section focuses on a real water surface: computer-controlled vessels are to be used in the 30,000-liter North Sea Baltic Sea tank. At this time, manual control is still required. Even tide and flood are simulated here. The "sea" is crossed by a miniature store bridge bridge. A mining company recalls Kiruna.
The Swiss Alps stretching over two floors are modeled on the landscapes of the Cantons of Ticino and Graubünden and were completed in November 2007. The mountains reach almost six meters in height thanks to an overburden on a total area of 100 m². The visitors reach this new level via stairs, while the trains in hidden bends and in a loco lift overcome the differences in altitude.
The "Knuffingen Airport" section was opened in May 2011 after around six years of construction and development and 3.5 million euros in investments. You can see a 150 m² airport with a unique airport control system.
A small section is the Hafencity with the Elbphilharmonie. In May 2012 was started with the planning and in August the same year with the construction. A total of 9 m² were available, 10 selected houses were built on this area. The opening was on 13 November 2013 and was broadcast by Livestream.
In 2014 an excursion to I
In the summer of 2000, Frederik Braun, one of the founders of Miniatur Wunderland, was on holiday in Zurich. There, in a model railway business, he came up with the idea of the largest model railroad system in the world. At home, Frederik sought e-mail addresses from the Internet and launched a survey on the popularity of real and fictional sights of Hamburg. Miniatur Wunderland, although it did not yet exist, was voted third by the male respondents.
According to the brothers Gerrit and Frederik Braun, the original idea for the MiWuLa including financing plan was created on two DIN A4 sheets. The sponsor was the Hamburger Sparkasse, supported by guarantees from the owners and later to the construction of a first bistro of the Bürgschaftsgemeinschaft Hamburg.
After the start of construction in December 2000, the first three plant sections (Knuffingen, Mitteldeutschland and Austria) went into operation on August 16, Since then, new plant components have been constantly added. With the completion of the section Hamburg, German coast in November 2002, the wonderland became the largest model railway in Europe. The extensions in December 2003 (USA) and July 2005 (Scandinavia) ultimately brought Hamburg to its goal of building the world's largest model railroad system. The facility was financed without public funds.
On March 26, 2010, the company founders Frederik and Gerrit Braun as well as Stephan Hertz were awarded the merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for their social commitment. In 2012, Miniatur Wunderland was nominated for the Michelleti Award, the best engineering and industrial museum in Europe.
On December 5, 2012, the ten million visitor came to Miniatur Wunderland, on 13 August 2014 it was twelve million visitors.
On September 10, 2015 Gerrit and Frederik Braun put the missing railway line between Switzerland and the new Italy section. Thus, they extended the track length from 13,000 meters to 15,400 meters. This was done by