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Offline H0  
#1 Posted : 07 June 2012 21:18:05(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 8,369
Class: SNCB Series 28
Manufacturer: Märklin
Ref. No.: 36608
Year of Production: 2012
AC or DC: AC
Era: VI
Length: 21.7 cm
Decoder: fx decoder (MM protocol only, 14 speed steps)
Motor: "Special can motor", maintenance free (you need a new motor when the brushes are worn)
Powered axles: 4
Traction Tyres: 2
Whisper Pickup: no
Digital Address: default address 24, address range 1 through 255

Digital functions:
F0: Headlights ("maintenance-free LEDs" (i.e. yellow LEDs))
F4: De-activates acceleration/braking delay

The decoder has a single CV that sets acceleration and braking delay at the same time.

The loco as it came out of the box:
The loco as it came out of the box

This loco is a form variation. The catalogue announces "Tooling change to the body form, with different roof equipment", but I don't notice differences in the body form. The roof equipment is different:
The roof equipment
Please note that I already replaced the wiper of the outward pantograph above cab 1. Pre-installed was a narrow wiper, I installed a wide wiper (from an Re 460 which in turn received the narrow wiper).

Here's a prototype picture:
Series 28
The loco uses the outward pantograph above cab 1 as this is the only pantograph suitable for Germany.
The inward pantographs have four wipers each for DC operation (not represented on the model).

Another prototype picture. The side walls of the loco have bevels and edges which did not exist with earlier TRAXX locos and which are not represented on the model (despite the announcement "change to the body form").
Another prototype picture
You can see that the prototype loco still uses light bulbs.

Three models of the TRAXX family side by side:
Three TRAXX models
On the left: an old Roco model (Re 484) with cold-white LEDs
On the right: an not so old Trix model (BR 185.2) with warm-white LEDs
In the middle: the brand-new 2012 Märklin model with not-so-white LEDs.

The three TRAXX models again:
Three TRAXX models
Roco and Trix have warning signs beside the lower headlights and above the front windows.

A close-up of the Märklin model (front):
Close-up (front)

A close-up of the Trix model (front):
Close-up (front)

A close-up of the Roco model (front):
Close-up (front)

A close-up of the Märklin model (centre):
Close-up (centre)

A close-up of the Trix model (centre):
Close-up (centre)

A close-up of the Roco model (centre):
Close-up (centre)
Also look at the roof equipment.

The roof equipments of the three locos side by side (Trix, Märklin, Roco (top to bottom)):
Three completely different roof equipments
Three different configurations of the TRAXX family with different equipment.
Märklin and Trix use pantographs bought from the same company, while Roco make their own pantographs.

A closer look at Märklin (top) and Roco (bottom):
Roof equipment Märklin (top) and Roco (bottom)
I like the chrome look of Roco's roof wires (does not show very good on the picture) and how they represent the screws that connect sections of the roof wires.
Märklin uses grey plastic that shall look like metal.

A comparison of red rear lights:
Red rear lights
Roco: yes (cannot be switched off independently)
Trix: yes (can be switched off independently)
Märklin: no read rear lights

The Märklin model has a metal body (die cast). The Trix model has a plastic body, but it is slightly heavier than the Märklin model. The Roco model also has a plastic body - and is the heaviest of the three.

The Märklin model without coupler pocket at the front:
Front coupler removed
I prefer to have it that way.

Märklin loco coupled with freight car:
Loco coupled to freight car
The Märklin model comes with close coupler, but without guiding mechanism. Roco and Trix have guiding mechanisms.
Note that I replaced the coupler pocket. With the original coupler pocket, the gap between the buffers is larger by two or three millimetres.

Here's a picture I took at an MRR exhibition at Cologne last weekend:
SNCB series 28 model, maybe from L.S.Models
This could be a loco from L.S.Models. Three different types of pantographs, all mounted at the correct positions (the Märklin model has three pantographs out of four wrong (I replaced one wiper to get two out of four correct)).

Personal reflection
I ordered this model in February 2011.
I got this model in April 2012.
I am not disappointed, but I am not impressed either.
With an RRP of Euro 129.95 (2012, incl. VAT) it's one of the cheaper Märklin models. Today I think it's too expensive for a loco with yellow LEDs, only 14 speed steps (no decoder socket, so there is no easy way to replace the decoder) - this loco does not belong to the My World range, neither was it marked as a Hobby locomotive.
I will not pre-order any more locos with yellow LEDs and simple soldered-in decoders with only 14 speed steps. Warm-white LEDs and decoder sockets should be used for all models IMHO.

I like the shiny brake disks of the Trix and Roco models (Märklin's BR 152 and 189 also have them). I don't expect this from Hobby locos with an RRP below Euro 100 - but the RRP is Euro 130 now and I expect more value for my money.

Edited by user 11 June 2012 18:59:43(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Regards
Tom
---
Happy customer of Roco, Piko, Fleischmann, ESU, Brawa, Liliput, Rivarossi, Lima, ... - and will happily continue to buy locos that run well out of the box. I'm also happy with 95% of my Märklin items, but will avoid a few cost-optimized items made 2011 or later.
thanks 6 users liked this great post by H0
Offline kimballthurlow  
#2 Posted : 07 June 2012 22:22:52(UTC)
kimballthurlow


Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 4,027
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Hi Tom,
Thank you for a very comprehensive look at the loco, and others of the same genre.

While I don't have a particular interest in modern models, I appreciate the work you put into this review.

regards
Kimball

HO Scale - Märklin layout digital DB ep III, C Track - 2 rail (USA N&W, Pennsy, GN) (Australia, Queensland) - 3 rail English LNER/BR Hornby Dublo - O gauge, a few Märklin and Hornby.
thanks 1 user liked this great post by kimballthurlow
H0
Offline foumaro  
#3 Posted : 08 June 2012 18:35:19(UTC)
foumaro

Greece   
Joined: 08/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,346
Location: ATHENS-GREECE
Great presentation of the models,thank you very much.
thanks 1 user liked this great post by foumaro
H0
Offline Marty  
#4 Posted : 08 June 2012 23:31:11(UTC)
Marty

United States   
Joined: 28/05/2008(UTC)
Posts: 254
Location: USA
Thanks for the report, Tom.

One thing I notice when looking at the three loks lined up is that the windshield on the Märklin model looks too short in height. The class 185 has a fairly tall windshield, especially when compared to a class 101. To me, the Märklin 185.5 model looks more like a class 101 with the short windshield. Märklin's earlier version of the 185.1 (for example 36850) looks ok in this respect. Maybe someone here can post a picture of Märklin's two different versions side by side to illustrate the difference.

Also, I wanted to ask what is the part number of the short coupler shank you replaced? I am planning on buying a 36850 at some point in the future and would like to replace the couplers with shorter ones.
Marty
thanks 2 users liked this great post by Marty
H0TimR
Offline H0  
#5 Posted : 09 June 2012 07:38:55(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 8,369
Hi, Marty!
Originally Posted by: Marty Go to Quoted Post
Also, I wanted to ask what is the part number of the short coupler shank you replaced?
Thanks for asking. Sorry, I should have included that information right from the start.

Part number is 345760 - now you get a bag of 10 as E345760.
See here:
http://m-users.net/forum...bby-locos.aspx#post91298
Credit for the tip goes to Lutz H. - also see Mafi's pictures.

This conversion has one drawback: the new pocket has smaller springs that will not centre the coupler. So if you want to do remotely controlled shunting on the layout, keep the old pocket. With the new pocket, you need the Hand of God to straighten the coupler before connecting the train.


Originally Posted by: Marty Go to Quoted Post
One thing I notice when looking at the three loks lined up is that the windshield on the Märklin model looks too short in height.
While taking the pictures I noticed that the M* model is not as tall as the other two.
Comparing prototype and model pictures in my first post, it looks as if they shortened the windshield to make up for the reduced size. I hadn't noticed that before, but I think the aspect ratio of the windshield is not correct.

Edited by user 09 June 2012 07:46:34(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Regards
Tom
---
Happy customer of Roco, Piko, Fleischmann, ESU, Brawa, Liliput, Rivarossi, Lima, ... - and will happily continue to buy locos that run well out of the box. I'm also happy with 95% of my Märklin items, but will avoid a few cost-optimized items made 2011 or later.
thanks 1 user liked this great post by H0
Offline steventrain  
#6 Posted : 09 June 2012 08:44:46(UTC)
steventrain

United Kingdom   
Joined: 21/10/2004(UTC)
Posts: 26,418
Location: Northern Ireland
Good review, Tom.
Largest marklinist Layout with Centrail station 2/Mobile station 2/60174 boosters/C-Tracks/K-Tracks/Favorites class BR01, BR23, BR50/Insider Club membership since 2004.
Offline Dimi194  
#7 Posted : 09 June 2012 09:50:18(UTC)
Dimi194

Australia   
Joined: 21/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 270
Location: South Coast, NSW
This is one of the strange inbetween locos; not Hobby, not Professional... how strange. I have a HARIBO painted one, and feel the same way.
Author of the gritty sci-fi novel 'Stories of Earth: WWIII' (featuring an awesome train chase)
Avid YouTuber (TrainzXtreme) and train person!
Offline mmervine  
#8 Posted : 09 June 2012 10:49:23(UTC)
mmervine

United States   
Joined: 30/01/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,574
Location: Spofford, NH
It was interesting to see how Marklin modified the roof details to better match the prototype. If you have one of these loks and would like a better decoder and light package I would suggest this upgrade:

http://luessi.ch/shop/ca...h=2&products_id=2343
Märklin C-track, Digital, ECoS, multi-era French & Swiss
http://www.ete-ene.org/MMLayout.htm
Offline jeehring  
#9 Posted : 09 June 2012 11:54:14(UTC)
jeehring


Joined: 25/09/2003(UTC)
Posts: 2,695
Location: ,
.....thanks for a nice & complete reviews...however, why you didn't mention the different RPP prices of each model, I only have read the Marklin model price, have I missed something ?
Offline H0  
#10 Posted : 09 June 2012 12:19:23(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 8,369
Originally Posted by: jeehring Go to Quoted Post
however, why you didn't mention the different RPP prices of each model, I only have read the Marklin model price, have I missed something?
This was intended to be a review of the new Märklin 36608 model.
I don't know the RRP of the Roco model (I got if for Euro 116.10 incl. VAT; three-rail version with ESU decoder).
The RRP for the Trix loco is Euro 189.95 (two-rail version, analogue without decoder, I got it for Euro 83.78 incl. VAT).

If you look at the RRP, only the Piko TRAXX locos are cheaper than the Märklin TRAXX locos. And even those are better detailed than Märklin.
Street prices and clearance sales are a different matter.
Regards
Tom
---
Happy customer of Roco, Piko, Fleischmann, ESU, Brawa, Liliput, Rivarossi, Lima, ... - and will happily continue to buy locos that run well out of the box. I'm also happy with 95% of my Märklin items, but will avoid a few cost-optimized items made 2011 or later.
Offline dan67millie  
#11 Posted : 11 June 2012 18:31:44(UTC)
dan67millie


Joined: 09/11/2010(UTC)
Posts: 202
Location: England Northamptonshire
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: jeehring Go to Quoted Post
however, why you didn't mention the different RPP prices of each model, I only have read the Marklin model price, have I missed something?
This was intended to be a review of the new Märklin 36608 model.
I don't know the RRP of the Roco model (I got if for Euro 116.10 incl. VAT; three-rail version with ESU decoder).
The RRP for the Trix loco is Euro 189.95 (two-rail version, analogue without decoder, I got it for Euro 83.78 incl. VAT).

If you look at the RRP, only the Piko TRAXX locos are cheaper than the Märklin TRAXX locos. And even those are better detailed than Märklin.
Street prices and clearance sales are a different matter.


Is the SNCB traxx availble from anyone else!
Offline H0  
#12 Posted : 11 June 2012 18:58:47(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 8,369
You can get it from Piko:
http://www.mytrain-colle...d/evolution/P1030331.JPG
Their Expert models are good value for the money (wheels and pantographs look cheap, but printing is rather good). Cheap model, so don't expect too much.

You can get it from L.S.Models:
http://www.lsmodels.com/...ments/News/Bleu%2028.jpg
Probably the last picture in my first post shows a loco from L.S.Models.
Regards
Tom
---
Happy customer of Roco, Piko, Fleischmann, ESU, Brawa, Liliput, Rivarossi, Lima, ... - and will happily continue to buy locos that run well out of the box. I'm also happy with 95% of my Märklin items, but will avoid a few cost-optimized items made 2011 or later.
Offline villefra  
#13 Posted : 04 August 2012 20:07:25(UTC)
villefra


Joined: 10/07/2009(UTC)
Posts: 22
Location: Helsinge, Denmark
Hi Tom,

thanks for your review - I do agree to a large extend to your opinions. It is a pity is is really difficult to modify the cheap TRAXX series from Märklin so they have red rear lights. At least I don't have the competence to do it.

However, the reason I reply to your post just now is that the locomotive is "locomotive of the month" from Märklin - leading to significant price reduction in various shops. I have for example seen it to EUR 76 in Modellshop Lippe, and I am sure other shops have it for sale at similar prices. And I think that is a competitive price for this model, which is a slight improvement over the numerous previous TRAXX models Märklin made, because the added different high voltage railings on the roof of the loco.

Happy driving + enjoy the summer,

Rasmus.
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