Category:Märklin 00-gauge

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Marklin produced their first 16.5mm-gauge system in around 1935-1936, almost immediately after the appearance of the Trix 00-gauge system in 1935.

This was presumably a response to the realisation that, although the earlier 1920s Bing Table Railway system had been rather clunky and ugly, Trix had now shown that 16.5mm was finally viable as the basis of a "proper" mainstream quality model railway system, and a rapid introduction of their own range was necessary to stop Trix from effectively having a monopoly on the gauge. Over in the UK, Meccano Ltd. seem to have had a similar response, getting the first Hornby Dublo sets to market in 1937.

1937: Cover of the dedicated Märklin 00-gauge catalogue (GB version)


Although nowadays it's usual to expect UK 16.5mm model railways to be "00" and their Continental counterparts to be "H0" (same track size, differently-scaled superstructure), the 1936, 1937 and 1939 Märklin catalogues referred to the pre-war range as 00-gauge.

1936: "The Electric Miniature Table Railway System"

The 1937 range

The 1937 UK catalogue in our archives lists 24 pieces of rolling-stock (plus a variation on the luggage van, with a pickup for the train's electric lighting), and ten locomotives.

The loco range (in this catalogue) consists of a diesel-electric railcar (in three colour schemes), large and small green Swiss type caternary electric locos (2-6-2 and 0-4-0), a continental 4-6-2 passenger locomotive, a very non-British-looking black streamline loco, and an 0-4-0 tender loco with smoke deflectors and continental diagonals on the boiler, lettered "Marklin", and also (slightly anomalously) available in red LMS and green LNER paintwork.

1937 promotional text:

Miniature Electric Table Railway Gauge 00

The range of Märklin 00 Gauge Miniature Table Railways which met with great reception everywhere during their first year, has been extended by the introduction of new locomotives, coaches and accessories. The articles produced last year as a foundation for these new trains have proved so popular that no changes have been made. The Gauge is 16 1/2 mm., the circle of track consists of 12 sections and has a diameter of 29 1/2 in.

This makes it possible to construct an extensive model railway in a very confined space. The rail sections and points with their new type coupling have a stamped base japanned in natural colours, the running plates are constructed of solid section material and perfectly insulated. Locomotives, carriages and accessories are made, as far as technically possible, exact reproductions of their originals, and are of the fine, strong construction which is expected of Märklin productions. Locomotives and carriages are also fitted with a new coupling, which couples automatically, uncoupling however must be done by hand, but it is unusually simple and convenient. Locomotives and carriages are further, without exception, fitted with solid nickelled buffers, axles and wheels.

The electric motive power is provided on the proved Märklin system of 20V. drive, that is, by connection to the light mains through a transformer in the case of alternating current, and through a motor-generator in the case of direct current.

— , Märklin, , Miniature Electric Table Railways Gauge 00, catalogue ID: OA. 937. GB, , 1937

1939: Publicity photo of a large "night-time" Marklin 00-gauge layout on display at the Leipzig Messe 1939 (demonstrated by the flags at the top of the image)

Media in category ‘Märklin 00-gauge’

The following 58 files are in this category, out of 58 total.