The Three Largest Model Train Layouts in the World
There are three model railroads that make the claim as the largest model train layout in the world – Northlandz in the United States, Miniatur Wunderland in Germany, and the Grand Maket Rossiya in Russia. Each is the largest in its respective country, for sure. Let’s look at all three.
We’ll look at each in alphabetical order, starting with the Grand Maket Rossiya (Grand Model of Russia). Easily the largest model train layout in Russia, the Grand Maket Rossiya is located in St. Petersburg. The layout is 8,611 sq. ft. (800 m2) in size, has 1.55 miles (2.5 km) of 1:87 (HO scale) track, and has 250 locomotives, ten special cleaning trains, and a total of 2,700 pieces of rolling stock.
More than just a model train layout, the Grand Maket Rossiya is envisioned as an “image of everyday life in Russia”. It also features the largest HO scale airport (complete with airliners taxiing on the runways), roads with moving traffic, parades in small towns, farms with moving animals, and more. The layout and its original creator, Sergey Morozov, have won numerous tourism, technical, and business awards.
This 30-minute documentary gives a great overview, history, and technical look at that layout:
Miniatur Wunderland (Miniature Wonderland) is located in Hamburg. It is 4,888 sq. ft. (1,490 m2) in size, has 9.5 miles (15.29 km) of HO scale (1:87) track, up 1,000 total trains ready to roll, and 10,000 total pieces of rolling stock.
Miniatur Wunderland is a fantastical and fantastically well done model train layout that depicts not just Germany, but also Austria, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Italy, and the United States. Future plans call for the layout to also depict England/Scotland, Monaco, Wales/Ireland, and France – and possibly even parts of Africa and Australia.
This 35- minute video by the Swiss RC Channel is a great look at the Miniatur Wunderland:
Northlandz is located in Flemington, New Jersey, inside a 52,000 sq. ft. (15,850 m2) building. It features 8 miles (12.88 km) of track and can operate up to 100 trains at once.
Although primarily depicting North American railroading, Northlandz is quite fantastical, like Germany’s Miniatur Wunderland. It has 30 ft. (9.14 m) high mountains, numerous canyons, and dozens of bridges. With the length of the track it can take a train more than 10 minutes to complete a single loop around the layout.
This 45-minute video presents a great look at the layout and its history:
So there you have it, the three largest model train layouts in the world. If you are able to do so, visit them in person. If you can’t visit in person, the videos here, and others that can be found on each layouts web site, can give you a great feel for them.
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