Tips and Tricks in Model Steam Engine Everyone Should Know

If you just recently bought your new model steam engine, you should be a responsible owner to make sure that it can last for the next couple of years. Individuals as young as 8 years old can operate and handle the model, but that doesn’t mean that you should leave the responsibility of cleaning to them. Here are the top tips and tricks for model steam engine everyone should know:

Cleaning the model steam engine

In cleaning the engine, you should make sure that you carefully handle the parts to avoid causing some damage in the process of cleaning it. Most of the models are made of brass, therefore, you have to be careful on the mixture that you plan to use in making it look good as new.

You can utilize some household items in this process. For instance, you could mix salt and vinegar when it comes to removal of the oxidation using a clean rag. After that, you just have to polish it, and it will eventually have an impressive appearance.

Looking for the right model steam engine

While it is true that it’s not that easy looking for the right model steam engine for you, free yourself from burden and stress by knowing what exactly you are looking for. You can weigh the pros and cons of the different models and choose one that suits you the most. You should also make sure that the company you are going to buy is legit, reputable, offers high quality models, and provides an aftersales service if ever you need some assistance in using the model or if you have any inquiry.

Assembling the parts

It cannot be denied that there are some manufacturers who tend to send the package where the user is required to assemble it by himself before he can use it. While it can be quite intimidating, especially if you know next to nothing about the construction of a model steam engine, you can educate yourself by searching the internet the right ways to assemble it, guidelines and useful tips, and of course, do not forget to follow the instructions they have included in their manual.

If you are interested in the history of the sample steam engine, you will be able to know the functions of every parts and component that makes up the machine, even the smallest part. You should also know how it works so that it will be easier for you to assemble the model.

For those people who are planning to buy the model steam engine for their young kids, make sure that your son or daughter can construct the machine alone, so the model steam engine that you are going to buy will also depend on the age of the user. Make sure that they are interested with the model steam engine so that they will be able to complete the construction.

Tips in Choosing the Best Model Steam Engine

If you are planning to buy a new model steam engine shortly, you have to make sure that your investment will not go to waste. There are several factors that you need to consider in buying your model steam engine; it’s the best model that you can use if you wanted a demonstration for your students who are passionate about railways and trains. Here is a guide that could help you make a better decision in buying a model steam engine:

Make sure that the product is made of high quality material

In buying online, you should make sure that you read the description properly. Does the seller sound as if he knows what he’s talking about or did he just copy and pasted the definition of a model steam engine to post in his product description? All of the detailed information should be included in the description, the advantages, limitation, the history of the model steam engine, and all of its capabilities.

Make sure that the price is reasonable

Most of the sellers will claim that their model steam engine is undeniably original, and set a high price for the product. Before you tend to buy it, make sure that what they are telling is true. You can easily determine it by the way they describe the product. Sure, original machines are much more expensive than imitated ones, but the price should be reasonable for a model steam engine.

Inspect the picture closely

Because you are not able to inspect the engine physically, you should just pay attention to the details that they have provided on the picture that they have posted. Make sure that there are no visible damages, and if you ask a question and they can’t answer it properly, might as well look for another seller. You should choose a seller who’s expert on what he is talking about and his machine.

Do not be afraid to ask questions

As their customer, you have every right to ask questions on them if you are confused about something. The seller should be as entertaining and friendly to their customers, and they should know what exactly to say whenever you ask questions. You can tell whether or not they are confident on what they are talking about and they should be able to answer all of your questions properly.

Checkout the reviews and feedbacks

One way to determine if the seller is legit as well as the product, you should try checking out the reviews and feedbacks about them instead. If there are more negative reviews than positive comments, then there might be something wrong with the seller. The opinion and comments of their past clients is one of the most effective ways to guide you and help you make a decision whether you wanted to buy it or not. You don’t want to experience the same misfortune they have to deal with in buying a product from a certain seller.

The Large Scales, MAXI and 1-Gauge



You can approach Maxi in two ways, with feeling or with understanding. For feeling it’s best to go to your Marklin’s dealer and hold a Maxi locomotive once in your hands. Anything else that could be said about it would be too much. If you want to approach Maxi with understanding, we have assembled the most important reasons in its favor:

Metal construction: The locomotives and cars are made mostly of metal – the bodies are with a few exceptions made of solid, precisely shaped sheet metal, the wheel sets are made of nickel-plated diecast zinc. The weight: The heavy metal construction promotes pulling power and realistic running characteristics. The high level of weight also improves electrical pickup. And when you hear the clatter of the wheels over the rail joints, you have an idea of where the railroad got it’s nickname the “high iron”.

The manufacturing process: The high-quality sheet steel is processed in several steps like modern automobile car body building. The final step is the color-fast powder paint finish: scratches on this finish can be quickly repaired with a paint kit from an auto parts store. Tamed printing is used to produce sharp striping and lettering.

The technology: The sturdy mechanism is located in a protected position in the locomotive and is designed for many years of service. The electronic circuit board allows operation with AC power, Marklin DELTA or Digital and simply plugs into the locomotive wiring circuit; a second circuit board is included for operation with DC power.

The DELTA multi-train system: All Maxi locomotives have a built-In DELTA module. Using a hand controller you can address up to four Maxi locomotives, or with four hand controllers you can control them independently of each other at the same time. On a single power circuit and without extensive wiring.

The quality: Metal construction, multi-step processing and technology make Maxi almost indestructible. Long life is guaranteed with even the most rigorous play conditions; the occasional scratch and dent actually increases the charm of sheet metal toys.

The Headlights: Every Maxi locomotive is equipped with headlight at one or both ends. These headlights switch over with the direction of travel on several of these locomotives.

Railroading outdoors: With this kind of quality Maxi is the ideal railroad system for the yard or terrace. The track is durable and is weather resistant. The size of 1 Gauge also makes Maxi the ideal railroad for playing outdoors.


Smoke generator: The smoke generator in Max steam locomotives can be turned off with a switch in the cab to reduce power consumption when operating several locomotives at the same time

Play value: The car bodies are screwed on the frames and are suitable for experimental discoveries. Doors ‘an be opened, roofs can be removed, and different working models along with the handy site of the models increase the play value.

Using Maxi with standard 1 Gauge: Maxi is fully compatible with the standard 1 Gauge and its track, turnouts, signals, Marklin Digital and other model railroad technology. With a scale of 1:32 Maxi has an almost inexhaustible choice of prototypes among the standard gauge railroads of the world.

Couplers: Maxi and the standard 1 Gauge program have the same sturdy 1 Gauge couplers. Locomotives and cars can be coupled together in any order that you want. Pre uncoupling using the uncoupler track is possible when switching cars.

The high-efficiency decoder: For single-motor Maxi locomotives there is a digital, high-efficiency decoder that can be retrofitted into these units. Maximum speed, acceleration and deceleration rates can be custom adjusted for each locomotive on this decoder. A load compensation feature provides near constant speed during slow running and on ascending and descending grades. In addition, up to three auxiliary functions on the locomotive can be controlled with this decoder.

The locomotive name plates: On many Maxi locomotives the name plates put on at the factory can be changed. Locomotive name plates with custom names can be ordered for a small charge – ideal as a gift, a souvenir, a gag or just for the fun of it.




The scale of 1:32 has a special meaning for Marklin because Marklin’s discovery of the system railroad in 1891 can be traced back to this scale. Marklin 1 has given new life to this large gauge, with all the possibilities of modern technology. With its claim to a high level of detailing and function, Marklin 1 is a model railroad for connoisseurs. And where there isn’t enough room for long main lines, the individual model can be the focal point with movement and functions.

No compromises

The large gauge demands fewer compromises in its design. All of the details can be designed to scale in prototypical proportions. The lettering is readable with the naked eye, the windows are made with care to fit precisely into their openings, numerous details such as doors, hatches, and cranks work. The size of a locomotive’s body offers enough space for the mechanism and for electronic circuits; interior detailing can also be reproduced here.


All of the senses are stimulated

The raw materials for the high quality interlocking construction, the fine structure of the surfaces, the extensive imprinting, the metal clacking of the wheels at the rail joints, the sound effects true to the original, the smell of the smoke fluid – Marklin 1 models have a decidedly sensory quality about them that will keep you hands, eyes, ears and nose busy.

High Quality Propulsion Technology

The standard 1 Gauge locomotives are equipped at the factory with high-efficiency propulsion and digital decoders. They can be run with DC or AC power, or with Marklin Digital. In digital operation the decoder can be set for one of 80 locomotive addresses and for particular running characteristics. Depending on the features of the model, additional functions such as headlights, smoke generator, horn, and steam or diesel motor sound effects can be turned on and off.

Sprung Buffers & Hook Couplers

The locomotives and cars come with sprung buffers. The automatic claw coupler can be replaced by the 56101 reproduction prototype coupler. This will result in a prototypical close spacing between the cars. The red V 36 has a digital TELEX coupler front and rear that allows you to uncouple the locomotive from the cars at any spot on the layout.

Note the minimum radius for curves The uncompromising design of the running gear requires larger radius curves for operation without derailment. Except for some 2axle cars, the standard 1 Gauge models are not suitable for the 600 mm / 23-5/8″ radius curves and turnouts; they require a minimum radius of 1,020 mm / 40-5/32″.

Multifaceted Sound Effects Circuits

Many 1 Gauge models have space for a sound effects circuit with its associated speaker. The often very complex sound images of the original locomotives are recorded for this, converted to a digital format, stored in memory, and adapted to the acoustics of the models. The sound effects are reproduced in a manner that is synchronized with the operating state of the locomotive at that moment.

Marklin C-Track – The Solution To An Impossible Task

C-Track is sturdy, electrically reliable and realistic in appearance. It will satisfy children as well as demanding adult model railroaders, which means we have succeeded in solving what most people would consider a problem with no solution.

See the bottom of this page for a full comparison of C-Track vs. K-Track to help you choose which one is right for you.

The details of this solution:


  • reliable Marklin system with stud contact center conductor
  • mechanically sturdy click connec tions for fast setup and takedown• finely detailed, sturdy plastic roadbed
  • protected electric connections without rail joiners
  • connections, wiring, solenoid mechanisms, decoders out of sight in the roadbed
  • expansion in steps with turnout mechanisms and decoders
  • any track can serve as a feeder track
  • optimal geometry requires fewer I parts and adjustment sections
  • adapter tracks to the M and K Track
  • realistic appearance with low rail cross section
  • solid rails with air space between the roadbed and the rail
  • reliable operation for all Marklin HO locomotives and cars from the mid 1950s on
  • very little running noise and high reliability


C Track – The Track With The “Click”


Straight or diagonally, from above or below, just ‘click;

  • the tracks together
  • the guides snap together reassuringly
  • and they come apart just as easily, with a simple ‘click’


The plug-in connection with the “Click”


The unique plug-in connection is the key feature of C Track: just a slight push with your hands – the mechanical and electrical connection is simultaneously made and safely locked in place. The locking connection with the “Click” holds the tracks together on the layout in a way that is reliable for operation and geometrically precise. To separate the tracks, simply bend them against one another; the lock connection is undone. This unique plug-in connection is patented (DBP 40 33 440).


Setup in no time at all


Even larger layouts can be set up in a few minutes with the ready-to run track sections and the fast locking connection.

Sturdy and long-lasting


The track and its roadbed are made of high quality materials designed to keep their shape and sustain heavy loads. C Track is durable and is almost indestructible even when it is put together and take apart constantly or subjected to the hardest operation.

The finished track structure


All sections of C Track are ready for installation; they require no additional handling or processing. The track structure does not have to be cut and above all does not have to be ballasted.

Reliable center rail operation


Common ground for the running rails and for accessories. Control with conventional Marklin transformers, in the DELTA multi-train control system or in the Marklin Digital system Any track pattern possible without extensive wiring (example: reverse loops and wyes)

The roadbed


The roadbed for the track has a striking ballast structure in the color of aged basalt ballast. The width of the roadbed (40 mm / 1-9/16″) enables any and all track combinations without the necessity of cutting the slope of the roadbed.


 The striking profile


The new profile rails are made of rust-free steel with a high degree of stability. The cross section with a profile height of 2.3 mm / 3/32″ (Code 90) almost corresponds to a scale rail profile. The rails are prototypically mounted with an air space beneath the web of the rail.


Ideal dimensions for track roadbed

The cross section of the track provides the proportions for a realistic track roadbed on a rail line. The full width remains preserved even at a turnout or crossing. There is sufficient space between the tracks for catenary or signals.


Good Connections

The mechanical and electrical connections for the track sections cannot be seen from the outside. This results in a perfect, complete visual impression. Rail joiners are not

needed. The snap-together connection locks the track sections to one another. This keeps the track geometry of a layout in precise alignment without the need to fasten the track down.


Track feeder connections instead of feeder tracks

With C Track each track section can be used for feeder wire connections, instead of having additional feeder tracks. The feeder wire set with standard spade connectors can be plugged directly onto the contact lugs present at both ends of each track section.


Space for all sorts of uses

The roadbed for the C Track offers all sorts of useful space which has been prepared for the installation of electrical and mechanical components as well as for incorporation of a layout’s wiring.


The Track that Conducts your Data


Requirements for digital operation

The most important requirement for reliable operation of digital layouts was taken into consideration right from the start in the design of C Track: continuous, reliable contact for transmission of rapid digital data.


Digital decoders on the spot

The small installation digital decoders for turnouts, signals and other digitally control accessories can be installed under the roadbed.


Power and data directly in the track

C Track is perfectly designed for the way in which the Digital system functions: The electrical power and the digital data are constantly transmitted through the track.

Simulated Reality With Marklin Digital

Operating enjoyment multiplied – the Delta system

First you add some track and turnouts, then more cars and one day a second locomotive is being run on the layout – now you are faced with the decision whether to keep operating locomotives conventionally or with a multi-model steam engine system.

In order to control both locomotives independently from on another in conventional operation you have to isolate an area of track and power it with a second transformer. Each of the two locomotives is than controlled in its area of track by its model steam engine control transformer. In principle you are operating two model railroad layouts next to one another. Of course, each locomotive can also be run into the track area of the other, but it also enters the area controlled by the other’ transformer.

With a multi-model steam engine system you have quite different possibilities. The locomotives do not need their own areas of track; they receive control commands from a locomotive controller. Each command contains information regarding which locomotive it is intended for and what that locomotive is to do. Only the locomotive so selected reacts to these control commands. It needs a decoder for this purpose, one that receives and decodes these commands. All Marklin DELTA and digital HO locomotives and all Maxi and standard 1 Gauge locomotives are equipped with this sort of decoder. Other HO locomotives, such as from the HOBBY assortment, can be retrofitted with a decoder.

With Märklin you have a choice between two DELTA multi-model steam engine systems for four to five locomotives or the Märklin Digital system that you can expand in steps for layouts of up to 80 locomotives as well as digitally controlled accessories. DELTA and digital locomotives are compatible with all of these systems.

The 6607 DELTA Station

This system is suitable for HO and Maxi. Either a 6647/6646 AC power transformer with 32 VA power output or the 6002/6001 transformer with 52 VA (42 VA for 6001) power output, sufficient for the power requirements of the layout, is used to supply power. The DELTA Station can be set up at any desired distance from the transformer used to supply power and is thus suitable for use outdoors. The DELTA Station has no controls on it. Instead, a total of four 6608 DELTA Mobil hand controllers can be connected to it. Each hand controller can address each of four locomotive addresses. With several hand controllers each controller is assigned to a locomotive, so that a maximum of four people can each be controlling their locomotive at the same time. All best model steam engine kit operations can be stopped with an emergency button on each hand controller. With this system, you would continue to operate accessories conventionally.

The next step – Marklin Digital

Marklin Digital has been proving itself as a digital control system for HO and 1 Gauge since 1984. In keeping with the Marklin philosophy, it is easy to operate, reliable in its function, and compatible with Marklin’s HO and 1 Gauge products. Marklin Digital controls locomotives, working models, or solenoid accessories. Each locomotive can be addressed individually. On locomotives with the high-efficiency propulsion, the maximum speed as well as acceleration and braking delay can be custom tailored to approach the operation of that model’s prototype. Remote controlled auxiliary functions such as headlights, sound effects, horn, or a smoke generator allow you to get even closer to reality.

Marklin Digital is a system for the future, and can be expanded with new functions, thus always remaining up-to-date. All of the power and operating components are carefully designed to go together.

Only original Marklin products guarantee full compatibility and reliable operation of the entire system.

How does Marklin Digital work?

With conventional model steam engine control you use the model steam engine control trans former to regulate the voltage in the track for running model steam engines; the locomotive then runs faster or slower. You have to isolate areas of track from one another and supply them with their own model steam engine control transformers in order to have locomotives run independently of one another.

With Marklin Digital the operating voltage in the track is almost constant. Regardless of the way you turn the control knob on the locomotive controller, the level of the operating voltage remains the same. Instead, the central unit sends control signals through the track. Each control signal contains an address (which locomotive it is intended for) and an actual command (run faster, stop, etc.). The locomotives have decoders that act as locomotive engineers, and they receive these signals. Initially, they check to make sure that the command is actually for them; whether the address agrees with the address they have. if yes, they accept the command. High-efficiency decoders have their own “brain” in this situation. At the command “Stop” (control knob on the locomotive controller set for zero) they do not immediately turn off power to the locomotive, they decrease it continuously, so that the model steam engine slowly comes to a stop as in real life. Or, at the command “full speed” (control knob turned all the way over to the right) they allow only enough operating voltage to the locomotive until it reaches a prototypical maximum speed. These functions can be custom tailored for each locomotive with high-efficiency propulsion.

In addition to locomotives, Marklin Digital can also control solenoid accessories. Up to 256 turnouts and signals can be operated with ease either individually or in routes.

This multitude of functions does not require extensive wiring – all commands travel via two wires to the decoders.

Marklin Digital For HO And 1

The first step

The premium digital starter sets for HO and 1 Gauge are the right first step for entering the digital age. These multi-model steam engine sets have two model steam engines in addition to the 6021 Control Unit and the 6001/6002 transformer that is designed in terms of its power to go with the Control Unit. The other current starter sets can be expanded to digital with just the addition of the 6021 Control Unit .

Every Marklin HO locomotive with a DELTA or a digital electronic circuit is digital-ready; the other locomotives can be retrofitted with a decoder. In Marklin 1 all of the Maxi locomotives and standard 1 Gauge models come from the factory ready for digital operation.

Or do you want to transfer over?

If you want to convert your existing Marklin HO or 1 layout to Digital, in principle what you need is a Control Unit as a central unit. An already existing model steam engine control transformer can be used to supply power. The Control unit’s full output capability is realized with the

6001/6002 transformer. The addition of 6017 Boosters can adapt the digital system to higher power requirements. Your authorized dealer can retrofit conventional locomotives with DELTA or digital decoders. You can continue to operate turnouts, signals and uncoupler tracks conventionally with control boxes. Anyone who has set up the wiring on his layout with patience and care, so that it is neat and clean and who doesn’t want to destroy this beautiful workmanship, can stay with conventional operation of the accessories. On the other hand, anyone wanting to make use of the additional functions of digital technology or wanting to save wiring when expanding, will use the digital keyboard and decoders for his accessories.

More And More Models With More And More Functions.

The Heart of Every Marklin Digital Layout-6021 Control Unit

The heart every Marklin Digital layout in HO and 1 is the Control Unit. It combines the functions of three components: It is first a locomotive controller for operating locomotives, second a booster for supplying the layout with current to operate locomotives and accessories, third it is the central unit electronics circuit which processes all commands for other control components. The Control Unit collects and stores all commands for locomotives and accessories and sends them as data signals to the track.

The Control Unit can recognize up to 80 locomotives. It calls up locomotive addresses from 01 to 80 with the 10 button keypad, and this address appears on the two-digit display. You then control this locomotive manually as you wish and turn on /off the functions built into the locomotive such as headlights, TELEX couplers or smoke generator. When a new address is called up, this locomotive continues to run with the speed last set for it. The power supplied to the layout through the Control Unit is limited for reasons of safety.

We at Marklin see technology as a means to an end to make model railroading even more realistic and more rich in adventure. We want to do more than just reproduce models that are as true in their detailing as possible; we want to make their functions and the operation of them just as realistic. These would include adjustable operating characteristics typical of that locomotive’s prototype such as the maximum speed, acceleration, and braking. Also included would be remote controlled auxiliary functions for locomotives, cars, and working models.

Up to five functions can be controlled

With Marklin Digital up to five functions can be controlled, depending on the model. The headlights can be turned on with the “function” button and off with the “off” button. In addition, the Control Unit has four buttons marked “f1” through “f4” that can be used to control other locomotive functions.

Controllable model steam engine lighting

The decoder for HO car lighting will not leave its passengers sitting in the dark. The interior lighting in the cars can now be left on when the model steam engine is stopped in the same manner as the headlights for digital locomotives, something that now gives the right atmosphere to the scene at a station. The 60960 decoder can be retrofitted into cars. When the lighting for different cars is linked together with current conducting couplers, then one decoder can control the car lighting for the entire model steam engine.

Better vision at high speed

The modern, high speed locomotives have both standard headlights and long distance headlights. This is better for the locomotive engineer, because at high speeds he can see further and is not driving in the dark; at the same time the model steam engine can be seen from a further distance. The front and rear long distance headlights on different digital versions of TO models such as the class 101 and class 152 can be turned on.

The Marklin HO System

Everything tends towards the middle. This is true in politics as it is in normal life. After Marklin presented HO Gauge as the scale in the middle in 1935, it quickly won over the majority of the model railroaders. For HO is both: large enough for the naked eye and for normal handling. Small enough for the average home. Yet, a good concept is not enough to hold a majority of the market; the way it is carried out must also work.

So why should you decide on Marklin HO before getting involved with model railroading? Simply pointing out the worldwide, enduring success of this system would be too easy. Because this success is only the result of many good reasons of which any one can tip the scales in favor of Marklin HO, and which form the sum of the Marklin system.

Suitable for hard, everyday use on a layout

A Marklin model railroad layout fulfills very different, in part contradictory demands. It will survive the rough and tumble enjoyment of children’s play and also satisfies model railroaders with its high quality models. Complex track patterns and operations can be easily set up. Marklin models always offer the best possible compromise between robust reliability and prototypical detailing. The propulsion technology is designed with proven motors and a high level of durability.

Quality metal construction

We produce the frame, gear train and body out of metal on our high quality models of locomotives. The costly, high-pressure diecasting process, done in part in a vacuum, produces complex body forms that are as finely detailed and free of flaws as the flat design of modern electric locomotives. The high level of weight improves running characteristics and pulling power. Its proximity to the prototype makes metal construction even more authentic and appeals to the senses.

Simple electrical system

An essential feature of the Marklin HO system is the simple and easy to understand electrical system resulting from the use of center rail track. Complete, illustrated instructions explain the setup of power circuits, signals with train control functions, and multi-train control. Children and the less technically minded will be able to understand them, and experienced model railroaders will find it easier with these instructions to set up complex layout control systems.

Compatible couplers

The Marklin standard coupler became a common standard for the TO system in Europe. Interesting switching operations are possible with the RELEX coupler and uncoupler tracks. The TELEX coupler allows remote control uncoupling anywhere on the layout. With the Marklin close coupler cars can be coupled together very closely like the prototype. On many of the models the coupler head fits into a standard coupler pocket.

Working features just right for play and for operation

Marklin models are focused on their prototypes in appearance and in function. Removable stakes, hoppers that can be tipped, unloading hatches, and working models such as a turntable or a crane give life to operations on a layout. Digital operation offers even more working features depending on the model, such as lighting circuits and sound effects circuits that can be controlled, and adjustable running characteristics.

Prototypical lighting

The headlights on most of the locomotives change over with the direction of travel, on modern cab control cars they change from 3 white headlights to 2 red marker lights. More and more locomotives are coming out with near constant brightness for the headlights and maintenance-free LED’s. Light diffusion bars spread light through the passenger cars. With current-conducting couplers, a single pickup shoe powers the lighting for an entire train. In digital operation, locomotive headlights and car lighting are also on when the train is stopped and can be turned on and off with function buttons. Auxiliary long-distance headlights for locomotives or lighting in working models can be turned on and off digitally.

Various ways to expand

The Marklin HO program offers you an almost inexhaustible selection: Attractive starter sets and track extension sets, three track systems for expanding in steps, layout technology for conventional or digital operation, multi-train control with DELTA or Marklin Digital, fully functioning catenary with an independently controlled power circuit, locomotive and car models from all eras as well as prototypes from Europe and the USA, an extensive range of operations and layout accessories. Your Marklin layout will grow with you and with your interests, and it will offer new ideas and themes again and again.

Complete range of accessories

The Marklin HO system has everything to make operating trains varied and realistic; three track systems, working models, signals with train control functions, working catenary, lights as well as electrical and layout accessories. In addition, the accessory companies offer an abundance of buildings, vehicles and working models that you can use.

Compatible and here for the future

It is an important Marklin principle that locomotives, cars, and technology remain compatible as much as possible. Hence, most of the locomotive models from the 1950s will also run on the latest C Track sections, and Marklin close couplers will also mate with standard couplers. Many older locomotives can be retrofitted with a DELTA electronic circuit, digital decoders, or high-efficiency propulsion systems. You can convert your layout to Marklin Digital step by step, run trains digitally and operate accessories conventionally or digitally. With the Motorola format Marklin Digital will be here for the future.

The HO Track System

The core of the Marklin HO system is the center rail track system. Examining its advantages makes the comparison clear:

More contact area for reliable electrical pickup

With two-rail track, as with most direct current systems, one rail is the positive side, the other is the negative side. The current flows up through the wheels on one side to the motor and back through the wheels on the other side into the track. The wheels must be insulated from each other. On a small, three-axle switch engine this means that there are three wheels each for the positive and negative sides. If you take into account two traction tires necessary for appropriate tractive effort, the contact area is reduced to just 2 wheels each for the positive and negative sides.

With the three-rail system the electrical current flows through an additional center rail and the pickup shoe to the motor in the locomotive and returns to the track (ground) through the wheels. Since both rails have the same polarity, the three-axle switch engine can use all six wheels just to return the current. The center conductor is likewise always linked with several stud contacts. Moreover, the pickup shoe keeps the contacts clean.

This double contact basis makes the Marklin system very reliable in operation and less susceptible to dirt. Good contact is guaranteed on critical areas of the layout with dense concentrations of turnouts.

Symmetrical current conduction

The second advantage of the center rail system is its electrical symmetry. A very simple example is the reverse loop    –    a track that turns on itself for the purposes of turning a train. On the normal two -rail system the two opposite polarities meet each other at the turnout. This requires additional electrical circuits to avoid a short circuit in the track and to reverse the polarity in the locomotive traversing the reverse loop.

With center rail track the same polarities always meet each other at the turnout, because the center conductor is always in the center rail and both outer rails always have the ground or negative polarity. Whether it’s a reverse loop, a wye, or complicated track configurations – the electrical setup remains simple and manageable. The locomotive will traverse all sections of the layout in the direction set for it without the need for electrical circuit tricks. Setting up a working catenary system is also very simple. As with the center rail in the track, the current flows symmetrically from the pantograph on an electric locomotive to the motor and through the wheels to both outer or running rails in the track. The practical use of this is a second independently controllable power circuit for electric locomotives.

Reverse unit for changing direction

With the Marklin system a locomotive’s direction of travel is not changed by reversing the polarity in the entire track; it is done by a reverse unit in the locomotive itself. In the past this was an electromechanical relay; today it’s an electronic circuit that reverses the motor when a short impulse of current is sent to it – as a side benefit it can also activate other functions. The difference here is that each locomotive has its own direction of travel, while with the direct current system all locomotives travel in the same direction for a particular polarity in the track.

C-Track and K-Track

The three HO track systems are also compatible with one another: the earlier M Track, the new C Track, and the K Track without a roadbed. Naturally, you can’t just put track from the three systems just anywhere on a layout, but the transition sections allow you to connect entire sections of a layout with each other as well as use working models such as the turntable and the transfer table. C Track with K and M, K Track with C and M, M Track with C and K, naturally.

Digital and Delta Operation

DELTA multi-train system and Marklin Digital The Marklin multi-train systems offer totally new possibilities for joint play, or for realistic train operations. As the entry level system for small to medium size layouts, the DELTA multi-train system can control four to five locomotives independently on a single power circuit. Most Marklin locomotives come from the factory with the electronic receiver circuit built into them. A wide variety of other possibilities is offered by Marklin Digital: Up to 80 locomotives can be controlled independently from each other. Locomotives with high-efficiency propulsion systems will catch your eye with prototypically controllable running characteristics, and locomotives with a special function decoder will get your attention with additional, remote controlled functions such as headlights / marker lights, long-distance headlights, smoke generator, locomotive horn, motor sound effects, or TELEX couplers.

Any one wanting to control accessories digitally, will profit from the easy wiring and practical functions such as the Memory and automatic route control. And the connection to a personal computer makes it possible to control accessories and train movements from a computer monitor screen.

Catenary – The fourth dimension

Catenary adds another dimension to your layout. Operating with catenary is much more realistic than when a locomotive’s pantographs are stretching up into empty space. Electric locomotives “under the wire”, the maze of wires in a station area, speeding past catenary masts brings into play more variety and visual reference points.

Marklin’s catenary is a proven system – reliable in operation and trouble-free during setup. The masts are simply clipped to the track or screwed down, the wire sections are clipped on, and adjustment sections enable you to install catenary over any track layout. Even complicated track patterns can be “electrified”; you set up the Marklin’s catenary just as quickly as you did the track. The stability of the system will prove itself during train operations, too, because nothing will become bent or demands constant adjusting. With this sturdy design it makes no difference how often you set it up and take it down.

All Marklin’s electric locomotives are equipped with pantographs copied from the prototype. They glide with a springy up and down motion under the contact wire and thus reproduce in the model the real life experience.

Getting Started with Marklin

140+ Years of Marklin

The Marklin brand name evokes memories, stories, wishes, images, feelings and dreams. Such a relationship has grown up over generations and is based on a philosophy, whose supports have been immovable from time immemorial: the fascination with technical toys that are based on the real life thing and that enable you to experience the latter in miniature. As a “dream factory” rich in tradition, we are aware of this responsibility and cultivate the basic values of our brand name very purposefully.

Dream and Reality

Dreams are even more beautiful when they lie within the realm of the possible. This also holds true in a practical sense: A model railroad must work simply, without complication and reliably. And it must adapt itself to the possibilities within reach of the model railroader, hence the reason why we produce four scales: mini-club, Minitrix, HO and 1 Gauge. Each scale has its own features. Greater’ degrees of miniaturization allow extensive layouts in the smallest of spaces, the large scale’s greater detailing offers more prototypical realism. HO lies in the center as the scale in the middle – with the famous reliability of the Marklin three-conductor system.

The    relative size of the major scales From the top – Z Scale 1:220, N Scale 1:160, HO Scale 1:87 and 1-Gauge 1:32

Very Close to the Prototype

Quality and prototypical realism are common features of all of the scales, and this is due to more than using the exact reproduction of proportions and details. We lay particular emphasis on our selection of raw materials. On many of the models the frames and bodies are both made of high quality diecast metal alloys, aluminum profiles and extensively processed thin sheet metal. Metal is a “natural” raw material in railroading and makes Marklin models especially authentic, long lasting and durable. The propulsion technology we use is designed with powerful motors and metal gear drives for long life and good running qualities. The electronic circuits we put into our models increase the play value with multi-train operation (DELTA) or individually adjustable running characteristics with remote controlled auxiliary functions (Marklin Digital). Another basic value of our brand name is that new developments are compatible with the technology in our earlier models or can be retrofitted into these models.

Our starter sets will put you on the right track. All of the HO starter sets except for the smallest include a large track layout with the DELTA Control for multi-train control, and a rich selection of trains and accessories. In HO and 1 Gauge you can get started in or move over to the world digital with premium starter sets: Both starter sets contain two trains with digital functions. Mini-Club offers a selection of starter sets allowing a beginning even on a small table-top.

A History of Innovation

Since Marklin’s discovery of the “System Railroad”, numerous innovations run through the company’s history like a red string. Contemporary developments were constantly taken up and turned into technically challenging models, all depending on the possibilities of the times. A motor for this development was the railroad whose new mobility for people and freight was revolutionizing society. The railroad also gave Marklin considerable stimulus, and not just the prototype for models, but also as the basis for distribution. For the wife of the company’s founder, Caroline Marklin, traveled with product to the dealers, formed a dense distribution network, and in this way created the foundation for lasting success.

Marklin has set milestones again and again for technology and quality. We have maintained this innovative power down to the present, as this abbreviated model railroading chronicle illustrates.

1859    The tinsmith Theodor Friedrich Wilhelm Marklin begins in G6ppingen with the production of accessories made of tin for dolls’ kitchens.
1891    Marklin presents the first system railroad: A windup locomotive with cars and an expandable track system.
around 1900    The gauges and scales 0, I, 11 and III become international standards on the basis of the Marklin scales.
1926    With the new 20 volt system the electric trains previously operated with normal household current become safer to run.
1935    By “halving” 0 Scale to HO (half of zero or “0”), Marklin expands the world of model railroading: The compact dimensions allow complete layouts as table top railroads. In addition, the center rail track system is easy to set up and provides reliable operation.
1938    The “perfect circuit” enables remote controlled direction reversing on the Marklin alternating current system –
a big step towards prototypical model railroad operations. The first fully functioning catenary expands operating enjoyment to include an additional, independently controlled train circuit.
1939    Marklin’s standard HO coupler couples gently and reliably and keeps a train composition together. It is adopted by other manufacturers and later becomes NEM Standard 360.
1947    The new Marklin CCS 800 Crocodile can also be run on sharp model railroad curves thanks to an articulated frame similar to that on the prototype.
1953    Up to now the solid third rail has lain on top of the ties; now it is placed under the roadbed and only stud contacts stick up through the ties. This makes the three-rail track visually more acceptable to model railroaders and becomes a synonym for the Marklin system.
1956    The standard coupler is developed further into the RELEX coupler. It allows pre-uncoupling over a new uncoupler track.
1953    The TELEX coupler for switch engines takes couplers a step further. It enables remote controlled uncoupling anywhere on the layout.
1966    The first sound effects module – a horn that can be retrofitted into a locomotive – ends the silence of the latter
1969    With K Track Marklin presents a track system without roadbed. With flex track, large radius curves, and wide radius turnouts it is suitable for an experienced model railroader’s layout. The new Marklin 1 Gauge introduces a renaissance of the large gauge. A previously unknown level of detail on regular production Marklin models appeals to even the most demanding model railroaders.
1972    The presentation of Mini-Club. With a scale of 1:220, it is the smallest, mass produced electric train system in the world.
1982    A locomotive’s direction of travel is now changed by an electronic circuit.
1984    Marklin Digital catapults model railroading into the age of electronics. Processing the command signals digitally – with an electronic receiver circuit in every locomotive – makes it possible to have independent, multi-train operation.
1985    The close coupler completes a train’s appearance by having the cars in the train’s composition coupled together closely like the prototype. It is also compatible with the standard couplers.
1988    The HO Swedish train is a highlight of the models in this year: The bodies for the locomotive and the cars are covered with real veneer. Super fine details are proof of the high level of modeling technology.
1991    The new digitally controlled high-efficiency propulsion can be adjusted for the maximum speed as well as the acceleration and braking delay appropriate for each individual locomotive.
1992    With DELTA Marklin brings out an entry into Digital with a multi-train system for small to medium size layouts.
1993    The Marklin Insider Club is founded. The dyed-in-the-wool model railroaders receive access to still more information and special exclusive models.
1994    With Maxi Marklin reinvigorates its tin-plate tradition. The robust construction and 1 Gauge’s large scale make Maxi the ideal adventure and garden railway – fully compatible with the standard 1 Gauge assortment.
1996    The new C Track combines the operational advantages of center rail track with click assembly easy enough for a child, prototypical appearance and modular setup.
1997    Marklin Digital is expanded. A signal module and controllable locomotive functions bring new prototypical functions to the operation of a layout. For the 25th anniversary of mini-club Marklin builds a steam locomotive with a body of solid 18 carat gold. This special exclusive model is accepted with enthusiasm by the Z Gauge enthusiasts. With the Maxi camera locomotive Marklin brings out a video system that transmits to a television screen a train’s trip from the view of the engineer. Running your train by sight is now possible, even in the most distant corner of the layout in your house or in your garden.
1998    A high point in the Reproduction Series is the carriage, a cooperative project of Heidi Ott (dolls), Hutschenreuther (porcelain horses), and Marklin (carriage). A new concept for starter sets with track extension sets and a premium digital starter set makes getting started in model railroading even more attractive.
1999    Marklin presents a new motor concept on the 140th anniversary of the company: The brush less C-Sine motor is maintenance free, has a high torque and promises excellent running characteristics in conventional and digital operation.