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.