The new pantograph for Marklin’s Ae 6/6 electric locomotives is prototypically accurate and replaces the original pantograph with a few modifications. FR of Germany has produced this very interesting and important upgrade part that is better made than the Marklin original plus it looks great! The new FR SBB pantograph is available as part number 41.190.00, each is delivered in a hard plastic case.
A side by side comparison of the Marklin original and the new FR pantograph reveals a larger pantograph with a heavier spring. The solid construction of the FR eliminates the sometimes drift seen in the Marklin pantograph. The Marklin pantograph is a bit generic as well coming in just a few variations in color otherwise the same is used on German and Swiss locos. The FR upgrade will add zip to your locomotives for Swiss railroading with striking silver finish true to the prototype.
FR pantograph on left and Marklin on the right:
Installation gets easier after the first one due to familiarity with the small parts and coordinating the assembly after modifications are made. As discussed in earlier posts assembly includes modifying the shell by removing the original plastic parts on either side of pantograph, I simply pulled them off with my fingers taking care not to damage the wires on the shell’s roof. The heat points for the original parts will provide the holes for the new FR pantograph, but first the 4 silver caps/washers need to placed around these holes, the legs of the new FR pantograph are thus placed through the washers and holes. This step can be a little tricky so take your time and work over a workbench to catch the parts if they go astray. Final step is applying pressure to the pantograph and securing with included screw. At this point the pantograph is attached, but you might notice looseness of the legs and washers of the new part, in this case I applied a very small drop of 5 minute epoxy to each hole on the interior side of shell. *NEVER USE PLASTIC CEMENT ON MARKLIN LOCOS DUE TO MELTING FROM THE SOLVENTS IN THESE CEMENTS, 5 MINUTE EPOXY IS THE ONLY RECOMMENDED GLUE FOR MARKLIN Z. A pin will ensure a small drop versus too much glue seeping out of shell. Careful with this step, but I recommend it to marry the new parts to the shell in permanent correct orientation!
“Cargo” locomotive pictured with the original Marklin pantograph and roof equipment and Ae 6/6 locomotive features the new FR pantograph:
This highly recommended upgrade for Swiss Ae 6/6 locomotives will cost about $60 for 2 pantographs or 1 loco delivered to USA collectors, it is only available directly from FR. Photos show completed locomotives with the new FR pantograph.
Ordering from FR is fast and easy with an excellent website, careful packing and fast shipping. FR’s website uses green signals to indicate in stock items otherwise date projections for out of stock items, locos are seldom available at any given time, but they can be reserved for next production run usually 6 months out, worth the wait!
Note: FR lists the new pantograph can be used to upgrade the Re 4/4 locos, Marklin has released three thus far, but as of this posting I am not sure how the upgrade is made. I will be posting an update after speaking with Harald Freudenreich on this matter.