Final report 2019: "Faszination Modellbahn 2019" celebrates successful premiere with delighted exhibitors and visitors in Mannheim!

The new location Maimarkthalle Mannheim hosted the all-round successful premiere of FASZINATION MODELLBAHN from 15th - 17th March 2019. Some 18,000 visitors made the pilgrimage to the venue to celebrate the fantastic miniature world of model railways. The audience experienced live and in action innumerable 2019 innovations on display to the public for the first time. An extraordinary density of beautiful model railway layouts encouraged spectators to stroll and peruse, hands-on activities for families were highly popular, and the expert knowledge conveyed at the Model Railway Forum was in high demand. 143 exhibitors from nine countries were very satisfied and the audience was delighted. So the International Trade Fair For Model Railways, Specials and Accessories has settled in at its new location and can continue to grow at the Maimarkthalle Mannheim.

The creative possibilities offered by the best hobby in the world are boundless - and borderless. On the one hand, this stimulating and enjoyable pastime offers modellers limitless variety to be able to give functional shape to the railway engineering landscapes of yesterday, today and tomorrow. And on the other hand, the creation of miniature railway layouts across borders and language barriers brings people of all generations together.

This was confirmed by the nearly 18,000 visitors at FASZINATION MODELLBAHN 2019 who experienced and enjoyed the three days of the event in the relaxed atmosphere of Mannheim's Maimarkthalle which was hosting the seventh edition of southern Germany's major model railway event for the first time. "The move of our model railway fair from Sinsheim to Mannheim was crowned with success at all levels at its launch from March 15th-17th 2019. Our exhibitors, participants and especially the visitors have felt extremely comfortable here at an event with its established and proven exhibition concept "100% model railways." The urban infrastructure with direct motorway access, ample parking space and excellent rail connections contributed to the positive outcome. And the proximity to France attracted new audiences to the fair. After this successful premiere the future of FASZINATION MODELLBAHN in Mannheim looks positive," according to Mannheim-born Andreas Wittur, director of trade fair organiser Messe Sinsheim. The director of the venue, Jan Goschmann of Mannheimer-Hallenbetriebs GmbH, is equally happy to host FASZINATION MODELLBAHN at the Maimarkthalle. "I am amazed at the diversity of this exhibition topic. It's great to have an international fair here and we will be glad to do everything we can to ensure that the event grows and thrives here."

Railway modelling unites generations, according to market leader Märklin. Today more than ever, as digitisation has increased the diversity of cross-age cooperation. Whereas in the past only one person at a time could run a locomotive round a track circle, today as many locos as you like can be driven around the layout at the same time. Several people at a time as well as creative special functions such as sound designs, animations and colourful, maintenance-free LED lighting technology can be integrated into the endeavour. Incidentally, at Märklin four employees are responsible solely for recording original railway sounds to be used in their model equipment! Spectators were able to listen to the results of one such project recorded in Jöhstadt, Saxony, directly at the Märklin stand. A charming display layout depicting the LGB Pressnitztal Railway with its original steam sounds was one of the most popular video motives at the show. It involved 2000 hours of finest, artisanal construction work. Chapeau!

Visitors to the exhibition were repeatedly amazed at the attention to detail that had been incorporated into the more than 20 model railway layouts from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. From tinplate to high-tech - a wide range of locomotives, carriages, drive technology, tracks, signals, miniature trees and bushes, figures, buildings, lighting technology and software was on show. Inspired by real life, simulated in miniature format! The audience thoroughly enjoyed perusing the wonderful layouts, rich in content with quirky and educational little scenes and stories, chatting with the modellers and getting tips and inspiration for their own projects and ideas.

"The quality of the club layouts at this year's FASZINATION MODELLBAHN was extraordinarily high. I was particularly pleased that some local clubs contributed to the display. Making the connection with the Mannheim region at this first event has brought us together and was a lot of fun, "reflects Sascha Bürkel, project manager of the fair. "First-class showpieces were represented in each sector of the show, and the display layouts entered in the competition for privately-owned railways, run by MIBA magazine and Messe Sinsheim, were all impressive." Leo Bettonviel from the Netherlands won the contest with his H0 standard gauge layout. His romantic railway landscape depicting beautiful Vancouver Island in Canada convinced the jury: A train rolls in from the mountains to have its goods unloaded onto a freighter. Fishermen make their way out to sea. At the lighthouse, the lantern room rotates just like in real life. Nearby gold-diggers are at work by the river. Utterly idyllic!

"Just get started!" was the motto promoted by manufacturers and clubs who hosted hands-on activities. Younger children, rosy-cheeked with enthusiasm, could be seen engrossed in play with starter sets, while teenagers tested their haptic skills by creating dioramas under expert guidance. Play areas offered by Märklin, Piko, BDEF and others were inundated with youngsters for the whole duration of the fair. Kids happy, parents happy!

Finally the question arises: Who needs a golden crocodile? Good question, but actually this little gem of a locomotive by Märklin had already almost sold out even before being launched this year for the 160th anniversary of the company and its own 100-year jubilee. Model railways not only unite generations in play, they are also a nimbus for collectors of aesthetic refined technology. The exhibition organiser is constantly reminded of this on the Instagram and Facebook pages of FASZINATION MODELLBAHN, where images of masterpieces displayed by their manufacturers are enthusiastically showered with hearts and likes. "It was great. See you again next year" is the unanimous opinion of fans and visitors on social media.

The next FASZINATION MODELLBAHN, International Fair for Model Railways, Specials and Accessories, takes place from 11st - 13rd March 2022 at the Maimarkthalle Mannheim.

Detailed information on FASZINATION MODELLBAHN is available at


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Contact: Messe Sinsheim GmbH, Phone: +49 7025 9206-0 , e-mail: presse(at)