Minatur Wunderland – Hamburg Visit

I am in Germany for my annual visit to the largest model railroad layout in the world, miniature Hamburg (second to visiting my daughter and her husband who live in Germany…lol). Not a lot has changed since last year other than it seemed more crowded. They were telling us about lofty expansion plans last year but they hit some regulatory roadblocks that have slowed them down. No additional areas this year.  1.5 million visitors last year…. unbelievable!

But I saw many areas that were new to me. The layout is so big you can’t take it all in. I learned that Faller makes the cars and trucks that go over all the layouts. The charging system is in house designed but everything else is Faller. Unfortunately they don’t sell a g-scale version so I will have to work on that design.  A future project.

They were on their second major update for the ships. Still people controlled now and it doesn’t look like to me that v2.0 will work but we will see. V1 was infrared sensor control. V2 is infrared cameras. New cameras all over the place but the software not able to control the ships. Still mind boggling what they have done.

I took the behind the scenes tour again and it was fantastic. A great in depth tour of the layout and you see so much when it is pointed out.

Lots of good ideas for future additions to my layout. The children love the ability to push buttons and have activities happen.  Little hidden areas with crazy things happening are also a big hit. The more activity on the layout the better.

LEDs in the buildings were great. LEDs on the cars even the ones not. moving were great. They had a new feature on high rise office buildings where the windows lighted up and spelled words.

The use of magnets to move figures around is quite innovative.  It is great

Crazy people figures doing crazy things a big hit. Spider-Man was on 3 buildings. Lots of sirens, fire trucks and police created a lot of interest. Construction projects with activity were also a big hit.

I saw many opportunities to expand my layout. But of course the base is a reliable train system. Though interesting enough, I saw many train problems watching the people assigned to monitor the activity. They got up quite often to fix a problem here or there. I need a crew like that to keep my layout running, wait I did that with Dominic and Brandon for the National Convention.

One of the things they talked about was the hours of continuous use the cars, locos, and equipment are subjected to. These off the shelf units weren’t designed for such continuous use. To help with this, only about 10% of the trains are moving at one time. The other 90% are hidden away under the layout, under mountains or at a train stop.

I still need to work on layout reliability, which is compounded by being outdoors. Many plans this fall to improve.  These include new rail clamps (Split Jaw everywhere) and new wiring protected better.

While visiting Haley and Renato I also got to visit my favorite train store here in Hannover.

Faller auto car

Miniature Model

Train store

 

 

 

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