21.06.2022 Press release: Impressions of the 12th "Open Day" 2022

PIKO invited to the 12th "Open Day" - and model railway fans worldwide gladly accepted the invitation.

In bright sunshine and summer temperatures, more than 10,500 visitors celebrated this special event together with the PIKO employees.

After the gates had already opened shortly after half past eight due to the large crowd, Dr. René F. Wilfer warmly welcomed the visitors and expressed his joy about the renewed meeting in Sonneberg. 30 years ago, the current owner had bought the premises and production facilities of the former VEB PIKO Sonneberg and saved them from certain demise. This summer, we look back on three decades in which Dr. René F. Wilfer, together with his employees, turned the Sonneberg company into what is now the third largest model railway manufacturer in Europe.

During the factory tour, the guests were able to follow the production of the PIKO models live and look over the shoulders of the employees. At various information stands, there was also the opportunity to ask questions and talk to each other.

Besides the look behind the scenes, visitors could also purchase PIKO models and model parts at special conditions at the various sales stands. Whether in the oldie corner or at the stand with the 2nd choice articles - on this day, many a PIKO fan was probably happy about a bargain.

As a special souvenir of this day, there was the possibility to have a PIKO model printed with your own picture or motif. Those who wanted to keep it less individual could purchase one of the exclusive PIKO TOFT special cars in H0 or G. A special highlight were the two signing sessions by Dr. René F. Wilfer, where PIKO fans could have the company boss personally sign their model.

The presented novelties from the current year also met with great interest. In addition, the visitors were able to marvel at and try out the newly developed terminal block carriages in H0 and garden railway gauge for the first time on specially designed play areas. Great fun - not only for the children.

In addition, there was a varied and exciting programme for the guests. While the big model railway fans explored the company, learned about the PIKO history and rummaged for treasures at the sales stands, the children could let off steam as much as they liked. For this purpose, a huge bouncy castle was available in the outdoor area. On the children's playground with garden railway layout, it quickly became clear that the model railway also quickly captivates the younger visitors.

For the physical well-being, there were Thuringian bratwursts and other regional specialities as well as cold and warm drinks. Those who preferred sweet things could look back on the day's experiences over coffee and cake.

During the ceremonial opening in the PIKO ballroom by the PIKO owner and the mayor of Sonneberg, Dr. Heiko Voigt, Dr. Wilfer was also able to hand over a donation cheque for € 35,000 to the city of Sonneberg. This donation amount was achieved through the sale of almost 1,400 charity cars for Ukraine Aid. With this donation, the city of Sonneberg supports families from Ukraine who lost their homes due to Russia's terrible war of aggression and have found a home in southern Thuringia. The H0 special model will be delivered at the end of October.

The 12th "Open Day" at PIKO was a complete success. The PIKO management was particularly pleased that the many visitors were very positive about the commitment, friendliness and helpfulness of the PIKO employees.

The employees also enjoyed the "Open Day", although it was very exhausting. Nevertheless, it is also interesting and nice for them to be in contact with the PIKO customers.

The day showed once again that model railways exert a great fascination across all age groups and bring people together from near and far. Against this background, it is not surprising that many visitors were already looking forward to seeing each other again as they left the PIKO site - in two years' time, on 22 June 2024, when they hope to be able to celebrate PIKO's 75th anniversary together.

Sonneberg, 21.06.2022

Pictures from the "Open Day" 2022 in Sonneberg