Model Railway

Permanent exhibition in the Museum of Hamburg History

The association Modelleisenbahn Hamburg e.V. (Mehev) operates a historical model railway in the scale 1:32 (Track 1). It is one of Europe’s largest and oldest model rail systems. Since 1949, the trains in the museum travel on the 1200 metre tracks between Hamburg-Harburg station, the city’s main freight station and the “Pfeilerbahn” (pillar railway). Alongside historical model steam engines, modern model trains, diesel engines and power rail cars also travel here.

Regular presentation of the modelrailway

Mon: 11am, 12am, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm

Closed on Tuesday

Wed - Fri: 11am, 12am, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm
Sat: 11am, 12am, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm
Sun: 12am, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm and 5pm

More information is available here:
Contact: Tel. 0049 40 31 44 35

Museum for Hamburg History

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Opening hours

Monday 10.00 - 17.00

Tuesday closed

Wednesday - Friday 10.00 - 17.00

Saturday and Sunday 10.00 - 18.00


"Please get in..."

The "Modelleisenbahn Hamburg e.V." (model railway Hamburg e.V.) operates for more than 65 years in the Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte (museum of hamburgs history) a model of the station "Hamburg-Harburg" with its approach routes including Pfeilerbahn (Pillar track) and the Hamburg main freight station which in the original no longer exists. At the model, the steam engine has not yet delivered its once dominant position, but as well diesel and electric locomotives are presents you a century of railway history in Hamburg on a traffic-historical model.

Drive yourself?

Between the presentations visitors have the opportunity to drive some trains themselves under guidance.

From the perspective of the driver

The  association MEHEV has released a new DVD with 42:30 minutes runtime with recordings from operating on the hump, by train from the perspective of the driver and the building up to the current operation of the model. The DVD can be received by remitting € 11, - to MEHEV, IBAN DE67 2019 0003 0044 1400 02 stating the delivery address, or € 9, - be purchased directly at the model railway. 

Technical details

  • 1 gauge - scale 1:32 - 45 mm gauge exactness
  • dimension of the layout 299yd²
  • length of the tracks 1300yd, 260 switch points, 143 signal, therefrom 27 mechanical signals
  • approx. 43.700yd of wires, powersupplie 24 V DC
  • timetable-presentation with PC-operating system MpC from Gahler+ Ringstmeier
  • 115 traction units (steam engines, electric locomotives, diesel locomotives, electric railcar including an ICE)
  • approx. 180 coaches und 385 goods waggons
  • seveal of the trains are individual constructions
  • The regular presentatated trains nowadays cover a distance of approx. 81mi annually.
  • Since the opening on 7th October 1949 over 68.000 presentation with more than 2,3 million visitors took place
  • Most of the scenery are handmade, i.e. overhead contact installations, signals, buildings and also many locomotives and wagons.