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|Summary||Gebr. Märklin & Cie. GmbH is a very old name in toy trains and model railroading. Marklin was founded in Germany in 1859, originally as a maker of doll house accessories, but they did begin manufacturing toy trains soon after.|
|Address||North America: Märklin, Inc., P.O. Box 510559, New Berlin, WI 53151-0559
Marklin Inc.'s exclusive distributor is Wm. K Walthers and Inc.
Märklin, Inc. is the American Subsidiary of Gebr. Märklin & Cie. GmbH, Germany
|Device Types||Command Station, Other|
Märklin is responsible for the creation of several popular model railroad gauges or scales. See Model Railroad Scales for more.
In 1891, Märklin defined gauges 1-5. They soon became international standards. Märklin followed with O gauge (by some accounts as early as 1895 or as late as 1901), H0 scale in 1935, and the diminutive Z scale, 1:220, in 1972 — smallest in the world for decades — under the name Mini-Club (the scale of Z was assigned after the product line was introduced). Mini-Club was invented as Märklin's answer to Arnold Rapido's introduction of N gauge. (No relation to Rapido Trains Inc.)
Today, Märklin manufactures and markets trains and accessories in Gauge 1, H0 scale, and Z scale. I
Marklin Command Control Systems
Over the years Marklin has been a leader in digital control systems, developing and marketing a number of full featured command control systems based on digital technology.
Märklin Digital appeared in 1979, an early digital command control system, built around Motorola parts. A later command control system was also rebranded as Märklin Digital.
Märklin first demonstrated their new digital control system at the Nürnberg Toy Fair in 1979. After further work by a third party under contract, the system was officially introduced in 1985, with most components built by Märklin. Later, Marklin contracted Bernd Lenz for additional locomotive decoders and.
The Märklin Digital system offered simultaneous control of up to 80 locomotives and 256 accessories. 14 speed steps, and an accessory function which could be used for headlights or TELEX remote uncoupling.
Digital logic components of that time were expensive and the system used Trinary logic for cost reduction. Early decoders could cost as the locomotives and the expense of upgrading to Marklin Digital was considerable.
Marklin Digital = (Two Rail) and Marklin Digital~ (Three Rail)
Märklin Digital= is a command control system developed jointly with Lenz GmbH and Arnold GmbH for their Direct Current products. Digital~ is for their Alternating Current product lines. See DCC History for more information. The Digital~ also employs the Motorola Trinary format for signalling.
A simplified and cost reduced starter system intended for beginners and value oriented modellers, DELTA allowed control of up to four locomotives simultaneously. DELTA decoders initially lacked any way of easily changing the address. It also lacked the ability to control turnouts or other accessories. It was marketed for small to medium sized layouts.
The DELTA product has been discontinued.
Märklin Digital (mfx)
In 2004 a new Märklin digital control system was revealed. A new two way protocol allows for control of up 65,000 devices, locomotives can have up to 128 speed steps and 16 functions. Developed and manufactured by ESU for Märklin, later the brand Märklin System was replaced by Märklin Digital.
In 2013, the extended mfx+ digital system provided additional decoder features and also allows feedback with mfx+ equipped locomotives. The virtual fuel state of each mfx+ equipped locomotive can be set and monitored. For steam, boiler pressure and fire state can also be set, monitored, and controlled. Eventually, the locomotive must take fuel and water, as would the prototype.
Trix is the brand for Marklin two rail products which often support NMRA DCC. In Europe the Selectrix system is supported. When Marklin took over Trix the focus changed to Marklin's two rail Digital= for command control.
One early Trix innovation is notable. Trix created a 14VAC three wire, three rail system in 1935 where the center rail was ground, and power could be applied to the left or right rail. This allowed the operation of two trains on the same track independently. With the 1951 introduction of the Trix Express' electric locomotive with a functional pantograph, power could be taken from the overhead catenary for control of a third train. Trix Express used 14VDC for power. The Trix Express line was discontinued in 1997 by Marklin.
MiniTrix is the brand for N Scale. These were also marketed as the Postage Stamp Trains by Aurora.
Trix Limited London
The German government's aryanisation program of the 1930s forced the owners of Trix to sell, they then moved to the UK and set up a new company, using the brand name of TTR or Trix Twin Railway. The company disappeared in the 1970s during a wave of take-overs and mergers.