Operating sites of the Carsystem

Thus far you can find the Carsystem in four of our theme worlds: Knuffingen, USA, Scandinavia and Knuffingen Airport.

  • Knuffingen

    Knuffingen Blitzer Radar

    The Carsystem in the Knuffingen section is the oldest and biggest Carsystem in all of Wunderland. It stretches out over the entire section. Heart of the system is its fiddleyard which can hold up to 250 vehicles and is hidden behind a mountain at the end of the motorway. Heart of the facility is a fiddleyard which can hold up to 250 vehicles and is hidden behind a mountain at the end of the motorway. On the right hand side of the motorway there is a small fiddleyard for reversing, to make sure a vehicle will not return to the oncoming lane before it has waited its turn in line. The fiddleyard is also home to 10 permanently stationed vehicles, which support the Knuffingen fire department in larger emergency operations.

    On the perimeter of the middle land tongue, the town of Knuffingen was built, being the visible center point of the layout. This is where a bus station with six bus routes, a taxi station which can accommodate up to six cabs, the main fire station house with nine gates and the police station are situated (these are of course just the buildings integrated into the Carsystem). The town can be accessed via two motorway exits: the left one using an underpass below the station tracks and the right one being a bridge crossing the tracks. At the end of the land tongue (see the bottom of the image) is a part with mostly country roads. The total of the Carsystem roadway adds up to 330 meters and has about 200 electrical turn-outs. The Carsystem can accomodate up to 312 vehicles (= amount of parking spaces). This section contains an automated docking station with 32 computer controlled payload bays, which are used by the vehicles from Knuffingen Airport, as well.

    The layout has two big crossroads, equipped with realistic traffic lights. Both sets of traffic lights are synchronized, to provide green lights all the way. Just the configuration of the control system took some 30 hours to program, since the traffic light phases include a separate sequence for the cars to turn left or right without colliding with oncoming traffic. Although in comparison to the thousands of hours invested in the development of the Carsystem, the development of the traffic light phases was peanuts.

    Fire fighter missions dominate the scene in Knuffingen - one of the safest work places within the Wunderland is a job as a fire fighter. In average, every 15 minutes the brigade is called to one of five big rescue scenarios. Additionally, every 15 minutes the trucks leave for one of the six smaller rescue scenarios. Since the completion of the airport, the “Knuffingen Airport Fire Department” supports the Knuffingen Fire Department with additional fire protection and has jurisdiction of all emergency landings.

  • USA

    Amerika Bahnuebergang Lok

    The USA holds Wunderland's second largest Carsystem, it's most important part being again the fiddleyard for almost 300 vehicles. The heart of this Carsystem is a fiddle yard with 10000 parking spaces, located in the middle of the layout, which can be reached via a four lane freeway. The highlights on this freeway are a very high traffic volume and two fire truck scenarios “traffic accident with holdup” (up to 52 vehicles = 8 meters of traffic jam) and “bushfire“. And the ultra-realistic traffic management system, of course. Taking the exit from the freeway, the vehicles get on the road to Vegas.

    The highlight for miniature USA driving on this Carsystem route is most certainly the passage through Grand Canyon, even though the road has a section with only one lane, requiring oncoming traffic to adjust, as well as the crossing of a beautiful wooden bridge through the Everglades.

    In this section we also realized a computer controlled truck embarkation onto trains for the first time. In Europe, this is called a “rolling road”, while American railroaders speak of “TOFC” (trailer on flat car). Up to five trucks drive onto the train all by themselves. After the train has been loaded, it carries its heavy load through the Wunderland, to return at a time unknown and unload the trucks again.

    We don’t know whether  it is a common belief in the USA that fires can be put out more quickly if you have more blue flashing lights on the truck. Our maneuverable miniature US fire brigade are outfitted with up to 62 lights each. We have chosen to remodel the vehicles of the New York Fire Department and have programmed each light on each truck to flash in the original order. This was only possible in cooperation with a New York fire station.

    In order to steer the iconic “road trains”, trucks with up to three trailers, across the American streets without collision, numerous adjustments to our controlling software were necessary.

    This section contains a 16 spaces docking station and, as in Knuffingen, has more than 200 divergences on a total length of roughly 300 meters. 70 vehicles can drive on the surface without causing considerable traffic delays.

  • Scandinavia

    Skandinavien Lkw Nacht

    The Carsystem in this section is a bit smaller, but comprises a ferry loading dock. Upon completion of the computer-controlled ship navigation system, the vehicles will be loaded automatically on two car ferries.

    There is a charging point with 8 charging spaces and a fiddleyard for 72 vehicles. As a special feature, ambulance vehicles, stationed in Denmark, cross the large bridge in order to respond to emergency calls from as far as Norway. They have to circumnavigate a long traffic jam on the Storebelt bridge.

  • Knuffingen Airport

    Flughafen Start Lufthansa Nacht

    The airport contains the most sophisticated of Wunderland's Carsystems, since the airport traffic requires specific processing and car control functionality. The airplane control mechanism actually was adapted from the Carsystem and, as a novelty, uses infrared technology for data transfer purposes.

    In contrast to the Carsystem vehicles from the early days, the new vehicles at the Knuffingen airport receive all their data via infrared. This allows dynamic driving and lights, flashers and gears can be operated while the vehicle is in motion. Furthermore the infrared allows better analysis of the position of the vehicle on the site, therefore the vehicles can move in closer vicinity to each other.

    Building the Carsystem vehicles at the airport proved to be a special challenge for our team. Putting more and more technology into shrinking cars only worked with many modifications. Especially complicated were the rather tiny vehicles for the cleaners inside the airport, because all components had to be built compatible, so they could quickly be exchanged when in repair. The absolute highlight though is the gangway. It took a lot of detail work until all the electronics of the Carsystem and all the batteries could be installed.

    Further vehicles to be found at the airport are: road tankers, catering trucks, de-icers, septic tank trucks, garbage trucks, luggage trolleys, dispenser vehicles, airport buses (for the passengers), crew buses, snow blowers  and vehicles for the ground personnel.

    You will not find the black and yellow follow me cars at Knuffingen airport, which normally drive on the airfield in front of the airplane to show the pilot the way. If the technology is too small it is too complicated to synchronize two cars with one another, when they are taking the same route. Even engines that are identical in construction have different operating characteristics. We therefore have developed a guidance system for airplanes working solely through the line management markings, showing the pilot the right way. In reality similar systems are already in use, for instance at the London and Munich airports. So our idea is not completely out of line.