Because You Can’t Go To Germany Without Seeing Model Trains

As with all our extracurricular adventures, we needed to visit a few hackerspaces while in Munich. The first one was MCSM/Make Things Munich, formerly the Siemens Club for model engines. We’ve been to a few hackerspaces and have the passport stamps to prove it, and we can say without a doubt this space is unique.

MCSM was a hackerspace before the concept of hackerspaces existed. Originally, this was the Siemens Club for Model Engines, filled with engineers from the Siemens plant tinkering with model trains, model boats, and models of anything that moves. One of the members that guided us through the space, [Carlos Morra] told us when he joined, he alone dropped the average age of the space’s membership by a decade.

Inside the space, you’ll find the usual tools and equipment – lathes, CNC mills, an electronics workbench, and a bunch of old but still valuable equipment. Most of this equipment was salvaged from the Siemens plant. The organization for this space, though, cannot be compared to anything I’ve ever seen. There are floor to ceiling cabinets filled with everything you can imagine, all carefully indexed and sorted.

Of course, being formerly called the Model Engine club, there will be an immense train layout. I counted at least five gauges of track in two sprawling layouts, one of which was easily 15 square meters. It’s a true hackerspace built from a model train club, how can it get better than that?

Pictures below.


18 thoughts on “Because You Can’t Go To Germany Without Seeing Model Trains

  1. Since there’s no place for feedback this is going here:

    I don’t want to rage from the HackADay changes but there really is too much text on the screen on the main page. Having the ability to see three post’s text is unnecessary considering you can only read one word at a time…

    yet the images have shrunk to 1/3 of the size they use to be and are now barely visible until you click through. I know I’m just one person and you guys probably don’t give a shit but it honestly has caused me to lose interest and I’m kind of curious if your overall viewership has dropped.

    In a media driven world there’s really no reason why the images shouldn’t have more realty on the page.


    1. I think their new design of the main page is pretty cool, but I agree the images are a little small. However, I prefer seeing more text… each to their own I guess :) There is good news for you though – is pretty much the same as the old hackaday – complete with nice big pictures! I suggest you edit your bookmarks to point there instead.

    2. I don’t know what you’re whining about. “Considering you can only read one word at a time…” WTF? The new Hackaday design follows a pretty standard WordPress recipe for blog/magazine type layouts. The list of articles has a a brief (one-to-two paragraph – not one-word) synopsis of the article, and you click to to read the rest of it. If the images appear too small on your display, maybe your resolution isn’t set correctly for your viewing preferences.

      The new layout & design are a vast improvement over the old design. It’s cleaner and more legible. Good job to whoever is responsible for it.

      1. I’d say it’s more like the first release of 7: a great leap forward with some rough edges to clean up by SP1.

        (Despite my opinion of winblows, this is a positive thing in my opinion ;-)

  2. The layout is nice, but being able to go back through older blog posts without having to specificall go into the blog section spoils some of the nice flow the new page has.

    Incredibly hacker space, so beautifully organised it pleases the little OCD part of my brain

  3. All my adult life I’ve stayed away from model railroading. Two reasons:

    1 – I’d go bankrupt

    2 – I’d never leave the basement.

    Oh yes, I also couldn’t decide whether I should go with HO or OO.

    I limit myself to, say, visiting the model rail museum in York when also visiting the National Rail Museum (England for those that don’t know). Or buying a model railroad magazine for no particular reason.

    I have dreams that include segments where I visit model railroad shops. Seriously – being chased across a city by hoards of beautiful women and the only refuge I can find is a model railroad shop. What kind of dream is that?

    There’s probably a treatment for this.

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