The world's best layout?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Donn Welton, May 19, 2003.

  1. Donn Welton

    Donn Welton Member

  2. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Sorry Donn. Can't read German so have no idea what is there.
  3. jkristia

    jkristia Member

    I don't understand german either, but I found all the pictures,

    click on
    "die anlage" - the layout
    "beschreibung" shows the track plan
    "Entstehungsfotos" shows progress pictures

    and just click on the different links and see where it takes you.

  4. Ben H

    Ben H Member

    I don't read German at all but with a little click click one can get to the stuff.

  5. Steam Donkey

    Steam Donkey Member


    Now this has got to be one of the most amazing layouts I have ever seen! The sheer size and detail are incredible, there must be hundreds if not thousands of LPBs in the soccer (football) stadium alone! The technology is even more impressive.

    My German is "nicht so gut", so with the help of AltaVista's free Babel Fish Translation ( I went surfing the all German site. I found out the whole thing is computer controlled. All trains, street and structure lights, day to night time effects, and vehicles ( and trucks) are automated.

    The HO scale cars (you've GOTTA see this!) actually drive around the layout, this is no AFX set, no slots in the road. Micro motors and steering gear move these cars around the layout, about 100 vehicles are all computer controlled by radio (I think). Headlights and turn signals work, vehicles change lanes......the fire brigade is spectacular! To see the vehicle pics, click on "Die Anlage", then "CarSystem", then "Galerie / Datenbank" . I even some video footage in there somewhere...but I can't remember where!. :rolleyes:

    Suddenly, I feel the need to travel to Germany...sprechen Sie Deutsches? :D

  6. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    Tried again and still can not find any photos
  7. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Surely not THE BEST layout...

    The Mini-Wunderland layout surely is one of the biggest layouts in the world. I dug around in the German texts - and here are a few data for you:

    The whole thing is built in three sections, covering an area of 540 square meters (that's about 6000 square ft.!) More than 500 trains with 7000 cars are running constantly (when they don't derail or a loco motor burns out :eek: :p), all controlled by computers. The majority of the trains runs on Märklin track with center contacts. Track length is some 5000 meters / 16700 ft, plus about 1000 turnouts and signals.
    BTW: The 3rd section (under construction now) will show American trains on normal two rail track and DCC.

    As Steam Donkey said, the H0 car system is stunning. Based on the FALLER car system but refined, they can run up to 300 multi-function vehicles. The star is the famous Coca Cola Christmas truck with 142 tiny (!) lamps (LEDs).

    Apart from these moving cars there are 10.000 vehicles standing around. And the landscape: 50.000 trees, 30.000 plastic people (now THIS would be something for Jon!!! :D :D :D ), 3000 buildings, 20.000 lamps/LEDs and... and... and... Total costs so far are around 2.5 million Dollars!

    CRAZY!!!! :cool: :cool: :cool:

    Seeing all this, I'm impressed, but I'm not exactly carried away. For me the railroad shows the 'spaghetti bowl syndrome' - tons of trains chasing each other around without any apparent purpose. The speed is way too high and weathering is almost non-existent. In short: It looks very toy-like. :rolleyes: The moving model cars look much more realistic to me than the trains. :(

    Perchance, last week I saw a TV feature about this Mini-Wunderland. They showed the US-part under construction. The guys just had received a pack from Walthers (contents: a few hundred locos and about 1000 cars!!! :eek: ) The camera showed them, unwrapping the kits. Sudeenly their jaws dropped, when they discovered that they had to finish most of the kits by themselves. And then they were really consternated, when they found out that some of the kits had neither trucks nor couplers. But then some of them made some rather silly remarks comparing this 'primitve American toy train stuff' with the 'high quality German Ready-to-run cars'. :mad: Not exactly an example of 'political correctness', if you ask me... :( :( :(

    Just the same: Should you visit Hamburg, have a look at this bombastic Mini-Wonderland. The entry fee of 8 Euro (about $9) is not too much, and it's great fun for sure!

    But the BEST layout??? Without hesitation I'd prefer some of the layouts of our master builders here on the Gauge for that title!

  8. toopoor

    toopoor New Member

    Im sick

    That layout made me nauseaus, I had to stop looking at it. Boy do I have a long way to go on my medium layout.
  9. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Hey toopoor, never, n-e-v-e-r, N-E-V-E-R feel inferior to an other layout builder!

    What you do with your fantasy, with your hands with your abilities is YOUR work. Simply be proud of all that, what you've done yourself - nobody can take away the fun and the satisfaction you get by building up YOUR small world. And that's about the most important thing in this fantastic hobby!

    We all admire the work of the great masters of our hobby - be it a John Allen, Dave Frary & Bob Hayden, Allen McClelland, Jim Hediger - or a Matthyro, Shamus, spitfire, Tyson Rayles and, and, and... right here on the Gauge! (Sorry for all of you I left out! :D :D :D) Use the quality of these masters's workmanship as an inspiration, as an aim you'd like to achieve.

    But NEVER make the mistake to think, that something which is bigger than that what you could ever build, is better than your work. Hey - these guys on Mini-Wonderland (it's a team of around 20 full-time working persons!!! :eek: ) run on a million $ budget. That's out of reach of anybody here at the Gauge, I guess. And... so what?

    As I said before: I'll prefer anytime a tiny layout, which is built to the personal satisfaction of the builder, to a Guinness record monster, which is fun to look at, but not more than that.

    Dou YOUR thing and be proud of it! That's the way to go! :) :) :) :) :)

  10. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    RailRon is right. There is a fine line between that which inspires and that which is so beyond our skills that it makes us feel inadequate. But, rest assured that this line is always moving. The more you progress as a modeller, the more things fall into the inspiration category.

    When I look at this layout, which is totally awesome no matter how you slice it, the thing that makes me feel most "inadequate" is all the electrical work. As far as the buildings, vehicles and people - that's only money on display.

    So, build your own little slice of heaven - and smile!

  11. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    Amazing site! The hobby is alive and well and Germany1
  12. Blake

    Blake Member


    Greatin stuffin dot ish!! It's just plain uber! Could you believe that soccer stadium with all of the fans!!
  13. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    The thing I like most about the gauge, is that there are people here who can do far better than I at various facets of model railroading.
    I accept the challenge it presents, to do better, and I enjoy being on the learning curve. None of us here started out at the level we've since achieved. We weren't sickened by excellence, we were inspired. Do the best you can, and be inspired to improve. Most of all, Have fun!

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