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Rewiring Marklin 8871 and 88711: ICE trains go fast!

Marklin’s 1990’s releases of the TEE 8873 and ICE trains 8871 and 88711 suffer from a design flaw: poor electrical connections caused by the couplers and a train set wired in parallel. Similar to those old Christmas lights when one bulb went they all did, these Marklin train sets suffered a similar fate that was corrected with the further releases of the TEE variations. The ICE train sets changed in another way instead of having two powered units as did the 8871 and 88711 the 88712 and 88714 included one powered unit located in the middle of the train this being a coach.

A simple solution to to correct the poor performance of the three TEE and ICE trains is to bypass two diodes located on each circuit board of the powered units. There are four diodes located on each circuit board, two affect the lights (LED’s) and two are near the motor. Bypassing the diodes near the motor with a soldered wire is all that is needed to allow the locomotive to move forward and reverse thus allowing each powered unit to work without the former wiring constraints.

Note: no need to bypass the diodes on any other TEE train version released after 8873.

Note: 30 gauge wire is recommended for wiring circuit board, tinning the ends of wires is recommended before making the soldered connections.

The early ICE trains use an interesting light bulb with a red and a clear bulb soldered to a circuit board similar to the traditional mini-club bulb. The red bulb is hooded to direct the light better, but unlike the LED’s the light is rather dim unless the loco is cranking! Note: very fragile bulb and no longer available, but if you are good at soldering you can make your own.

The couplers as mentioned are faulty for electrical connectivity, but work great when both powered units are rewired: coach lights no longer flicker. The couplers for the two ICE trains are susceptible to damage due to the untethered ends of the copper strips, great care should be taken to prevent bending. A good recommendation is to stock up on parts as they become available on Ebay. The original couplers for the 8873 are infinitely more resilient than the couplers used on the first two ICE trains.

Note: save old loco light bulbs that don’t work, new ones can be easily made by using the original circuit board for soldering news bulbs to them, generic bulbs are available at train shops in the correct size.

Siding: the 5 pole motor replacement for the 8871 + 88711 is 211907 which is one of the more expensive motors for upgrade, and you will need two. I have not made the upgrade to 5 pole with my sets, the original 3 pole motors work exceptionally well at low speed and throughout the range, but the 5 pole motors would be much quieter.

Siding: removing the tight fitting shells from 8871 and 88711 is more easily accomplished with synthetic guitar picks of .70 mm thickness or thinner.

Marklin Rotary Snowplows: 3 Versions in 1 decade

photo: Denver North West & Pacific Railroad rotary snowplow

The Rotary Snowplow was introduced to the mini-club audience in 2001 with the MHI/Insider release of 81360. An Era III BR 50 steam locomotive and rotary snowplow each included their own tenders thus making the 81360 a German Federal Railroad (DB) maintenance of way train set.

Marklin 81360 snowplow train set

Features of the Rotary Snowplow and loco set includes a separate motor to power the snowplow, it too features hinged tender hatches and a pair of hinged doors for the rotary cutting wheel. Both the loco and snowplow were also installed with the newly designed 5 pole motor which was the standard motor at this time and still is today, but new coreless motors are making their way into new tooled and designed locos more on this at a later time. Coupling the plows tender to the loco is a unique coupler that allows easy uncoupling for storage thus not a permanent coupling. Care needs to be taken to ensure this part does not break, but gentle pressure is all that is needed for this task and the part will live on for many many years.

Rotary snowplows for rail maintenance differ little through history either here in the USA or Europe. A Canadian dentist (J.W.Elliot- 1869) in the 19th century is credited with the idea for the rotary snowplow, up to that time locos pushed wedge shaped plows to clear snow which required multiple locos who’s combined power were needed for heavy snowfalls and drifts. The rotary snowplow cuts through the snow leaving walls on both sides of the track thus limiting the use of wedge shaped plows as an alternative during a winter season. In late 19th century Germany snow removal was performed by wedge shaped plows mounted to heavily ballasted tenders which have been modeled proficiently by Railex in brass.

Railex: K.BAY.STS.B. ballasted tender snowplow

Snow processed by a steam powered rotary snowplow was directed to a vertical chute directly behind the cutting blades which has been successfully modeled by Marklin in their snowplows.

I grew up with a train set in HO, one car I owned was a rotary snow plow that fascinated me, but it was seldom run due to poor performance. The body of the car was satisfactory to a 10 year old but the movement of the cutting wheel was generated by a rubber band linking the cutting wheel to the wheel sets on the car, needless to say it did not work well. Marklin powered their rotary snowplows with their own motors giving this interesting train set authentic appeal. And of course the detailing! Another precision model from Marklin in Z.

So far Marklin has released three Z snowplow and loco sets with variations in railroads and eras, but also tender types, loco types and paint and lettering schemes.

photos: 81360- Bauart Henschel Rotary Snowplow with BR 50 steam locomotive lettered for German Federal Railroad (DB) Era III. One Time Series for MHI/Insider Club 2001.

photos: 81361- Bauart Henschel Rotary Snowplow with BR 41 steam locomotive lettered for Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (DRG – German Imperial Railway Company) Era II. Released 2004.

photos: 81362- Bauart Henschel Rotary Snowplow with BR 39 steam locomotive lettered for German Federal Railroad (DB) Era III. Released 2012 for MHI Program.

For those interested in an extended look at snow removal in Z check out a past post on FR’s two releases for the SJ. In the meantime have a look at these beauties in metal with coreless motors.

FR: 46.135.11

FR: 46.135.21

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!

 

3 Laser-Cut Kits from MBZ

MBZ of Germany is the manufacturer of laser-cut building kits in multiple gauges. In the United States Reynauld’s of Illinois is the exclusive distributor and seller of these kits, but finding them in stock and ready to ship is another matter, if you place an order for one that is out of stock it will take months to receive from what I have heard. The range of architecture represented in the MBZ line-up is vast mostly comprising railway and rural building types. In appearance the buildings look like older types existing after years of life, the materials and manufacturing methods further reinforce their appearance.

The kits I have thus far assembled are three including two bridges and a building. When you receive one of these kits it will probably be delivered in a plastic sleeve with part sheets and instructions. Instructions are going to be fairly minimal with a single illustration, but there are fewer parts than other manufacturer’s kits. You might also discover some parts either broken and bent, if this arises some special consideration will be required to modify or repair sections. I have not found this to be a big deal and probably due to the nature of the materials that are appropriate to the buildings.

MBZ buildings do away with the framework other laser-cut kits employ that exterior panels attach to give thereby giving a solid feel and straight walls, with MBZ floor and side panels are simply glued together. I received all three kits with warped parts maybe due to the material and laser-cutting? Some bending will work and at least help straighten parts. Gluing in sections will also be needed to keep things straight between two pieces forming a corner. A slight scent of burnt paper was evident during construction, and prep work is required to remove glue resistant carbon dust, the manufacturer suggests a sanding block or old wire brush for removing this deposit left from the laser-cut burning.

The 3 kits I made were Small Stone Bridge (MBZ R16079 – $8), Bypass (MBZ R16014 – $24), and Halbrelief Erstfeld “2 Dimensional Structure” (MBZ R16058 – $49). *Prices currently posted on Reynaulds website.

The Small Stone Bridge is a nice kit and beautiful addition to detailing a small stream, it detailed on the underside which is a nice touch. Building this is a little tricky, the paper is thick, small and requires bending: all challenging features. I wish I had this stone bridge in real life to add to a leisurely stroll in the countryside!!!

The Bypass is a rail bridge with beautiful masonry and iron railings. Not enough room for a train below, it is intended to extend over a small road/path or stream. The very look of this bridge gives the impression of the year 1900!

Halbrelief Erstfeld or 2 Dimensional Structure does not have a door or a back wall, but it does have lots of shutters. The rustic nature of this building brings to mind a small town residence circa 1900! I imagine it looking good in a forested area at the end of a town or railway depot, the back can be finished off and placed away from the main attractions on the layout otherwise solve the unfinished look another way.

Too many buildings by just one manufacturer on a layout does not offer enough difference thereby making MBZ an interesting manufacturer to consider adding. If you model contemporary these buildings will give the contrasting theme of buildings before.

Siding: I used Noch’s new glue 61104 for laser-cut buildings, but the manufacturer recommends UHU Hart glue. The manufacturer also suggests painting the kits before assembly with their water based pigments applied by sponge, but before painting the parts are prepped to remove carbon dust and primed to prevent too much wetting created by water based paints.

Locomotive Builder Department: Werdau 1916

More than 30 locomotive laborers, bosses and owners stand and sit proudly before a stoked new engine with various tools and parts displayed in 1916 at a locomotive works in Werdau, Germany.

A wide range of ages are also on display as this firm employed men presumably from the prior century with vast knowledge and experience, in the new century this firm also employed two women.

Each person depicted was probably confident that their job would last a lifetime and history recorded this as fact; steam had a solid 60 plus years left. Skilled labor that could not be outsourced, downsized or outmoded; our contemporary culture cannot grasp the life these men and two women experienced, as members of society they shared in the transport of people and goods by growing (my Wife prefers “building”) these powerful locomotives that lived beyond many in this photograph. A specialist is required to identify the tools and parts, but some stand out including calipers and wrenches (supersized).

In a future post I will be consulting with such a specialist to help identify these parts as well as the most unusual steam loco design. And perhaps I will also be able to uncover another photo of the locomotive in its entirety so stay tuned.

For now we will enjoy the people watching and take note of the clogs.

If anyone has anything to share on this photo please feel free to comment, I will give you credit and add to the description.

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

 

Marklin 89792 + 89793: Bahnhof Hamburg Dammtor Station Kit

Bahnhof Hamburg Dammtor: opened July 7, 1903

If you are up for an ambitious project in ‘Z’ this is it: 89792 and 89793 building kits for the Hamburg Dammtor Train Station. Two kits sold separately to comprise the station building and approach including arcades and bridges.

The cost for the kits is very reasonable considering the scope of these kits and the accurate translation of the prototypical building: discounted retail for 89792 is $249, and 89793 is $149. Both kits are made of laser cut card stock which has been a growing trend in building kits partly due to the material itself, laser cut buildings look great and their matte and pre-colored surfaces contrast nicely on a layout. In ‘Z’ or any other scale these are big kits measuring nearly 55 inches long, and in ‘Z’ there are lots of small parts to assemble.

Finished dimensions: 20 7/8 x 8 1/4 x 4 5/16 inches (89792) and 33 1/2 x 6 x 1 3/16 inches (89793). Both kits are card stock with one small exception, the station includes 4 caps and spires on the entry towers that are cast resin and painted to match the rest of the kit.

Marklin commissioned MKB Modelle for these build kits. As of writing this post I have not started assembling these kits, I am hesitant to build them until I design a layout for them first. A layout to include these kits can be historical based on the 1903 opening of the station or contemporary with the arcades and bridges,  it can also be prototypical rendering or an interpretation. Current urban planning for the Hamburg Dammtor Station includes numerous intersecting roads with few adjacent buildings, modeling some or all of these roads will be a challenging undertaking for the most ambitious.

Four lines run through this station so the track planning is another consideration. Nearly 5 feet from end to end for both assembled kits, and if it is incorporated into a loop the dimensions will balloon to 7-8 feet, this is after all probably the most ambitious project to date in ‘Z’ with an estimated build time of 50 hours for 89792 alone.  Reviewing the part sheets and instructions these kits look well organized, and the instructions are clear. Heavy card stock, medium weight card stock and lightweight card stock are all used in these kits. The kits start from a rigid foundation and build up and out, in some cases with as many as 5 layers to build the exterior walls. No covering for the platform or track concourse is included, you will need to come up with your own solution, I highly recommend Faller material here available in the United States from ZScaleHobo.com (updates will follow for my own solutions here). Accessorizing and laying track in the station will be much easier or only possible before installing the trusses. Partial exposure of the interior might be interesting by reducing the roof sheathing and maybe consider leaving the roof un-cemented in case you need to access the interior in the future.  I have recommended a UHU Glue for attaching window glazing in the past, for this kit I would recommend the standard assembly glue: all-purpose, wood, or polyvinyl acetate, but each will require the added step of roughing up the acetate in the area to be glued. Another consideration is a very level work surface, even though the parts snap together assembling the building on a very level surface will insure there will be no warp or curve to the base, I recommend a piece of masonite for a smooth level surface and freezer paper to allow building to easily slide/rotate for assembly plus glue residue is easy to clean off this surface. Toothpicks are correctly recommended in the instructions along with drops of glue versus lines of glue. Lastly have fun and don’t rush, it can’t be assembled in a day!

Siding: Marklin’s 81481 “Metronom” train set is a good prototypical train to use with this station, along with the other “Metronom” offerings: 88370 (loco) + 87299 (bi-level coach set).

81481

88370

87299

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.