Märklin - A Basic Introduction

Märklin in Germany has been going for a number of years, but I am going to consider H0 scale during the 1950s through to the mid 70s. I run my Märklin on my Hornby Dublo track quite happily, however Märklin runs on 16 volt AC, so I have obtained a Märklin transformer to run them with.

Märklin electric locos will run on Triang overhead catenary, I have a switch to select 12 volt DC or 16 volt AC at the Harrow Park layout.

Märklin, as well as German locos, they have a good selection of foreign locos and coaches, including their only BRITISH RAILWAYS diesel loco of the Warship class, new in the 1967/68 catalogue. It is difficult to find and can be very expensive.... still on my wish list.

The Märklin 3-rail track used during my collecting time period, known as "M-Gleis" ( metal track bed, the later plastic trackbed is known as "C-Gleis" ). The variant with the center rail is the older variant, looking as it did before WW2. The lower variant is still third rail but with raised metal projections exactly where the sleepers are positioned. I will be adding some of these M-Gleis to my layout in the near future.

Koll´s Price Catalogue

This catalogue is released every year and dictates the going price for second hand Märklin HO products.

The standard catalogue is split into two volumes, which together covers over 1100 pages! This is illustrated throughout and cover every variant, some locos have 20 or more variants! Volume one covers locomotives, volume two covers coaching stock and goods wagons.

Then there is the "Kompakt" edition which is pocket sized, but has no illustrations, often used at model railway fairs and I mark mine off as a checklist.

A 4th catalogue, which I dont have, covers special editions of models.

Roughly speaking, catalogue numbers are as follows, three digits cover the early period 1935 until the late 40s, four digits cover the 50s until about 1975 and five digits cover the period from the late 70s onwards. This is not always correct, but I use it as a rough guide when looking at Märklin products on the second hand stalls.

Since digital has come in, analogue locos have taken a plunge in collector value. In the last 20 years they have halved in value, the exception being very rare items.

A typical page from the Koll catalogue and the sort of detail that is covered.

Of course Märklin does not benefit from the Koll catalogue because the catalogue is concerned with secondhand items.

Many German model railway shops can only remain open if they can cater for the large secondhand market as well as the Märklin digital products of today.

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