Press info 01: 37th IMA – Europe’s Largest Model Railway Event Celebrates Premiere at Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre: 30 October to 1 November 2020!

Change of scenery at Europe’s largest model railway event! The 37th IMA international exhibition for model railways and accessories will take place for the first time at its new location from 30 October to 1 November 2020, and will thus celebrate its premiere in the bright, friendly exhibition halls of the popular Friedrichshafen Exhibition Centre. Relocation of the IMA from Cologne to Friedrichshafen will open up entirely new horizons for exhibitors and visitors, because the international model railway exhibition will serve as a complementary trade fair for Faszination Modellbau and the Echtdampf-Hallentreffen cult event. In other words: up with the conductor’s signalling disc, blow the whistle and off we go! A mega-event has started gathering momentum. 

The popular exhibition centre in Friedrichshafen is a firmly established event location for top-quality functional model building in Europe – with an excellent international reputation, an exceptionally good general setup, an outstanding infrastructure and high levels of service. As of 2020, this is exactly where Europe’s largest model railway event will be headed, namely the IMA international exhibition for model railways and accessories. Thanks to this relocation, trade fair promoters Messe Sinsheim GmbH will offer fans and families a globally unique mega-event for marvelling, shopping and having fun once every two years. And not only will the highlighted IMA, the leading Faszination Modellbau trade fair and the iconic steam engine meet be organised by a single promoter in the future: all three events can be attended on the same day with just a single ticket as well! 

More than 53,000 visitors from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Northern Italy are already making their annual pilgrimage to Faszination Modellbau, which is held each year in Friedrichshafen in nine halls and on the outdoor grounds. The new super event will occupy nearly all of the exhibition halls next year. The trade fair centre on Lake Constance, where Germany, Austria and Switzerland meet, will thus be fully dedicated to model building enthusiasts for three days – in particular to model railway fans. This harbours best possible potential for development within the industry sector and its community. Bright, friendly, column-free and attractive exhibition halls plus plenty of open space are standard features here. The event dates offer ideal Christmas business conditions for model railway manufacturers – more than 80% of the visitors who attend Faszination Modellbau buy products at the event in Friedrichshafen. 

Relocation has also become necessary because the Office for Public Order of the city of Cologne and the associated Regional Counsel will no longer grant approval for the IMA to open its doors before 1 p.m. on the scheduled Sunday – either in 2020 or in the future – which has always been either Germany’s national day of mourning or the last Sunday before Advent (on which the dead are commemorated). The Sinsheim Exhibition Centre was already granted special authorisation to this end in 2018. Despite intensive efforts on the part of Messe Sinsheim over the last 18 months, supported extensively by Koelnmesse Ausstellungen GmbH, to whom the promoters express their sincere thanks for this assistance, the responsible authorities have not demonstrated any tolerance and have instead simply clung strictly to their decision, without taking any of the legally possible exceptions into consideration, and have abandoned the procedure which has been in place for nearly 40 years with regard to classification of the event. 

Consequently, the responsible persons from the event marketing departments of Märklin, ROCO/Fleischmann, Tillig and Faller, as well as publishing house EK-Verlag, have already unanimously welcomed Messe Sinsheim’s decision to organise the IMA in Friedrichshafen, because it will uphold a traditional event of the model railway industry which has been around for decades. The IMA express is thus heading south and following the model-building sun – ready, set, go!


2020 Exhibition Dates

30 October to 1 November 2020 (new)


Messe Friedrichshafen (new)
Neue Messe 1
D-88046 Friedrichshafen

Opening Hours

Friday and Saturday
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets Valid for

-     International Model Railway Exhibition (IMA)
-     Faszination Modellbau
-     Echtdampf-Hallentreffen

Admission Prices
at the Box Office

Day pass, adults: €16,00

Discounted day pass: €12.00 (young people between 8 and 17 years, pupils, students, retirees and other entitled persons with ID)

Family ticket: €40.00
(2 adults plus 2 own children age 9 to 17)

Happy hour ticket: €12.00 (valid as of 3 p.m.)
Children up to 8 years of age are admitted free of charge.


We look forward to your coverage and announcements (file copies requested). 

Press contact person: Messe Sinsheim GmbH, phone: +49 (0) 7025 9206-100,
fax: +49 (0) 7025 9206-88100, e-mail: presse(at)