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entry 1 Sep 2013, 21:47
Early this year my wife informed me that a friend with whom she shares a common interest had discovered a four day course which was to take place in northern Germany, or to be more specific be based in Hamburg. I would not be attending the course but she thought it would be nice if I accompanied her to Hamburg in any case. As a railway modeller, I did not need to be asked twice for I knew about the Hamburg Miniature Wonderland but had never quite worked out how to incorporate a visit to Hamburg as part of a holiday. Now that problem had been solved for me smile.gif

The Hamburg Miniature Wonderland is based in three floors of a former early 20th century warehousing complex known as "Speicherstadt". This is located on the northern Elbe close to the city centre. At about 9:30 am on Tuesday August 27th, I arrived...



The entrace is situated on the second floor. The first model area is on the third floor. At the time of my visit, construction of the new Italy section was in its very early stages. As an appetiser for the main event, there was a series of small diaramas each about 3ft square depicting the change in human use of a small piece of geography starting with settled village from pre-history, passing through medieval, renaissance, enlightenment, industrial revolution, first world war and second world war periods. Above each diarama there was a slide show with captions in english highlighting points of interest. It probably took me about an hour to work my way through this area.

The Miniature Wonderland "proper" begins with Switzerland. As you come through the door and wait for your turn to get a place at the barrier (there have been 10 million visitors so far) you see this model of a Swiss station with mountains towering up behind it rising into the floor above.



The trains are just a small part of the landscape as you can see from this hillside and vineyards



Another view of the station. There is a model of the Loetschburg tunnel car train to the left of the picture.



The mountains are rugged and tall and some of the bridges are higher still.



The light levels are quite low so it is difficult to take "fast" photos with a multi purpose zoom lens. Most moving trains appear a bit blurred but this shot of the Glacier Express has just about come out ok.



There are lots of "little jokes" scattered about the Miniature Wonderland. These three road rollers all move back and forth along the road, including the one at the rear of the group.



There are some nice intimate scenes such as this river valley in among the big set pieces. The bridge sort of obscures the fuzziness of the double headed crocodiles. The branch line also carries a large number of trains; they are not just decorations.



The days are short in Miniature Wonderland - about 15 minutes. When the lights go down, scenes such as this rock concert come alive.



This interesting BLS double unit was stopped on the branchline so I was able to get a reasonably good photo.



I'm not sure everything is quite to full scale. The Wonderland is more a memoir than an exact replica. I am sure that Chateau Chillon near Montreau was larger than this when I saw it a couple of years ago. I still wanted the photo and had to wait quite some time to get a clear shot which did not have someones hand or camera in the way!



There is some very nice modelling on show, such as this mountain village.



That's all for now. I think it is going to take some time to work my way through the photos, selecting the good ones, resizing, uploading and then adding some text. I've no idea how long the process will take but it's not going to be quick. Whilst I particularly like Switzerland and its trains and may have taken rather a lot of photos, other areas in Wonderland include - more Switzerland, Bavaria, the airport, Austria, middle Germany, Hamburg, Scandinavia and the USA.

Thanks for looking. Check back in a few days for the next installment.

David

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post 1 Sep 2013, 23:17
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Minister of Transport
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Fantastic, great photos David,

regards

Neil


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post 1 Sep 2013, 23:48
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Station Master
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Reminds me slightly (you'll understand that comment in a while) of my visit there.

Some years back we visited the Christmas market (Bruges is better) and expected it to be rather cold - it wasn't but our hotel had a flyer for this place so we set out after breakfast with a vague idea of where it was. As stated it wasn't cold but this particular morning was heavy fog! and when we eventually found the place it loomed out of the fog rather than sitting there in bright sunshine.

Absolutely fascinating place and I thought the trains running under the floors were a great idea (Perspex? roofed tunnels); at that time they also had a "fire" in one of the streets complete with police, fire engines etc coming to attend - don't know what road system they were using but very effective. My only disappointment was that most stock was diesel/electric hauled but that was OK.

Must try and get back some day.


Hugh
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dwb
post 2 Sep 2013, 19:11
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Station cat
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QUOTE
Fantastic, great photos David




Thanks Neil. There's a lot more where those came from.

QUOTE
they also had a "fire" in one of the streets complete with police, fire engines etc coming to attend


That's in the Hamburg section and still there. I think I have the top part of the blazing building in one of my photos. I was concentrating on the U-Bahn station which is effectively just across the river from the Wonderland building

David



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