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DC-micromotors from FAULHABER provide for the movement of miniature models

The reason being that Miniatur Wunderland offers much more than 'just' a huge model railway. In addition to the 1,166 trains, which travel several hundred kilometres each day, visitors of all generations can observe the 10,330 automobiles and ships and even more than 280,000 tiny residents. They visit big festivals or memorial ceremonies, police set up radar traps and chase after criminals, the fire brigade is constantly responding to calls − life in all its varied facets can be seen in Wunderland. From the engineering hangar to the arrivals and departures terminal, the airport amazes with its many dotingly meticulous details. 52 airplanes start and land here daily.

Unique technology

The impressive scenery conceals one-of-a-kind high-tech: "One of our key principles has always been to face every technical challenge, no matter how hopeless the situation might seem at the outset. With this attitude we have managed to create technologies which cause amazement among visitors", says Gerrit Braun, who founded Miniatur Wunderland together with his brother Frederik. Some 500,000 lights, which dynamically switch on and off, combined with a self-developed light control system provide for a nearly perfect day and night simulation. Numerous vehicles and aircraft are computer-controlled or can be set in motion by visitors with one of the more than 200 pushbuttons.

DC-micromotors from FAULHABER provide for the movement of miniature models
The little fire brigade and many trains are driven by FAULHABER motors.

Drives from FAULHABER

For many of these pushbutton-activated functions, the DC-micromotors from FAULHABER provide for the movement. "We employ various FAULHABER series depending on what the purpose requires", explains system technician Mathias Stamm. For the aircraft models of the Knuffingen Airport, motors of the 1717 series are utilised. The little fire brigade of the airport and many trains are also driven by FAULHABER motors. For example, the intricate 1524 motors provide for the movement of a roll-up gate. "There, the motor is internally integrated and upwardly winds the gate around itself", describes Stamm.

Reliable and professional

What speaks in favour of FAULHABER motors, in Mathias Stamm's opinion, is for one thing the technical reliability. "The FAULHABER motors are of the utmost in quality and run maintenance-free", emphasizes the technician. For another thing, it is the professional support, that has also convinced him. "We order somewhat smaller quantities", mentions Stamm. "Nevertheless, when questions arise we have direct access to the telephone support of FAULHABER."

DC-micromotors from FAULHABER provide for the movement of miniature models
The motors provide for the movement of a roll-up gate. There, the motor is internally integrated and upwardly winds the gate around itself.

Miniature train races in British television

In 2011 the Miniatur Wunderland was also able to score points at a special event for British television thanks to FAULHABER technology. The well-known BBC presenter James May appeared in a miniature train competition against Miniatur Wunderland in his Sunday evening show. The task was to most quickly travel the nine miles (which corresponds to roughly 15 kilometres) of railway line from Bideford to Barnstaple, which is no longer in use today, with a model railway. Accordingly, the stretch was first laid with small rail tracks before the start of the race. For the show, Miniatur Wunderland came up with a special gag. "We developed a train that ran on sauerkraut fuel. We then had it dramatically blown up half way there, but with another train we were first to cross the finish line", recounts Gerrit Braun. The locomotives for this race had been first refitted with FAULHABER micromotors in order to be up to the demanding task.

Two brothers and one idea

The early days of the impressive Miniatur Wunderland go back to the summer of 2000. It was Frederik Braun who, during a stroll through the Alpine metropolis of Zurich, had the flash of inspiration. He was ambling through the back alleyways of downtown Zurich and stumbled upon a model train shop that rekindled his childhood memories and inspired him to a vision. On the very same day he called his twin brother Gerrit and proposed building the world's greatest model railway. The project was born. Soon, construction began on the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg's Speicherstadt district, and the work continues to this date. Up to now, the facility has grown to eleven sections covering over 1,610 square metres. 400 employees build and maintain it, and take care of the visitors.

DC-micromotors from FAULHABER provide for the movement of miniature models

By 2020 four further sections were added, including an Italian section. Over the space of 150 square metres, well-known Italian cities, dreamy vistas and mountain panoramas, architectural masterpieces and the Roman tramway are now displayed in small-scale. In addition to the Italian capital city of Rome, parts of Venice – with the golden Saint Mark's Basilica – were included, just as well as the volcano Vesuvius and the buried city of Pompei.

Facts and figures on the facility

Surface area
Miniatur Wunderland leased floorspace: 10,000 m²
Model area: 1,610 m²

General data
Construction time: approx. 1,050,000 work hours
Employees: 400
Sections: 11
Construction costs: EUR 39,200,000

Railway data
Total track length: 16,491 m
Trains: 1,166
Rail carriages: over 10,645
Longest train: 14.51 m
Signals: 1,392
Switches: 3,627
Computers: 55
Lights: approx. 498,500
Buildings & bridges: 4,669
Human figurines: 289,410
Automobiles: 10,330
Aircraft (flying): 52
Trees: 145,000



1717 ... SR
Precious Metal Commutation
Product details
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1524 ... SR
Precious Metal Commutation
Product details
Data sheet (PDF)
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