Exploring the World’s Largest Model Railway

Once Aircraft Interiors Expo and the World Travel Catering Expo were over, my friend and I had spare time in the afternoon to visit Hamburg. We used the Hamburg U-Bahn underground and headed to Miniatur Wunderland.

Opened in 2000, Miniatur Wunderland is the world’s largest model railway and also one of the most popular permanent exhibition in Northern Germany. As of today, there are nine sections of the Wunderland which are Hartz/Central Germany, Knuffingen, Alps/Austria, Hamburg, United States, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Knuffingen Airport and Italy. The work is far from over as the team is working on expanding the exhibition thru the following years to come.

The Knuffingen Airport was definitely my favourite section of Miniatur Wunderland. I wonder why?

The Knuffingen Airport was definitely my favourite section of Miniatur Wunderland. I wonder why?

I personally thought the airport was awesome. The designers paid attention to every detail. One thing that is amazing about this airport is that you can visually see the aircraft takeoff and land on the runway. Additionally, the planes can move around the airport and even head to a gate. Once the aircraft is parked at a gate, the jet bridge will move and align with the aircraft’s main door.

A Gate Gourmet truck loaded with beverages and meals.

A Gate Gourmet truck loaded with beverages and meals.

Even the baggage loading vehicles and the catering truck pictured above can move around the airport. The airport, the planes and the small trucks all had lights. You could even see the orange blinker of a truck that was turning left or right at an intersection.

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From back to front: Lufthansa (Boeing 747), Air Berlin (Airbus A330), Air France (Boeing 777), China Eastern (Airbus A330) and Emirates (Boeing 777).

The airport's schedule.

The airport’s schedule.

It was cool to see the actual schedule of the airport published. While looking at the schedule, you could anticipate what aircraft and airline would be the next departure and arrival.

Even though we spent most of our time at the model airport, we managed to visit the nine sections of the exhibition. There was a lot to see!

Grand Canyon, Nevada.

Grand Canyon, Nevada.

Pictured above is the Grand Canyon that can be found in the state of Nevada. It was fascinating to see the lively city of Las Vegas at night.

Train station.

Train station.

Visitors can find railways in multiple sections of the exhibition. Like the airplanes, the  trains move around the cities from station to station.

I would call it a "Centre of Operations."

I would call it the “Centre of Operations.”

It was intriguing to see “behind the scenes” of how everything worked to make this Miniatur Wunderland an attractive place to stop by. I believe these employees were  controlling and monitoring some of the trains, cars, boats, airplanes, aerial tramways, chairlifts, etc. I am sure there is automation involved but they need humans to make everything work perfectly.

I really enjoyed spending a few hours in this “miniature world.” If you visit Hamburg, I would totally recommend you to go take a look. Tickets are only €9 per person!

Until next time!

Nicolas

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Nicolas

About Nicolas

Nicolas – Intern with Montreal International Airport, Finance Department
Major: Aviation Business Administration
Hometown: Montreal, Canada Campus Involvement: Airport Management Club, National Business Aviation Administration, International Student Programing Council and student assistant in the College of Business
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: Its worldwide reputation, opportunities and everyone’s love for aviation

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