Saturday, October 24, 2009

The world's smallest working train set... it's the size of a fingernail.

Measuring a tiny eighth of an inch by quarter of an inch, this carefully crafted piece of engineering is the world's smallest working train model.

The five-carriage train, which is 35,200 times smaller than a real train, nips around an oval route even taking in a ride through a tunnel on its three-quarter inch track.

Created by New Jersey train enthusiast David Smith, the miniscule model was built using nothing more fancy than a craft knife and a steady hand.

Part of 55-year-old David's larger model train set at his home in Tom's River, the tiny locomotive was completed two months ago.

'This model train set is going to be part of the larger train set I have at home,' says David.

'I am creating a fictitious village called James River Branch and this model train is going to be placed inside the model shop I am building as part of the re-creation.

'It is going to be a model train village inside a model, so it is very post-modern.'

Powered by a standard two-inch-long rotating motor head and carved out of moldable plastic, the model train cost David just over £6 to make.

'The motor can be bought from K-Mart or any hobby store in America,' says David.

'There is a slight optical illusion with this train model though.

'There are no tracks and the train and carriages are carved out of plastic stuck atop the motor.

'This gives the impression of a train following the oval track.

'But, still, it is impressively small.'

With James River Branch still under construction, David has yet to install the tiny model train inside the model shop in his model village.

'To get a sense of scale you have to remember that the River Branch project is being built to the scale of 1-220,' says David.

'It has taken up two-and-a half-years of my life and is going to be very impressive once it is finished.'


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