Railway Stations are massive things, definitely in the scales we as Lego Trainheads are building. A great example is Cale’s post about the PennLUG Lines, which shows that a Main Railway station easily rivals with its Staging Yard when it comes to size. However, that doesn’t mean you should not try building one. And thanks to The Lego Company (TLC), there is now a great example you can visit, as long as you are willing to travel to Kladno, Czech Republic. More specifically, we are talking about a model of Praha hlavní nádraží, the main Railway Station of Prague.
Thanks to a link shared on the Lego Train Fan Club page over at Facebook which caught my eye, I started to do some more research to find out as much as I could about this Diorama. There is a good reason for that: Having lived in Prague for two years and being in that station on almost weekly basis, it’s very close to me. Everything that makes Praha Hl.N. the station I love is there: The old station building, the Magistrala (the highway in front of the Railway Station), the new railway station and its interior (visible in front of the highway), the metro, and the actual double canopy above the tracks.
It turns out it’s not only a great model, but it even has running trains (one Shunter, one Main Line Locomotive which is about to couple with a rake of Intercity coaches, and a Metro!), moving elevators, lights… You name it, it’s there!
Maybe even more special is actually the size TLC chose for this layout: All trains are build 8-wide! Obviously with some small form of selective compression, but overall this is one of the few times I have ever seen TLC switching away from building 6 wide, with the notable exception of the trains of Legoland, of course.
Even better is the fact that these trains are all spot-on and easily recognizable for connoisseurs of the Czech Railways. To be precise: The layout features a Class 680 Pendolino, a Class 471 CityElefant, several Intercity Carriages, a Class 110 Crocodile Shunter and a Class 362 Main Line Electric.
Very special as well is the fact that the digital export was also put online. The article (like most information about this model) is in Czech, but I think the pictures speak for themselves anyways.
The model of Praha Hl.N. is part of a bigger exhibition in Central adno, one of the main shopping centers of the town, which is located about 30 minutes outside of Prague (by train obviously). Kladno ofcourse being famous with Lego fans for being the location of Lego Production s.r.o., one of the big packaging centers of TLC and well known for set 4000018, Kladno Campus 2015.
If you want to see some more about this diorama, I recommend checking out this gallery of pictures. And last but not least: TLC themselves put a short video online about how this beast was assembled. Just have a look. It’s great.
(Oh, and apologies for the reflections in the pictures. Glass never was a really big friend of fotocamera’s to begin with.)