Miniatures, dioramas and scale models are scaled (or not so scaled) representations of other objects, which attract traveller interest. Created by skilled model-makers, the objects modelled, the scales used, and the level of detail can be incredible.
- Worldwide, there are several Legoland parks, based around models made using the small plastic bricks.
- 1 Cockington Green Gardens, Canberra. A miniature display village featuring a traditional English village and international display, train rides.
- 2 Amaze Miniature Park, 24 Husband Road, Barragup, Western Australia, ☏ +61 8 9595 1299, email@example.com.
- 3 Becknscot, Beaconsfield, HP9 2PL.
- 4 Babbacombe Model Village, Torquay, TQ1 3LA.
- 5 Model Village, Bourton-on-the-Water, GL54 2AF. A miniature version of Bourton at 1:9th of the scale (with also a miniature of the miniature of the....).
- 1 Madurodam, George Maduroplein 1 (tram 9 or 22 (toward Scheveningen Noorderstrand), ☏ +31 70 416 2400. 9AM-6PM daily. This miniature city contains a selection of Dutch architecture, ranging from Amsterdam's canals and church spires from Utrecht and Den Bosch, to modern architecture from Rotterdam and the enormous Delta works that protect the country from the sea. Madurodam also has an airport, a seaport, beaches, and little cars, trams and trains running through the entire town. Madurodam is open year round. €14.50 for adults, €10.50 for children.
- 7 Portugal dos Pequenitos, Coimbra. Child-sized models of Portuguese and colonial architecture and monuments.
- 2 Swissminiatur. Switzerland in miniature as a theme park in Melide near Lugano.
- 8 Miniaturk, Golden Horn, Istanbul. Features scale models of many landmarks, modern and ancient, some of which are no longer standing, in Turkey and the former Ottoman lands.
Model railway (or railroads) initially developed at the end of the 19th century, and have developed from comparatively large models, into rail-roads of diverse scale, modelled gauges and levels of detail.
Don't assume that all model rail-roads are at small scales inside a building, there being some 'garden railways' that can be on nominal scales as big as 1:12 scale.
- 9 Wroxham Miniature Worlds, Station Business Park Hoveton Norfolk, ☏ +44 1603 781728, firstname.lastname@example.org. 3 Medium sized model railways.
As well as the 'fixed' attractions above, many model railway clubs in the UK hold (annual) public shows, the traveller is advised to check local press in a destination, Some of these shows may focus on modelling specific themes, railways or periods, whereas others are more general. Layouts at such events can vary from tiny 'micro' layouts, through to complex multi-operator affairs.
- 10 The Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, email@example.com. The world's largest model railway layout. The panoramas include parts of Hamburg, the Alps, the American west, and a Scandinavian exhibit which features automated ships on a body of water. It also has an airport exhibit with automated planes which taxi and fly. Tickets €20, kids under 16 €12.50.
Miniature railways and "Grand Scale" railroadsEdit
Sitting somewhere between model railways of various scales, and full scale (albiet narrow gauge) railways, are Grand Scale railroads (or Miniature Railways), which although not necessarily for the purpose of practical transportation, are a fascinating destination for the rail or attraction enthusiast. At these larger track gauges and modelling scales, it's even possible for an operator to ride with their 'model' trains. For many lines with a track gauges above 7¼" (184mm), there can be a regular passenger service. Numerous private "backyard railroads" have also existed, some of which have occasional open days.
- North Bay Railway, Scarborough. This larger (20in) gauge miniature railway is a worthwhile excursion even if you don't plan on visiting Scarborough's other attractions.
- 3 Bressingham Steam & Gardens (2½ miles west of Diss, Norfolk). Opening times vary - check web site. This attraction constructed aside the grounds of a now closed plant nursery, boasts 2 Grand scale lines,(as well as narrow gauge line and, a short length of standard gauge track used for demonstration purposes.)
- 4 Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway, Eastbourne, ☏ +44 1323 520229, firstname.lastname@example.org. April-October: Daily 10AM-5PM. A great place for children to hop onto a mini steam engine.
- 5 Beer Heights Light Railway, Beer, Devon, ☏ +44 01297-21542. Part of the Pecorama attraction.
- Rhyl Miniature Railway, Marine Parade, Rhyl.
Model Engineering Club CircuitsEdit
- Ridgeway Park, Chingford, Model Engineering Club circuit of 7.25"/5"/3" gauge, and a Gauge One layout. Operates seasonally in summer, Sunday afternoons.
- Harlington Locomotive Society, Club circuit of 5"/3" gauge. Seasonal, Fortnightly weekends in Summer.
- HWSME, Roxbourne Park Railway, Ruislip, Middlesex. Club circuit with 7.25"/5"/3" gauge represented, Seasonal operation, Sunday afternoons.
- Frimley Lodge Miniature Railway, Frimley Lodge Park, Frimley Green, Surrey. 7.25". Operates First Sunday of the Month - March 5th-Nov 5 (1100-1600).
- Train Mountain Railroad, Chiloquin, Oregon
- Redwood Valley Railway, Tilden Regional Park near Berkeley, California.
- Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad, Fairview, Michigan.
- Waterman and Western Railroad, Waterman, Illinois.
- LASLRM, Griffith Park, Los Angles, California.
Central and Eastern EuropeEdit
"Pioneer" or "children's railways" were created in several countries of the former Soviet-led Eastern Bloc during the mid-20th century. At that time, they were run by the communist youth organisation ("pioneers") of the respective countries. After the end of the communist rule, some of them have been continued by public enterprises or private associations. They are not only children's attractions, but children also participate in their operation, acting as ticket vendors, conductors, signallers and attendants (only the engine drivers need to be adults). While most of the pioneer railways in former East Germany and Poland (e. g. Berlin, Dresden, Poznan) are on a miniature scale (most commonly with a 15-inch or 600-mm gauge), those in Hungary, Slovakia and the former Soviet Union are actually full-scaled narrow-gauge railways. See the list of "Pioneer" railways in Eastern Europe.
Apart from that concept, ridable miniature railways also exist in other Central European countries:
- Swiss Vapeur Parc ("Swiss steam park") in Le Bouveret on Lake Geneva near the French-Swiss border (between Montreux and Evian) with 19 rideable miniature locomotives (both steam and electric) and 14 wagons
- Stuttgart's Killesbergbahn, Germany's oldest minimum-gauge railway (since 1939)
- Liliputbahn at Vienna's Prater
- 6 Kapiti Miniature Railway, Marine Gardens, Raumati. Sun afternoons. The Kapiti Miniature Railway has a dual gauge (5 inch and 7¼ inch) circuit, which offers train rides, and the possibility of driving the train.
- 11 Panorama of the City of New York, Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, New York City. A scale model showing every building in New York City.
- 12 Pendon Museum, Pendon Museum, Long Wittenham, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4QD, ☏ +44 1865 408143. 1100-1800. Pendon consists of 2 supererbly detailed model diorama begun in the 1920s which aim to recreate in miniature a representation of English country life of the period, as well as a portion of the Great Western Railway. £7.50 Adult.
- 13 Pollock's Toy Museum, London, W1T 2HL.
- Queen Mary's Dolls' House, Windsor