Guinness World Record Broken at Wilmington Convention Center

Guinness World Record Broken at Wilmington Convention Center

Wilmington Railroad Museum Constructs World’s Longest Model Train

Wilmington, N.C. (April 29, 2011)—The Wilmington Convention Center, North Carolina’s largest coastal convention center, made history on April 23 as hundreds of eager spectators migrated to the newly opened building to see the construction of the world’s longest model train.  Measuring over 925 feet, it broke the Guinness World Record for the longest model train.  It chugged along the building’s 30,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall with the help and support of convention center staff, train enthusiasts and members of the neighboring Wilmington Railroad Museum.

To break the previous world record, set in Hamburg, Germany in 2008, the train had to travel under its own power over 630 feet. With 31 locomotives and 1563 model train cars, the train totaled 925.55 feet, breaking the previous record of 892 feet, three inches. With all the locomotives on track, the train traveled 750 feet to set the new record, pending certification.

“When we decided take on this challenge, we knew we needed a great venue to provide us with the necessary space and means to do it, and also make it a truly special occasion,” said Mark Koenig, executive director of the Wilmington Railroad Museum. “The Wilmington Convention Center’s fantastic staff, riverfront location and spacious Exhibit Hall proved to be the perfect fit and really made this a great all-around event for attendees.”

The Wilmington Convention Center, located along the Cape Fear River and historic downtown Riverwalk, features a railroad display with artifacts and vintage images along with its sleek maritime theme and décor, both which interpret Wilmington’s celebrated history.

Train modelers began preparation months ago for this year’s record-breaking event. Over 1,000 feet of track was needed, so setup began Thursday in the Exhibit Hall. Supporters sponsored limited edition locomotives, custom decorated boxcars, and segments of the track to become part of this history-making event. Many of the model train cars used are also now on display at Wilmington Railroad Museum right next door to the convention center.

“We enjoyed working with our neighbors at the Wilmington Railroad Museum to help build a successful event and break a world record,” said Wilmington Convention Center General Manager, Susan Eaton. “It was inspiring to have our Exhibit Hall filled with over 1,000 supporters of all ages, and see everyone, especially the train modelers, work hard to achieve a goal.”

The 107,000-square-foot Wilmington Convention Center offers meeting, convention and event capabilities for 25 to 2,000 people and a variety of spaces in addition to the 30,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall, including a 12,000-square-foot ballroom, over 15,000 square feet of pre-function space and nearly 6,000 square feet of additional meeting space.  In addition, Wilmington’s temperate coastal climate presents opportunities for year-round outdoor and riverfront gatherings, and the Wilmington Convention Center integrated into its design a unique 12,000-square-foot waterfront event lawn.

Additional features include a full-service banquet kitchen featuring SAVOR catering by SMG, a 578-space parking deck, loading docks, ramp with Exhibit Hall access, 30-foot ceilings and unique lighting systems.  The area has easy access to three beach communities (Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville) and is home to nearly 8,000 hotel rooms and suites with unique settings ranging from the river to the sea.

About the Wilmington Convention Center

The Wilmington Convention Center is the ideal facility for meetings and conventions offering the perfect backdrop of historic charm and riverfront views.  For questions about meetings and conventions or bookings at the Wilmington Convention Center, contact Wilmington/Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau Sales Manager John Sneed at 800-650-9064, ext. 125 or jsneed@capefearcoast.com.

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