Hamburg, Germany has the largest model railway in the world – The Miniatur Wunderland.
Miniature Wunderland is Hamburg's #1 tourist attraction and attracts 1.3 million visitors from all over the world. It’s particularly distinguished by its high level of detail; 260,000+ figurines, driving trains, cars, ships, and more.
How Everything Began
The project of twin brothers Gerrit and Frederik Braun, and Stephan Hertz was laughed at by many at first. But that all ended when it opened 2001, the model complex invites you to dream and sparks imagination, highlights current events, and is committed to charity.
Delphi Literally Keeps the Trains Running on Time
There is a vast software landscape that has been developed with Delphi since the beginning, it controls various operations at the model complex.
- The vehicle controller is responsible for the control of vehicles, aircraft, and ships.
- The lighting control system that controls all park, vehicle, and display lighting for imposing day and night scenes.
- The train control "Railware" which is a Delphi program that controls the entire train system.
- The command distributor ("The Brain") provides for the synchronization of the various systems. For example, it ensures that all software systems have the same Wunderland time. The command distributor operates through a self-developed, ultra-compact binary protocol, which can transport information with the least possible delay and is even robust against single-system failures.
All these and other programs run together in the "control room" (pictured above) where the technicians have the entire system in view and can react to events. The IT infrastructure was deliberately decentralized in order to achieve a higher level of security against failures. Although rare, but unfortunately unavoidable, hardware defects are thereby limited in their effects to only a single park section or even part of section.
The official video of Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg shows an overview of the largest model railroad system in the world. The 14,000 square-foot facility is home to well over a thousand trains, airplanes, cars and ships. All powered by Delphi!