It is easy to be impressed by the intricacy of these mechanical masterpieces of yesteryear: elegant locomotives and proud traction engines show off their prowess in small format as they wind their way around the world's largest 5 inch and 7¼ inch model railway layout in Halls B1 and B2 at Messe Friedrichshafen.
The impressive track layout is the heart and soul of the exhibition. Over 4,000 metres of track are laid out, a shunting yard, transfer table, points, turntable and loading terminal guarantee realistic and smooth rail traffic. The layout is designed to be walkable for visitors, so there is always something new to see. Lorries are loaded up, containers unloaded, silos emptied and above all steam engines driving around the tracks for miles on end. Sheer steampunk: When the participating model owners breathe life into their steam models, the hall comes alive with the sounds of hissing steam, whistling engines and tooting horns.
But it's not only the engine drivers who get to enjoy the ride and the whiff of steam around their nostrils. Spectators too can take a ride on the combined 5 inch and 7¼ inch gauge steam railway (for a small fee), puffing around the tracks among the participants' light railway and narrow gauge locomotives.
If you too would like to take part with your own steam locomotive, you can register with the following form: