Category:Märklin locomotives

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Between their original foray into tracked model railways in the 1890s to Märklin's "Golden Age" in the 1930s, the company produced a range of model locomotives powered by steam, clockwork and electric motors.

The majority of these produced under Märklin's own brandname were "Continental" designs - German steam locomotives (usually in matt black), Swiss pantograph electric locos and various railcars – but there was also a smattering of US-styled pieces and other more "exotic" items, and Märklin also produced a range of British-design locomotive models for sale in the UK by Bassett-Lowke Ltd., which were sold as B-L pieces.


Märklin's existing C19th expertise in the field of clockwork motors was pressed into service when the company started making model railways - when Meccano Ltd. later wanted to start supplying clockwork motors for their construction sets in around 1914, their initial supplier was Märklin (until WW1 intervened).

Märklin "M" winding key for clockwork locomotives


After experimenting with 110V high voltage from the mains (passed though a lightbulb as a current-limiter) Märklin standardised on 20 Volt electrical power, supplied via a third rail.

For their 00/HO models, Märkin's three-rail system is remembered for its later innovation of "hiding" the third rail below the track bed, with a row of matt black low-visibility metal prongs protruding up to the level of where a third rail would normally be - the loco's contacts then ran over these prongs and used them as a stealthed "virtual" third rail, without an unsightly gleaming silver metal contact running down the centre of the track (which would be fine for layouts that used models of electric loco, but historically anomalous for historical layouts with just steam locomotives).

Marklin 110V "Charles Dickens" locomotive, probably the first commercially-made electric model of a British-outline railway locomotive


In spite of the best clockwork mechanisms and highly tempered springs, clockwork locomotives run only for a short time, which for technical reasons cannot be increased. Steam locomotives, on the contrary, run for a comparatively long time, and are therefore very popular. The remarks in the foreword of this catalogue about the purchase of toys, concern steam locomotives especially; only the products of a manufacturer with years of experience can be relied on for safe running, and be given into children's hands without anxiety. Every locomotive we manufacture is tested under steam for pressure and working. Subject to the observance of the instructions included with each locomotive, we guarantee perfect working. All locomotives are fitted with a brass boiler; that of nos. E 4920, HR 4920 and HR4921 has a fire tube so that the flame runs through the whole boiler to the chimney. This intense interior heat results in an extra power of the engine, and at the same time the great advantage that the flames do not lick around the outside of the boiler but are hidden away inside.

— , Märklin, , Catalogue (E), , 1936

~1921: Märklin H 4021 PLM, cutaway diagram


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Media in category ‘Märklin locomotives’

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