Category Archives: Marklin Z Insider

Happiness comes 1:220: Marklin 88010

Photos: Marklin 88010 “2012 Insider Model” class 01 express locomotive of the DB.

Reaching back a few years (very few years 2012) to the Insider Model of 2012 is the 88010 a superlative locomotive not only for German railroad history but also mini-club history. On its release mini-club collectors for the first time received an important German express locomotive modeled in 1:220 with detailed running gear and working side rods of an advanced state of design. “How did they do it? How could they do it?” were at least two of the questions that swirled in the ‘Z’ community. But then something truly remarkable happened Marklin advanced these design skills to each of the steam locomotive class in subsequent years. But wait they simultaneously applied the same design skills and inspiration to the diesel and electric locomotive classes. Long time collectors of Marklin Z could not have anticipated the advancements to this rarified hobby, but here we are on the other side of what many of us thought was impossible. What a great and lovely time to be part of the “mini-club” Club!

As the models come closer to the prototypes those reasons for not going ‘Z’ become evermore present: reality modeled in Marklin Z achieved at the smallest scale without compromising the prototype. Sure it is charming and fun to collect larger scales that are modeled to move freely on a layout with all the functions you would expect, but trains of other scales as we go up in size require sensitivity to length and size in order to work flawlessly with the radius curves, turnouts and special features. Z scalers appreciate those concerns are mere fodder for this scale, as such we enjoy unprecedented freedom to explore large layouts that might include multiple towns modeled with accurately represented trains in the same space a larger scale might only include a few buildings with an oval layout maybe on a 4’x8′ board. Z is limitless and the potential to build and design a large layout is not out of reach of most railroaders even those living in a small apartment in Manhattan: 1 foot of track length equals 220 feet of prototypical track length, at 6 feet we are approaching a 1/4 mile. Add a complete loop and a radius we are close to a mile. But many ‘Z’ers I have met over the years don’t limit their layout dimensions to the traditional 4×8, they have no rules. Taking over a room in a house might be a man cave to some but for others it is peace of mind for many wives and partners, but Marklin mini-club is not limited to men only it is a hobby enjoyed by women as well. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than reading a book on railroading, designing the ultimate layout, building a beautiful Archistories laser cut building, or cleaning and maintaining your layout and collection. The ultimate railroading experience is ‘Z’, this scale overtakes the senses as it has since 1972 and many of us ‘Z’ers are among the happiest people alive: cheers Marklin!

Siding: join the Insider Club with benefits that include the Marklin Magazin, Insider Magazine, free club car in the gauge of your choice and invitation to own Insider locos which often introduce new tooling!

 

Marklin Z: One of the Last Great Collectibles!

Photo: Insider Model 2012: 88010 – BR 001 for DB (no longer available)

Are we collecting or are we acquiring: that is the question. When Marklin Z comes into a collection a bit of railroad history is preserved and a commitment is made by this generation to future generations that hold that Marklin’s history and the greater history of railroading is worth preserving.

Photo: Special Imprint (SMI) 88820: “Swiss Cheese” class Am 4/4 pictured with type Hbis freight car also featuring “Swiss Cheese” paint scheme. (no longer available)

Marklin Z gauge is one of the last great collectibles, it will persevere well into the future, and what has been released thus far since 1972 are limited and rare. Rarity is well liked by collectors of all types, but collecting Marklin mini-club (Z) is truly unique from all other collectibles due to their leadership and innovation in z gauge. There are other companies some small and some large producing z gauge products but Marklin is linked to z gauge by the very fact they invented it in 1972, they continue that history today with innovations including true catenary operation through roof equipped pantographs on their electric locos, realistic working side rods on the steam engines, and numerous diesel loco types including the Russian Ludmillas.

Photo: Export Model for France 2003: 88063 – Reihe 232 TC (no longer available)

Many collected “toys” (only time this word will be used on this blog because railroading is serious business! I’m kidding its loads of fun too!!!) these days are secondary market items from long defunct and beloved companies such as Buddy L from the 20’s. It is exciting to dig around a find some rare item that has not been made for 80-100 years or more, but with Marklin anyone can jump in and start collecting from a company in business since 1859. Buy a mini-club loco today and within a year or two or even a few months it will be out of production and already a collectible. Keeping the condition of your new train pristine is part and parcel to collecting anything, but with Marklin this extends to keeping the box in good condition. Want to run a train on a layout simply select the railroad you want to model and keep the other fine locos and rolling stock on display, displaying is just as much fun as driving those trains.

Photo: Marklin Magazin Edition 88953: BR 74 with lettering and Prussian Blue paint scheme for Marklin Magazin (still in production). Note: 1st locomotive release for the “Marklin Magazin” editions.

For collectors Marklin Z new releases are limited and rare falling into several categories: MHI Releases, Special Imprinted Editions, Export Models, Insider Models, Museum Editions, Marklin Magazine Editions, and general releases. Marklin Handlers Initiative includes releases only available to dealers that subscribe to the MHI program, this subscription includes ordering everything Marklin releases, MHI’s are One Time Series. Export Models are limited to distribution in the given country the release represents thus Swiss Export Models are distributed to Swiss dealers in a One Time Series. Insider Models are available only to Insider Members who maintain year long membership in the insider Club for about $100/ year with many benefits. Museum Editions are car sets inspired by companies with ties to Goppingen, Germany the home of Marklin’s headquarters. Usually housed in a specially printed tin box museum editions include a freight car and sometimes a cast metal truck or van. Marklin Magazin Editions are distributed in the United States by Walthers, these One Time Series freight cars usually depict a new car type, they are always painted Prussian Blue with Marklin Magazin insignia, and sometimes the car designs are inspired by the magazine’s printing production including one car that included a load of reams of printing paper. General Releases are those cars and locos that are announced by Marklin and commonly distributed throughout the world, but aside from the perception of wide distribution these items are still very limited and rare with popular releases selling out fast. Of the categories so described Special Imprints and Export Models are the most difficult to collect with secondary market dealers being the only source for these with the exception of direct purchase from German dealers including those with listings on Ebay.

Photo: Marklin MHI release (2016) 88216: BR 212 (diesel) for DB AG (out of production: still available)

Photo: Marklin regular release (2013) 88998: BR 38 Era III (former Prussian P8) passenger loco with tub style tender (no longer available). Note: BR 38’s have been in the Marklin mini-club program for years including trainsets, but the 88998 was the first generation of this loco type with highly detailed side rods and running equipment. This is one of favorite mini-club locos, it is a real pleasure to watch pulling Prussian coaches its action on the rails is melodic.

Part of the fun of collecting Marklin Z is rarity, this singular aspect of this hobby is underscored by small productions of one time series in multiple categories: Marklin Z the readymade collectible!

 

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.

88010

88011

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.

 

Photographic Gray Paint Scheme and Mini-Club

Marklin 88091

We are probably all familiar with builders’ photographs of steam engines depicted in black and white photographs and some of us may have had the rare opportunity to buy one. Usually large and well produced photographs depicting a recently built locomotive captioned with all the technical specs and dates of production accompanying such photographs. The commissioned photographers were charged with producing a record in crisp detail for the builders’ record as well as publicize locomotives built in their shops. Although the age of steam has passed these photographs help us understand and research the locomotives that were built a 100 years ago, and the incredible achievements and innovations that were made. The photographic record is just part of the research tools available to manufacturers of model trains, but Marklin has treated this part of railroading history as an integral part of Mini-Club’s offerings including locomotive prototypes modeled in “Photo Gray” as they would have been seen for the first time.

Marklin 88981

Photo gray or works gray is a particularly interesting paint scheme, it seems to coincide with the middle gray zone between highlight and shadow referred in photographic literature as 18% reflectance of the visible world. This being a speculation of mine, my research does not point to an exact paint formula that measures its reflectance, but I would place the reflectance of locomotive photo gray roughly as middle gray if one starts with black on one side and white on the other. Why is this important? It was important from the standpoint of recording as much detail as possible through reduced tones within the range of “low contrast” without dark and light tones. Lighting is also a factor with this discussion, and the photographer’s choice between overcast skies or sunny days would have been overcast skies thereby keeping the tonality of these photographs on the flat contrast range. Isolating the locomotive in the composition was also a consideration with few seen near train sheds and yards, manipulating the photographic negative could have achieved this effect as well. For a follow-up post I will be recreating builders’ photographs of two mini-club class 52 locomotives, one with photo gray paint scheme and the other painted black. Photo ready locomtives were not dressed in photo gray paint scheme for long, after the photographs were made they were painted in most cases in engine black which was chosen to minimize the appearance and dirt and grime thereby making the photo gray paint scheme a primer coat for the eventual top coat.

Marklin Z steam locomotives in photo gray: 88040 (“Franco Crosti”) – BR 42.90 DB Insider 2003, 88091 – BR P 10 KPEV Insider 2003, 88832 – BR 52 DRG Insider 1997, 88836 – BR 52 DRG, 88841 – BR 50 DRG, 88981 – class G 8.1 KPEV MHI Insider 1998.

Created for photographs, the photo gray paint scheme adorned the first examples of prototypes with some offered in mini-club.

Repair Notes: mallet locos 88290-88294

A very interesting Marklin Z loco of the ‘mallet’ type was introduced in 2004 as Insider Model 88290.

The class 96 loco has been released in 5 versions to this point in time, but Marklin did not limit the release of a ‘mallet’ type loco to this class, they also introduced the class 53 in 2007 as Insider Model 88053.

What characterizes a mallet locomotive is first an articulated frame along with two independent wheel sets. Invented by the Swiss engineer Anatole Mallet this type of locomotive was highly successful in mountain railways, and in the United States this loco type was used in coal trains. The articulated frame allowed for negotiating sharp turns while high and low pressure steam powered two sets of driving wheels. The front set of driving wheels form the ‘Bissell’ truck which received low pressure steam through a receiver after high pressure steam powered the second set of driving wheels first. Variations between European and American ‘mallet’ locos follow the basic design principle, but each varies by other factors including length and power. Marklin’s two mallet designs represent very large and powerful locos one of which never existed beyond blueprints as is the case with versions of the class 53: 88053, 88054, and 88055 (pictured).

To repair the mallet locos of class 96 some patience and practical experience in the repair of mini-club steam locos is required. Marklin Z steam locos have one set of driving wheels, the mallets have two sets and therefore one must treat each as independent by repairing one at a time. These are complicated locos, but they are so well designed that taking one apart and reassembling is relatively easy for those with some experience repairing locos with side rods. Note: wheels must be correctly orientated to allow free movement of side rods, side rods bow out when wheel sets are improperly installed in all locos with side rods.

This post came about rather by accident, I recently purchased an 88291 thereby completing my collection of this type loco, but it arrived with hardened oil syndrome which can be expected with dealer old stock. Tell tale signs of hardened oil syndrome are lights that work without a hum of motor or movement of wheels. The oil Marklin uses will harden over time which is compounded by improper storage. Hardened oil gums up the gears not allowing them to move, it looks like a crust, but it can also be sticky to the touch.

Note: white gunk near center of photo

To remove hardened oil a mild solvent is required, toothpicks work to loosen up crustiness and soaking NON PAINTED surfaces in “Original Windex” (blue). Improperly storing locos includes side down, they should always be stored wheels down. The one I just received was one such example of a loco stored long term on its side: hardened oil pooled on one side throughout gears and truck housings.

One can see the appearance of hardened oil as white crust, it can otherwise be fluid or congealed as a sticky substance all in the same loco: weird!

One gear is sometimes the culprit at least with this example. Part #226 646 is an interesting gear that sits mounted on a post cast into each truck frame of this loco, thus two are included in this design.

Note: gear can be seen mounted inside truck frame in two photos with yellow background

I have come across this gear on more than one occasion, Marklin’s class E 94 and 194 locos including all versions have this same gear in their design so repairing this loco is a good primer for repairing those. Time and time again it has been proven to me that if the German “krocodil” isn’t moving this gear is completely stuck due to hardened oil. Very careful attention needs to be applied to wriggle off this gear from its post, I use a toothpick over a dish to catch the part.

The transmission in this loco is very long with two worm gears, it comprises two extensions attached to the the tip of the motor (226 631).

So many parts that are required to move in the smallest space comprise a flawless design that includes a sensible tear-down and reassembly design.

Reassembly includes close adherents to correct order of things: no matter loco type small connecting gears always go in truck frame first followed by driving wheels.

Photo shows one truck’s correct assembly without oil pan attached. Note the two connecting gears which are standard with all locos in Marklin ‘Z’, and because they are small it is a good part to have spares of (part #226 645). Coupler and spring are not illustrated in photo, but they would be located on the right side. Side rods slide into black housing and only work one way: side rods of the third pair of wheels are orientated correctly in photo to allow correct distances in the truck mount for all gears. After coupler and spring are placed into their mount the oil pan slides over coupler end, and it is attached by a single screw.

It is always a good idea to keep an inventory of spare parts even though you may never need them because we are talking about the brilliant engineering and manufacturing by Marklin. That being said the motor for this series of locos is part #226 631, it is soldered directly to the pick-ups and solidly held in place to operate the very long transmission.

After each truck is cleaned, oiled and reassembled test it to make sure all gears move freely with the retaining pin and nylon gear installed too! Note: the nylon gear comprises two sets of teeth, one set engages with the worm gears on the transmission and the second is small running on one side of the nylon gear and engages with the post mounted gear previously mentioned. Recommendation: the nylon gear is another part to keep spares of, it is part #223 493.

Last note: if you know the loco is new and never run. And you have the loco taken apart, this maybe a good time to break in the motor and brushes independent of the motor’s engagement with the gears. Break-in: slow speed followed by medium speed, followed by high speed, and then reverse order. About 5 minutes of varying speeds will do.

Good luck and have fun!

Siding: required tools for repairing Marklin Z locos: pliers with micro tips, magnifying goggles, set of jewelers screwdrivers, foam work cradle, dish for holding parts, and guitar picks can be used to help remove plastic shells or shells without retaining screws.

KPEV BR G 8.1: Marklin 88981

88981_1

Marklin 88981 steam locomotive is based on the prototype BR G 8.1 lettered for the Royal Prussian State Railroad (KPEV) with operating number 5239. This was the Marklin Z “Insider Model for 1998.” Based on the prototype, this steam engine carries the photo gray paint scheme as the 7500th locomotive built by Hanomag. Model included the 3 pole motor at the time of release and working headlamps.

88981_4 88981_5 88981_3 88981_2

Marklin BR 216 locomotive diesel class

Marklin produced 4 BR 216’s in Z, this post includes two newer versions: one an ‘Insider’ Model and the other an ‘MHI-One Time Series Release’ from 2013.  The class 216 follows the reclassification of locos in Germany in 1968 thus the 216 is the former class V 160. Modifications to class V 160’s included bumped out ends thus making for an arguably more attractive loco along with internal improvements that included changing from steam heat to electrically generated heat for coaches, it followed that certain exterior changes were also made including roof equipment and sides; the elliptical window which was characteristic of the BR V 160 disappeared, I would deduce that it was appealing but impractical. But some BR V 160’s simply had a name change and others found their way to private industry.

_DSF9702

  1. 88783- BR 216, Era IV, operating number 216 199-0, Insider Model 2011, One Time Series
  2. 88784- BR 216, Era IV, operating number 216 188-3, MHI Release 2013, One Time Series

_DSF9733

Two locos that are easy on the eyes!