Miniatur Wunderland Weekly Report

27.08.01 at 13:16 hrs


Weekly Report No. 43, CW 34

From Monday, 20.08.2001 to Sunday, 26.08.2001

Finally, we found some time... After having recovered from the opening stress and the Cologne Fair, we found some time to upload a couple of pictures. First of all, a big "SORRY!" to those, who looked for photos during the last days - we simply couldn't make it.

The good news is: We resolved many startup-problems and slowly, everything is stabilizing. After all, we could go back to building the layout with a couple of team members, instead of "just" eliminating mistakes ;-)

Well, it *is* quite a task to run such a large layout in a reliable automatic mode.

But now a review of the passed couple of days: One could almost physically feel the tension the week before the opening. A team of electronics even brought their camp beds in (!!!) and didn't go home during the last 5 days! Actually, there wasn't much sleep for everybody (2-3 hours at the most). The team went far beyond any physical border and achieved almost super human goals. It went that far, that some of them postponed their vacation or friends returned early from their vacation just to lend a helping hand during the final lap! Many, many thanks to the team and all supporters!

Exceptional thanks go also the Haurg authorities, resp. their employees, who conducted nessessary inspections during the last days and so made the opening conform to involved laws and regulations.

Fireless locomotive in the Speicherstadt

And so it could happen, that on Thursday (the day of the opening) early morning at 6 o'clock the Hamburg based company Thömen showed up with two 100 ton cranes to bring our loco! We bought the fireless engine (built by Henschel, wheel arrangement 0-2-0) a couple of days ago from VVM (Verein Verkehrsamateure Aumühle => Club of Publi Transport Amateurs Aumühle) and restored it to show condition within 5 days.


Fireless locomotive in the Speicherstadt

The Hamburg Port Authorities donated a piece of track and so the engine is now parked in front of our entrance door. We also would like to mention that this "ad-hoc" action would not have been possible without the help of Mr. Dr. Behn of the HHLA, who personally arranghed for the needed permits.


Mayor Ortwin Runde during his speech

Mayor Ortwin Runde during his speech


The Wunderland management during the inauguration speech

The Wunderland management during the inauguration speech. From left: Jochen Braun, Frederik und Gerrit Braun, and Stephan Hertz.


The mayor starts the first train

The mayor ...


The mayor starts the first train

...starts the first train.


TV teams during the opening ceremony

Because of all the cameras, hardly anything of the action could actually be seen. To make up for this, more or less all TV stations (NDR, RTL, SAT1, K1, VOX, etc.) broadcasted their reports throughout the day.


TV teams during the opening ceremony

Reuters produced a 2-minute report that was sold worldwide and, amongst others, was broadcasted in the news in Brasil, Canada and Portugal.


Gerrit introduces the Car System...

Gerrit introduces the Car System...


The Swiss Alps

Hard to believe but even section 1.3, the Swiss Alps, was finished in time. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to program a decent train frequency, so very few trains ran during the opening day.


A cloister in the lake

Eye catcher at the layout's fascia: a cloister on an island. I think, much of the needed suppport during the last days before the opening and, most of all, for the days after the ceremony, came from here.


Visitors during the opening day

From noon on, the first visitors flooded the layout.


Visitors during the opening day

Since then, we receive tons of emails. This is absolutely great but unfortunately, we hardly find time to react.


Visitors during the opening day

Therefore, we kindly ask you to post your questions to the forum because there are a *lot* more people being able to answer your questions. ;-)