Category Archives: DB

DB BR 44 Steam Locomotive: 044 665-8

After WW II the DB acquired 1242 class 44 steam locomotives of a total 1989 locomotives produced from 1926-1949. The attached photographs document the original DRG Class 44’s, a variant was produced for this class during the war, the class 44UK construction was limited and simplified and included but was not limited to the eliminating the smoke deflectors and cab side windows of the original class 44 as a matter of cutting costs. Latter in the 1950’s OBB gave the DB 9 locomotives and the DB gave SNCF 291 for war reparations. According to my calculations a total of 316 were scrapped or destroyed at war’s end. Originally designed for goods trains of 1200 long tons for the hilly Mittelgebirge region. In the late 50’s the DB converted 32 44’s to oil firing, these variants were reclassified as BR 043 for the DB. The class 44 3 cylinder steam locomotive proved its worth and continued in service with the DB until 1977. On October 26, 1977 the last steam locomotive for the DB made its last run: BR 043 903-4.

The operating number proceeded by ‘0’ indicates this photograph was made “on or after” Germany’s reclassification of locomotives in 1968. According to the documentation that came with these photographs this BR 044 665-8 was working on this day in Crailsheim, Baden-Wurttemberg.

Marklin 88973 with operating number 44 1374 (released 2012 – 2014):

Note: buffers painted with warning stripes!

Siding: Marklin has thus far released three Era III BR 44’s: 88971 (operating number 44 494), 88972 (MHI Release with operating number 44 100), and 88973 (operating number 44 1374).

Siding: many excellent Era III freight loads are available for this locomotive including the GI 11 boxcars depicted in these photographs. Marklin’s recent release of weathered GI 11’s can be found in the 10 car set (available individually from Walthers): 82559_1-10. These cars feature beautiful weathering!

Marklin 82559


DB BR 39 Steam Locomotive in its year of retirement: 1967

BR 39 for the DB sits idling along the tracks in Esslingen, Germany, it appears to be in very good condition following many years of service owing to excellent maintenance. This locomotive started out as a Prussian P10 of the “Mikado” type 2-8-2 for passenger service. A total of 260 locomotives were built in the years 1922-1927. Built by Borsig the P10 was designed with the squared off Belpaire firebox. Following the merger of the state railroads with Deutsche Reichsbahn the P10 was reclassified as DRG 39. Eventually the DB operated the class 39 who fitted it with Witte smoke deflectors and pairing it with T 34 tenders. By 1967 the DB had 3 BR 39’s in service which were stationed in Stuttgart, in this year “The Star of the Rails” was retired from service.

Marklin 88090 DRG’s BR 39

Marklin 88091(Insider) KPEV BR P10

Marklin 88092 DB’s BR 39

Marklin 88093 KPEV BR P10

Marklin 81362 DB BR 39

DR Class 01 Steam Locomotive

The Class 01 Express Steam Locomotive awaits passengers one morning in the summer of 1968. The older design baggage car and “Thunderbox” coaches were still used at this time by the DR at reduced speeds, the 01 was capable of 80mph, this photograph carries an inscription that the locomotive operated at 60 km/hr (37mph) in the Hornbach region. This Ostdeutschland BR 01 is operating accordingly in East Germany, the photograph’s inscription records the location as Hornbach. Operating number plaque indicates this locomotive to be 01 527, it varies in appearance to the DB class 01’s with the appearance of a continuous cover for the dome which gives evidence that this was one of 35 locomotives rebuilt in 1962 by the Reichsbahn Repair shop in Meiningen, the rebuild included Witte smoke deflectors, new cab and boiler positioned higher on the frame of the locomotive. My research does not verify the disposition of this locomotive so presumably it was scrapped, but the class 01’s operated for the DR until 1982, their service displaced with the advent of the diesel ‘Ludmilla’ introduced in the 1970’s. Marklin has not produced the DR version of the class 01 in Z, but maybe it will be a further development of those so far offered for DB: 88010 (Insider) and 88011, we will wait to see if it is included in the ambitious plans at Marklin.

Siding: The Soviet built ‘Ludmilla’ diesel locomotive was introduced to the DR in the 1970’s thus eventually ending the long career of the class 01 locomotives. Marklin’s last version of the Ludmilla in Z was 88134 based on the class 132 prototype from 1982.

Marklin 88134

Insider Locomotive 2012: 88010 – BR 001 DB

Marklin’s Insider Model for 2012 was one of the first of the new generation of steam locomotives featuring completely new tooling with impressive detailing of side rods and LED’s.

Based on the prototype, BR 001 161-9 is an Era IV locomotive following the German Reclassification of 1968 which added an ‘0’ to the operating number.

Built in the mid 1930’s this locomotive class was the first to be “standardized” thus parts were universally available throughout Germany. More than 200 class 01’s were manufactured from 1926-1938 with some continuing in service for the DR until 1982 and the DB until 1973.

Marklin’s 88010 represents the prototype from 1968, the appropriate coach set for this locomotive is Marklin 87401 comprising 5 cars in ‘pop’ colors with destination boards “Braunschweig – Aachen.” Pairing 88010 and 87401 will create a prototypical trainset with associated destination boards for Braunschweig – Aachen from Era IV.

German BR 01 Express Locomotive: DB’s BR 01 154

The inscription on the verso side of this photograph gives the place and date as “In Nuremberg 1966.” Seven years later this class of locomotive would be retired from service for the DB, this one in 1968. As a side note: Class 01’s continued service until 1982 for the DR. Built starting in 1926 the BR 01 express steam locomotive was in service for many years, this one being BR 01 154 built during the time-frame 1930-31. In 1950-51 this locomotive along with 4 others were rebuilt with Witte smoke deflectors as can be seen in the photograph along with several improvements including Heinl mixer preheater, turbo pump and combustion chambers in the boilers. The rather clear representation of the tender was one of three types T 30, T 32 or T 34 varying by length to fit a particular turntable being used. The class 01 steam locomotive was the first to be considered “standardized” meaning parts with exact specifications could be used to repair this locomotive throughout Germany.

Inside the cab:

Specs for this rebuilt locomotive:

Service Weight: 109.3 long tons/ 122.5 short tons

Adhesive Weight: 59.1 long tons/ 66.1 short tons

Axle Load: 19.7 long tons/ 22 short tons

Power: 2417 hp

Grate Area: 46.4 square feet

Superheater Area: 1022.6 square feet

Resource: DRG Class 01 Wikipedia Page

The uniformed train driver poses next to his locomotive as his fireman peers through a cab window, his briefcase presumably contains his log and maintenance checklist. Standing along the rails of a gantry crane the train driver waits to board the locomotive which is in line to receive coal and water. A few chunks of coal outside the coal bunker suggests it was just loaded along with water as evidenced in the run off near the fill hatch. The train driver was more than the operator of the locomotive, he was responsible for the well being of the passengers and locomotive, following safety and maintenance protocols he was operating a locomotive of such power it could reach speeds upwards of 80 miles an hour. Interpreting signals on the right of way was assured by this well trained individual who could operate a steam train and deliver its passengers in accordance with printed schedules: safe and timely. Physical demands of the job cannot be overstated, this was not an easy way to make a living. When this photograph was made the locomotive and train driver were of similar age, two years later the locomotive would be retired, and the trainman with his specialized skills may have continued operating steam locos in this class for the DB until 1973.

Marklin has produced two BR 01’s in ‘Z’ since 2012: 88010 and 88011. Released in 2012, Marklin 88010 was the Insider Model for that year as BR 001 of the DB with operating number 001 161-9 based on the Era IV prototype. Two years later the 88011 was released based on an Era III prototype with operating number 01 147. Both locomotives represent the new generation of steam locos by Marklin with superb detailing of the operating equipment and side rods.



Both locomotives look virtually alike, the distinguishing feature is the operating numbers.

Siding: a short ton is 2000 pounds and commonly called a ‘ton’ in the United States whereas a long ton is 12% larger, it is referred to also as ‘Imperial Ton.”

Siding: In 1968 Germany reclassified their locomotives, steam locomotives at this time were given an extra ‘0’ thus the Marklin 88010 is a BR 001.


BR 94, BR 194, BR 1020: Marklin 5 Pole Motor Upgrade

Marklin’s 5 pole motor upgrade for 8812, 8822, 88221, and 8824 uses Marklin Part #E211906. The original motor for these listed locos was 3 pole with part number 268200, the original 3 pole was a good motor for this loco design which featured cast metal frame and end units thus making for a well balanced and heavy locomotive. Improvements with the upgrade include finer slow running performance and quieter operation.

This upgrade will be performed on 8824 which is the BR 194 lettered for the DB with turquoise and cream paint scheme. 8824 was produced for 5 years starting in 1989. If your loco was stored for many years without running it may need a full restoration in addition to the motor upgrade. If nothing moves, the motor does not run, and just the lights work it could have “hardened oil syndrome.” Restoration of locos with hardened oil require complete breakdown and cleaning.


Motor upgrade for this loco will require a little patience and time, but generally speaking it is a fairly easy repair. To start: 1. pull off middle cast plastic shell with very thin plastic guitar picks.

2. Note: circuit board does not have a retaining screw as other mini-club locos have, it is held in place with 4 clips. Carefully release the circuit board from clips with gentle pressure using a small screwdriver.

3. Wires soldered to either end of circuit board should be carefully pulled from center between pick-ups to outside of pick-ups. Solder points maybe brittle due to age, there is the possibility at this point that one may break necessitating soldering.

4. With circuit board gently pulled to one side unscrew clips holding motor to chassis.

5. Note: original motor and new 5 pole motor are basically the same with differences including heavier gauge wire for capacitor and different coating on capacitor. I have made this upgrade a few times already, and I have noticed manufacturing differences with this motor including a larger coating on the capacitor plus varying length of wire for the capacitor. The nature of the capacitor with this motor can create a few challenges for the repairman. It is required that the capacitor is bent low enough to not impede placement of the circuit board, and the new motor with heavier gauge wire is more difficult to bend than its forebear. Plus manufacturing differences with capacitor coating may add another layer of difficulty. In this example the capacitor is of normal size, but one I recently installed in the 8812 was large which made for a challenging placement of it just above the worm gear while still being low enough under circuit board.

Note: black housing in the new motor.

Note: original motor’s capacitor wires are bent with a slight curl near motor with capacitor nearly touching worm gear.

6. Next: add one drop of oil on each worm drive before installing clips. Circuit board and wires should return to their original position with great care to avoid bending pick-ups. Circuit board clips back into place and then shell goes back on with catenary screw peaking out of hole in shell.

Siding: a brief break-in period for the motor is recommended before installation at low, medium and high throttle for a couple minutes both directions.

Marklin BR 10 Steam Locomotive: 5 Pole Motor Upgrade


Marklin’s BR 10 steam locomotives 8888 + 8889 were released with 3 pole motors, today the 5 pole motor upgrade is possible and relatively easy. Side by side comparison of the 3 pole (262700-clear casing) and 5 pole (E211911-black casing) motors:

fullsizerender-1 fullsizerender-2

This loco design features a fairly heavy cast metal shell that performs well putting weight on the wheels and giving excellent tractive effort. Does this loco benefit from the motor upgrade? This is one of those locos that runs great with 3 pole, but the 5 pole will be a little bit better slow throttle and a bit more quiet. The repair is quick for those with a little experience and patience.

The shell is removed by first gently prying off cap that conceals screw followed by removing screw.


The motor capacitor wires are always soldered to the chassis pick-ups, with soldering iron apply heat and remove original solder points.


Remove top and bottom screws that hold motor in place. Slide off old motor. If floating gear on pin  is pulled out carefully turn until gearing engages with wheel gears. Slide opposite end of pin into brass bushing of new motor and carefully engage gears with the motor gear.


Secure top and bottom screws and resolder capacitor wires and chassis electrical pick-ups. Notice side rods are held in place after securing shell, it maybe a little tricky at first to place side rods correctly before attaching shell. Note: one side rod on each side is always stationary and held in place by sliding onto post in frame (red plastic), the other side rod on each side is held in a channel below the other side rod.


Carefully holding both pairs of side rods in place while attaching shell is the only method for achieving success, you may need to try this several times to achieve the awkward coordination needed. Note: front of shell always goes on first.

Marklin 88872 Railcar for DB: Repair Notes

Marklin’s 88872 railcar is part of a series of 5 with this design, the original prototype was nicknamed “Flying Hamburger”, but this railcar is called the “Montan Express”.

img_7732 img_7734

If you own all five or any one in the series special consideration needs to be applied toward repair and maintenance. Routine replacement of the brushes is accomplished after removing the shell, but before the shell can be removed the specially designed buffer needs to be pulled off. Unlike the BR VT 11.5 Trans Europe Express’s buffers which look very similar the 88872’s buffers pull off, they are spring clipped on a post inside the loco. Note: shell can be removed only after pulling off the buffer.


Marklin designs each loco in the mini-club line-up from the ground up thus each carries certain unique design properties thus this railcar is unlike any other with numerous interesting design characteristics. The E211903 5 pole motor generates the propulsion to one powered truck thereby reducing the worm drive to one, other locos often have two driving front and rear trucks. Note: worm gear spins wheel gearing, motor gear engages with like gear.


LED’s light the unpowered coach and headlamps which feature trailing lights. The shell fits snugly so extra care should be taken when removing or reattaching. A few notes about removing shell include the use of very thin guitar picks to help in safely removing shell. When reattaching shell notice channels on both the chassis and shell ends that allow the two to slide together followed by pressing shell from end to front carefully and securely. Notice channels at end of shell and end of metal chassis.


This is another precision loco in mini-club thus all parts fit together perfectly.

The German Locomotive Numbering System Since 1968

In 1968 Germany computerized their locomotive numbers, they were the first in Europe to do so. A three part numeric numbering system replaced the former system that included a letter to denote the traction type. Current German locomotive numbering follows a three part system:  1. traction type/class type 2. three digit running number 3. computer check digit. Thus for one loco with number 151 036-1 its number translates to 1 (electric traction) 51 (class) 036 (running number) and 1 (computer check digit). Before 1968 this loco would be numbered E51 036 if it existed then.

Traction types are numbered 0-9: 0- Steam loco 1- Electric loco 2- Diesel loco 3- Shunting loco 4- Electric railcar 5- Battery Electric railcar 6- Diesel railcar 7- Diesel railbus 8- Electric railcar trailer 9- Diesel railcar/railbus trailer.

The last digit in the German loco numeric system is the computer check digit, it serves to double check that the other digits can be verified correctly. Thus a rather complicated computation follows: multiply class and running number digits alternately by 1 and 2, resulting digits are added together and their sum deducted from the next whole number.  For loco 151 036: 1×1=1, 5×2=1+0, 1×1=1, 0x2=0, 3×1=3, and 6×2=1+2 / 1+1+0+1+0+3+1+2=9 / 10-9=1 thus the 151 036 is identified as an electric loco, and its complete number is 151 036-1.

The German locomotive number is identified on the end of each locomotive and in most cases both ends, and a second identifying number is located on the sides of each loco called the European Vehicle Number (EVN).

Reference material: German Railways – Part 1: Locomotives & Multiple Units of Deutsche Bahn, published by Platform 5, written by Brian Garvin.


Marklin new 2016 Fall items in Z


Just announced in Marklin’s New Fall Items catalog are coaches, tank cars and a new class 110 loco. And a new Christmas car edition featuring the newly tooled type Eanos gondola. Furthering the heavy weathering releases of the past few years one of the new releases include type funnel-flow tank cars lettered variously for VTG, Wascosa, Ermewa, DHL, and GATX. From the release photos these cars look to be realistically weathered with the oily grime associated with frequently used petroleum tank cars. What’s next in the weathering department at Marklin? Perhaps the next release might be a loco? Also announced is an interesting set of passenger coaches that will be available individually each with its own item number. Featuring Eurofima cars from SNCF, DB and SBB this set is an MHI Release thus a “One Time Series”. Also the just announced MHI Release of a new class 110 electric loco with item number 88412. This class 110.3 loco is Era IV in cobalt blue paint scheme with “pants crease” streamlining on each cab end.

Here is the link to the new catalog: