They think small in Hamburg. How else would they fit so many iconic railway journeys under the one roof: Germany, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, America
Me. I’m waiting in a station in the Alps, well obviously not the actual mountains, but this is certainly how the Lilliputians would have built them. And it is how twins Frederik and Gerrit Braun and their nightclub owner partner Stephan Hertz conceived them.
This is the Miniature Wonderland which was opened in 2001 in Kehrweider in the historic Speicherstadt or Warhehouse district of Hamburg, and I’m playing with the biggest model train set in the world, pressing all kinds of buttons to switch lights on and off.
So that’s 1,040 gains over 15,400m (or a mile) of track with 263,000 figures and the exhibits taking up around a quarter of the 73,000sqft of floorspace.
Over nine sections, the project is not finished yet and they aim to add on France and England/Scotland.
Ireland? A few years off yet but any replica of our DART network would have to come with a loudspeaker announcing cancelled and late trains, the trains moving intermittently while the 6pm back to Greystones, Co. Wicklow would have all the passengers crammed into the carriages like sardines.