Marklin compatibility

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by william r barr, Jun 21, 2003.

  1. william r barr

    william r barr New Member

    Just bought some older Marklin ho trains--probably late eighties and early nineties--at auction. It's tough to find parts and service in Brazil. Can somebody help me out on whether these trains are compatible with other ho brands? Will a non-Marklin transformer work with them? What about spare trucks and couplers? Track? Tx.
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think you can interchange whatever couplers you desire. The rest of it is exclusive to marklin as far as track and motive power is concerned. You can probably run other makes of rolling stock with the Marklin locomotives if you make the couplers compatable, but marklin ho is ac like Lionel. Everybody else runs two rail dc. With Marklin, instead of a third rail, they use black "nails" on each tie for the third rail. The "track nails" aren't as obtrusive as the Lionel three rail.
  3. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Welcome to the Gauge, William!

    Marklin locomotives run on AC, so you MUST use a Marklin power pack with them - on Marklin track, as Russ explained.

    If you want to use Marklin cars on two rail track there is another problem: The wheels are not insulated, since Marklin uses both rails as one conductor for track power. So if you put these cars on two rail track, you have a short circuit! :(

    To run these cars on a normal two rail DC layout you have to exchange the wheelsets for insulated ones.

  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There is another difference with the Marklin AC power. To reverse, they send an extra high voltage to operate the relay. I remember that when you push the reverse button, all the lights come on extra bright. You must have a Marklin transformer; Lionel or American Flyer won't do.
    The couplings are a common European type. You might find other cars (even 2 rail) that have them that could be added to your trains.
    And the Marklin cars will short out on a 2-rail layout.

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