Category Archives: SNCF

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!

 

Trains are Trains – Marklin Models of Trains are something different and greatly so!

Marklin 88855: BR 03 Express Locomotive of the DB

A subtle thought occurred to me the other day, I was thinking about my last post on Scandinavian snowplow locos of the SJ in Sweden while having a brief moment of reflection during work as a photographer of architecture and interior design. My Wife and I work together so moments of repose sometimes happen during brief interludes moving equipment from the shot just taken to the next.

Marklin 88063: Serie 232 TC of the SNCF

I am very impressed with the offerings of Marklin and their z gauge line in the last five years, the following is a brief post and interlude in the normal technical and historical postings thus far presented at ZTrainsWeekly. This post is dedicated to the type of collector I have met on many occasions hanging out in train stores across the country, train meets and clubs, those that have taken on collecting expensive tiny trains because holding them in their hands and marveling at their striking detail and charm make them happy.

Marklin 88833: Serie 150 Y of the SNCF

So what does a Z gauge railroad loco or rolling stock have in common with the prototype railroad equipment of a particular railroad. First they are in a scale of 1:220 so every 1 inch translates to 220 inches in prototypical scale thus accurately reduced by Marklin in length, height and width dimensions. Graphics and lettering are correctly rendered by Marklin fitting accurately in historic timeframe. Detailing of trucks and equipment appear to show few differences with the prototype. Working headlamps and running lights are sometimes designed into the model and for some vary little with the prototype. But if we start with the prototype and compare it to the Z railroad model of Marklin few similarities can exist including actual equipment operation those being sanders, air brakes, working engines and the like. I hope I haven’t lost the interest of my readers, I am close to making this posting worth while if you have been queried by those that have yet to be bitten by the railroading hobby.

Marklin 88134: BR 132 of the DR

The model can only be a version of the prototype, but an impression of the prototype is far better than real diesel model locos running on diesel fuel throughout your house killing your houseplants and annoying your wife or steam and arcing electric ones. The comparison between the prototype and the model resides in the idea that the prototype surfaces on the rails in front of us and embodies history, design and awe whereas the model railroad elicits its connection to the prototype but also triggers our imagination thus connecting us to the models in serious and creative ways. All model railroad collectors are connected in this way, we can study the history of the prototype and marvel at its representation as a model as something else thus collecting the miniature is our railroading connection not limited but expansive.

Marklin 88106: BR 05 of the DRG and Marklin 88075: Class J-2 of NYC

Models of trains and their prototypes were built side by side since railroads began in the 19th century, Marklin was the first to successfully manufacturer commercially available miniature trains. Cheers to Marklin and another 158 years of outstanding trains!

Quick Notes: BR 74 tank locomotive

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Marklin introduced the German BR 74 tank locomotive for mini-club in 1982 as a Serie 96 painted and lettered for SNCB. Since then there have been 8 individual releases plus 5 trainsets with this locomotive type.  New tooling effectively changed the appearance of the BR 74 with the recent releases of 88953 (Marklin Magazin), 88954 (SNCB) and 88956 (SNCF-not pictured) thereby granting this tank locomotive detailed running gear and side rods. One of the great advancements at Marklin is reworking the mini-club line-up of steam engines with advanced side rod tooling and detailing, it is remarkable that this new generation of mini-club steam locos has so many moving parts successfully moving and rotating in such small scale: lively action and even closer to the prototype than ever before. And LED’s are now installed in the latest 3 offerings. The LED’s are bright and non directional necessitating some masking to prevent light spillage outside the loco shell, this is achieved with heavy duct style black tape. Routine maintenance on this loco type is achieved by carefully removing shell by gently holding front end and lifting up, the headlamp lens also functions as a clip for the shell. A little gentle pressure is all that is needed to lift front end first. To reinstall simply slide tender side of shell over motor and pivot front end onto chassis. To secure shell use a very small screwdriver and gently wriggle the headlamp clip until shell engages. *Applying enough pressure to reattach shell without wriggling the clip a bit could result in it breaking or coming unglued. As of this writing you may start to find it difficult to locate the three new releases, they were produced in a limited number and collectors seem to be going head over heals for these and their respective car sets. The Marklin Magazin release is stunning in “Prussian Blue” paint scheme.

BR 52: Marklin’s 8 versions in Z

German steam locomotive BR 52 for Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR) is the “Kriegslok” or war time locomotive. Germany intended to build 15,000 of these locos during wartime, but only 7000 were actually produced in car shops across Occupied Europe. The 2-10-0 wheel arrangement comprising small wheels allowed for heavy freight haulage on lightweight tracks. After the war the class 52 which was never intended as a long lasting locomotive design thrived in service in many countries after World War II, it is still claimed to be in service today (74 years as of 2016). The design of the locomotive included several operational as well as economic build characteristics including the fully enclosed cab which allowed a level of comfort in cold weather climates most notably for Germany’s incursion into Russia during the war, tenders that recycled exhaust steam back into water, and water tanks built frame-less to cut costs. The original BR 52 included smoke deflectors, but versions also existed without the deflectors as can be seen in Marklin’s mini-club versions.

BR 52 specs: wheel arrangement- 2-10-0, designer and builder- Hauptausschuss Schienenfahrzeuge, 1942 (1st one of approximately 7000 built), 2 cylinders/232 psi (boiler pressure)/ 55 inch wheel diameter, maximum speed 50 mph.

Marklin translated the BR 52 locomotive into 8 versions for Z including examples from Germany, France and Austria with examples from Era II-IV.

Marklin’s 8 versions include: 8883 (1996-1998) BR 052 DB, 88830 (2015) BR 52 DB, 88831 (1997-2003) BR 52 DB, 88832 (Insider-1997) BR 52 DRG, 88833 (1998) Serie 150 Y SNCF, 88834 (1999) BR 52 OBB Epoch III, 88835 (Insider-1999) BR 52 DB Epoch III, and 88836 (2001-2008) BR 52 DRG Epoch III.

88833: Serie 150 Y SNCF 88833_2

88834: BR 52 OBB  88834_2

88836: BR 52 DRG 88836_2

Siding: under repair notes see 5 pole motor upgrade for 88833 + 88834

SNCF: Steam Loco Numbering

Marklin has produced several mini-club steam locomotives for SNCF including an “Export Models” and regular production locos: 8108 (Serie 231 – “Nostalgie Istanbul-Orient Express), 88063 (Serie 232 TC – Export Model for France 2003), 88833 (Serie 150 Y – One Time Series 1998), and 88956 (Serie 130 TB).

In 1937 the SNCF was formed thus nationalizing several private rail companies: Est (East) – CF de I’Est, Nord (North) – CF du Nord, Ouest (West) – CF d’Etat, Sud Ouest (South West) – PO-Midi, and Sud Est (South East) – CF PLM. Numbering steam locos of the SNCF follows wheel arrangements followed by class letters and finally road numbers. Wheel arrangements/ axle groupings were interpreted as follows: 4-6-2 was numbered 231. And with tank locos a ‘T’ followed the axle arrangement.

Marklin releases SNCF locos rather infrequently and two of these examples predate the current 5 pole motor, but they can be easily upgraded to 5 pole with appropriate motor type.

Marklin 88833 – SNCF: upgrading to the 5 pole motor

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Upgrading locos with original 3 pole motors to 5 pole is up to each of us to decide with consideration for the cost and benefit, some locos improve greatly from the upgrade others less so. Marklin’s magnificent 88833 is one loco that I recommend the 5 pole motor upgrade for improvements to slow throttling, not much difference in sound level between the 3 pole and 5 pole which seems to be more evident in plastic shell locos.

The Marklin 88833 class 150 Y for SNCF was a “One Time Series” from 1998, it’s standard motor was the 3 pole #268850. The 5 pole motor replacement is E211915. Construction of the two motors varies little except for the motor housing which is clear in the 3 pole and opaque black in the 5 pole. Changing out the motors is easy, but you will need a basic knowledge of soldering which factors into this repair.

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Note: use the correct size screwdriver for the two screws which are accessed in this repair. Also use care to remove these screws without scratching the heads or stripping the threads: DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN.

Steps for success:

  1. Carefully remove single screw that holds shell to chassis and set aside.img_6153
  2. Notice capacitor wires are soldered to pick-up leads, carefully un-solder these two contacts.img_6165
  3. Unscrew motor from chassis.
  4. Carefully slide motor off loco frame. img_6166
  5. Notice brass bushing near drive gear on new motor. img_6167
  6. Also notice clip on bottom of new motor, this clip will engage with loco frame and help with alignment.
  7. Notice gear on loco that engages with gearing to wheels, this gear’s rod slides into brass bushing on motor and automatically should allow for engagement of the two gears.
  8. Gears may need to be turned slightly for engagement (new motor will slide into place easily).
  9. When the motor is correctly installed with gears turning freely and no gaps between motor housing and loco frame install small screw.img_6168
  10. Solder capacitor wires and pick-up contacts on loco frame.
  11. Place very small drop of  light synthetic oil to motor bearing.
  12. Test loco on track.img_6171
  13. Attach shell!

 

Marklin new 2016 Fall items in Z

hn2016_1_01.1472632658

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:

http://www.maerklin.de/fileadmin/media/produkte/Neuheiten/Maerklin_H-NH2016_EN.pdf