Model trackage of the Kingdom of Railways is (with regard for its area) conclusively the biggest attraction of the exposition. You can get a taste of it from the street before you enter. It is located at a souvenir shop in a scale of 1:120 (TT) and it was originally built for the attic of one of the project authors. But kids grow up fast and thus in 2012 during a reconstruction it gained its current place. There are also other “small trackages” like model of a testing centre of a railway research institute by Cerhenice 1:160 (N) and even the tiny diorama by the legendary Říp mountain, where there is a trackage in 1:220 (Z) scale. Our big trackage is built in 1:87, known also as H0.
The first three model trackages labelled K1, K2 and K3 can be seen on the 1st underground floor of the exposition. These trackages represent the first stage of the whole of the project. The sum of their area is 115 m2 and was introduced when the exposition was first open to the public on July 1, 2009. It was a sort of a “testing lab” to make sure we can manage all an also to choose the best model makers to work on the stage II – the model of the Czech Republic.
Neither K1 nor K2 present a specific landscape, it is just imagination of our model makers. K3 is different. It does not impersonate a real landscape either – it peeks into a small fictitious town in Bohemia about 1980, so you will find queues by an exclusive shop, a slogan to allow a dissident sing and the police intervention at a concert, military training and other situations from the socialist era.
We are a Kingdom, but inside, we are a republic. How come? Our giant model tracks on the lower floor of the exposition includes also famous sight from Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Ústí and Labem, Liberec, Central Bohemia and Prague regions. So far, the model consists of 6 regions of the Czech Republic, which will be extended in the future by more. Already now the lower tracks take up more than 460 m2, and thus it is the biggest model trackage in Central Europe.
Up close and without queues, this is how you can view landmarks of the regions in miniature, such as Karlštejn castle or Kokořín and Křivoklát. You can compare the quality of a model with reality by the main railway station in Pilsen or you can marvel at hot springs by the colonnade of Karlovy Vary. Adult visitors will enjoy details from the lives of 30 000 inhabitants of the giant model, presented in the hundreds of situations and scenes from common life we see around us, from everyday activities, crafts, jokes, popular Czech films and many more to scenes about traffic safety and other topics for worksheets for schools. Interactive buttons are available by trackage to initiate some events by the model. Bring down a tree, start a show in a circus, listen to the sound of a steam engine.
What would the model at the Kingdom of Railways be without trains? All of it is interwoven by a dense railway network where 80 – 90 train sets and other means of transport: cars, trams, cable cars and even a metro go at the same time. Model trackage is supplemented by tailor-made models of individual region landmarks, copies of real technical sets or landmarks of our country you will for sure easily recognize.
Trains operate day and night. The simulation of day and night above the tracks alternates in 20-minute intervals, it grows gradually dark, street lamps are turned on together with lights in houses and 5 minutes later it is dawning. Model makers went to such details that some of the lamps shine with a cold white light, some the warm yellow and some of them simulate being out of order.
No matter how extensive the area of model trackage is, “life” in them comprises of tiny details… Can you find a dog which is looking forward to a sausage incidentally falling off a butcher´s tray, a winner of a race or a statue of a chamois on a hill?