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Although called third rail, Märklin acually has a two rail system and is the only brand using AC.

Although it's safe to say it only has two visible rails, the studs in the middle of the track do provide power, so technically it is a three-rail system, correct? I'm going to change this. -- Dave Farquhar 14:44, 16 May 2004 (UTC)

no, it is a two rail system; the two outer, visible rails are connected, the middle 'rail' is insulated from the other two. Also, the wheels on Märklin cars are not insulated and if used on other track brands they will cause a short circuit. Standard Märklin cars can only be used on other, say Fleischman, tracks if the wheels/axles are changed for insulated ones. Due to Märklin's use of the symmetry in the common outer and insulated middle tracks, a turning loop can be made without problem. The only true 'three rail system' is made by Trix Express - with three insulated rails. (MH, 2004-05-16)
The outer rails on large-scale three-rail track are connected as well, the notable exception that I know of being O gauge GarGraves track, which isolates the three rails. But traditional tubular O gauge track has always been called three-rail even though its outer rails are connected. I've edited the page to hopefully clarify all of this. How's it look? -- Dave Farquhar 15:44, 17 May 2004 (UTC)
OK, you may want to mention that people convert Märklin AC engines to DC to be used on DC lay outs. Märklin itself now also has DC engines - Märklin-Hamo (IIRC). (MH, 2004-05-17)
Any thoughts on it now? -- Dave Farquhar 19:37, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
There should be an article explaining two and three rail systems in model railways. MH 22:02, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
Excellent idea. I'll start thinking on that, maybe get something written up later this week. Dave Farquhar 02:22, 24 May 2004 (UTC)

Märklin construction sets[edit]

I was disappointed to find no mention of Märklin's long heritage of mechanical construction sets. My father, who grew up in Germany, played with both their electric trains and construction sets, even building trestles and bridges for his layouts with the construction set materials. He introduced me to the construction sets in the late 1950's, and it was quite a while before I even learned that Märklin also made electric trains! That said, I added a brief mention of that former product line.

", but of better quality."[edit]

Does anyone have evidence/proof/citations of how Maerklin was "better" then Erector or Meccano? Thanx 21:25, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

  • That appears a bit WP:POV, so I removed it. --Janke | Talk 22:44:57, 2005-09-04 (UTC)

Yes. Personal experience. I played with both Maerklin and Erector building sets as a child. The Erector components were of thinner gauge metal, flimsy, and had sharp edges that could injure. The comment about "better" should go back in. Since Maerklin sets are no longer on the market, unless someone has personal experience with it, a reader would have no way of obtaining a point of reference. Quicksilver 16:57, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't have personal experience with Meccano sets, but see the article at Erector_Set, wherein the writer rated Meccano inferior to Erector, with specific reasons. Stating that Maerklin building sets were of better quality than Erector and Meccano is not merely POV. Both and Janke could have avoided this question by reading both Erector_Set and Meccano articles. Quicksilver 17:12, 5 September 2005 (UTC)

Actually, to start with, the Märklin and Meccano products were mostly identical ... for the simple reason that the original Märklin product was Meccano, manufactured in Germany for or by Meccano Ltd.'s German offshoot company. Märklin had been Meccano Ltd's German distributor - when WW1 broke out, "Meccano Germany" got taken over and Märklin acquired it (along with the German manufacturing rights), sold the existing stock as "Märklin Meccano" and then continued to manufacture their own sets after the war, with a change of product name and a number of deliberate divergences from the parent product to avoid confusion, and avoid being sued for misrepresentation. I've handled both, and don't see any obvious reason for singling out the Märklin product as being better quality. ErkDemon (talk) 19:00, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
Regarding Märklin Metall vs Gilbert Erector, the original Erector did use thinner, shape-stamped trusses, but Gilbert then acquired the rights to make Meccano in the US, and the American Erector sets increasingly ended up incorporating a lot of Meccano-specification parts (and then their US variations), and essentially became "American Meccano" by another name. Much later, Meccano France bought the rights to the Erector name, and started selling the same boxes as either Meccano sets or Erector sets, depending on what name was regarded with most affection in a given sales territory. So for very recent sets, there's no difference between "modern Meccano" and "modern Erector", other than the name and logo used on the packaging and paperwork. ErkDemon (talk) 19:00, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

C Track Geometry[edit]

For what it's worth, I've started an article over on Wikibooks where I'll hopefully be putting some notes on Marklin's C track. -- 21:18, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Märklin bankrupt ?[edit]

"Märklin kann seine Mitarbeiter nicht bezahlen

Märklin kann seinen Mitarbeitern das Januar-Gehalt nicht überweisen. Das gab es noch nie - selbst als das Unternehmen 2006 kurz vor der Insolvenz stand. Verhandlungen mit den Hausbanken sollen eine Lösung bringen, doch diese sind skeptisch, ob Märklin überhaupt sanierungsfähig ist."

From - Erik Baas (talk) 16:00, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

H0 or HO?[edit]

It seems that folks have been changing this back and forth. I never noticed this distinction before today and took a look around. Now, while I prefer HO as in Half O Scale, as in Lionel, I have to admit that it should be H0, at least if we are going to discuss Märklin. They use H0, or 'H'Zero; Maerklin44 (talk) 06:16, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

This confusion comes from the discrepancy between NMRA and NEM model railway standards. NMRA uses letter 'O' while NEM is using numbers like in H0 (HO), 0 (O) or 1 (I). Since Märklin is an European company, they obviously prefer the European style, hence 'H0'. Z220info (talk) 10:01, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

It's got nothing to do with which side of the Atlantic you are. Zero is correct, and use of the letter O simply shows a misunderstanding of where these designations came from. The original designations were 1, 2, 3 etc. Then a smaller scale than 1 was introduced so it was designated 0 (zero). Some time later, someone introduced a scale which was half the size of 0, hence H0 (half zero). A slightly different scale introduced about the same time was designated 00 (double zero) to distinguish it from H0. --Roly (talk) 11:35, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Actually, the 1930s Märklin catalogues describe their early 16.5mm-track model railways as being "00", not "H0". ErkDemon (talk) 19:43, 12 July 2017 (UTC)
There was an early tendency to refer to any new attempted model railway format as "00" if it was smaller than 0-gauge, before things settled down and became standardised, so I'd be surprised if the name H0 was earlier. Remember that with construction sets such as Meccano, there was already a precedent for referring to a set smaller than a "set 0" as a "set 00", so "00" would probably have been the default name to use.
"4mm/ft 00" and "H0" use the same basic track size but have differently-scaled superstructures: 00 uses an oversized 4mm/foot, whereas H0 uses 3.5mm/ft, to better match the track scale. The 4mm/ft scale compromise was a solution to the "early adopter" problem of trying to fit primitive early motors and mechanisms into locos that could run on half-size track before the technology was really ready, which again supports the idea that H0 was a later development.
The 4mm/ft scale was championed by Henry Greenly, an engineer affiliated with Bassett-Lowke Ltd., who worked on both the 1930s "Trix Twin Railway" (TTR) system and on its 1920s "Bing Table Railway" predecessor, which was arguably the first commercially successful(ish) 00-gauge system (although the BTR superstructure was so toyish that assigning a true scale to it was problematic). ErkDemon (talk) 19:43, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Third rail[edit]

Older Maerklin tracks did not have studs; they had an actual third rail, see, e.g., (talk) 05:44, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

German site has way more content[edit]

The German wiki page for Marklin has way more content. I would like to translate and transfer the German language content to the English page. What say you ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Paul Matcalfe (talkcontribs) 19:42, 5 August 2015 (UTC)