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Offline bronicabill  
#1 Posted : 13 March 2019 18:01:17(UTC)
bronicabill

United States   
Joined: 24/04/2018(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Alabama, Madison
I recently inherited a full Marklin HO-scale train set that was originally my mother's. She won it in a drawing at some department store in Memphis, TN back in the early to mid '50's. At the time, she was single and living at home, and had no interest in trains, other than her side of the family had a pretty good history of railroad workers, engineers (one whom was killed in a head-on collision with another steam locomotive), etc. Consequently the set was not used until she met my father a few years later, they got married and had us boys!

My memories of this set while growing up is it was pretty much only setup at Christmas time for a few days, then put away until the following year, therefore not a lot of runtime on it. This continued for around 10 years until I had my own, modern HO trains, then it was never run again until just a few years ago.

Long story somewhat shorter, I am the last person in my family to own this set, and while it has a lot of memories attached to it, I also realize I have little to zero use for it! Consequently I am considering selling it, but my search for values on this has been incredibly frustrating, and more than a bit disappointing, so I'm hoping this forum can offer some enlightenment as to how I should proceed because I'd REALLY like this set to go to someone who will cherish it and take good care of it!

The "star of the show" in this set is the DA800 locomotive. This is a Version 1 with plastic boiler and manual direction control, so I know it's not a "dime a dozen" like eBay seems to make it look like! I do admit to being confused whether the "3005" designation applies to this first version or not... some sources say it does, others say it doesn't until 1956 and onward. Being the plastic boiler, this one must be a 1954-55 model only... correct?

The set also includes the matching tender and 4 coaches, one of which is lighted.

In addition there is a second train... I'll call it a commuter train since I'm not sure yet what it is. The locomotive is the BA800, and includes 3 small matching passenger cars.

To round out the set is the 280A blue power transformer/controller, and lots of track, including several turnouts.

All of this is housed in the big original blue box it was shipped to Memphis in, and almost all of the individual component boxes are still present also.

So, how does a person go about assigning value to this, much less actually selling it without "giving it away"? Short of purchasing a Koll’s Preiskatalog, how does one price this stuff?

Thanks in advance for any help!!!

Bill Rainey
Huntsville/Madison, AL
Offline cookee_nz  
#2 Posted : 14 March 2019 01:55:57(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,876
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Hi Bill,

Some pictures would be great, partly to assess condition but also because we like pictures!! BigGrin

The Märklin numbering system is easy. They changed to 4-digit numbers beginning 1957 so anything letters & numbers, ie "DA 800" would be 1956 or earlier, from 1957 this Loco became renumbered as "3005". (The numbering system was expanded subsequently in more recent years but that's a different topic and does not affect this discussion)

An important note is that while the catalogue numbering changed virtually overnight, the castings/molds did not immediately change so you could still purchase new loco's which were numbered on the box as 3005 (for example), but the loco body may still carry the earlier DA 800 marking. Generally this is easily clarified by other details, and a common reference that collectors and enthusiasts use is the "Koll's" reference where each production change variant is noted.

But just briefly, the Plastic Body was indeed first, 1954-55, the Tender should be numbered "809". Die cast body was introduced in 1956 until '58, then from 1959 the Loco became marked as "3005".

The early plastic versions are considered by some as somewhat experimental to test the market. Obviously there are pros and cons. For the technology of the time, plastic allowed better detailing at lower cost, but the backlash was less weight so they sometimes didn't feel as heavy, and sometimes less traction, and one issue with some early plastic bodies was distortion, either from heat, or over-tightening of screws.

The catalogues for the period can also be a great help, did any come with it all?

I'm not sure what your "BA 800" is, there is no model with that designation, and to come with three small passenger cars means a smaller loco, I'd initially think of a CM 800 (3000) but honestly it could be any model - a picture paints 1,000 words as they say. At least the Colour of the Loco and Coaches would be a start in the absence of a photo.

If they came as original starter sets, they should each have a larger Red box with compartments, and the set number will be on one end of the box base. Starter sets usually did not have further individual boxes for the items within, they would just be wrapped in tissue or cardboard although there will be exceptions to this. If every item (Loco's and Coaches) has it's own box, then they were assembled from individual catalogue items to create a larger package - nothing at all wrong with that, it's how they shipped the Px sets from the time of and after WWII for returning military.

As it happens I have a slightly later version of that Loco in a boxed starter set, the set is 3205, so the Loco is a 3005, along with three passenger coaches. To the best of my knowledge, there was no factory-issued starter set at that time with 4 coaches, so this leans toward it being a bespoke set, or an original set plus an additional coach, and for no other reason that a guess, perhaps the coach with the lighting is the added one?

As for value, well condition and specific identification is everything. Something quite 'play-worn' will generally have much less appeal to a collector than something looking close to original condition. Again, photos with detail will help us there (both sides, top, bottom & end-on, something insignificant to the untrained eye may make all the difference)

In any event, what you have sounds just wonderful, and great that you have such fond memories over the years. Someone here is bound to be interested (they've probably already PM'd you) - I would, except NZ is a looong way and freight costs rule anything like this out.

Hope this helps in the interim. You've come to the right place for sure, but we'll need a little more at this stage to assist you further.

Regards

Steve
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline bronicabill  
#3 Posted : 14 March 2019 02:36:51(UTC)
bronicabill

United States   
Joined: 24/04/2018(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Alabama, Madison
Steve,

Thanks for the helpful info so far! Looks like I'm on track (pun intended) with the DA 800, at least regarding its actual identity and age. It will be tomorrow before I can do any more photography as I'm recovering from a kidney procedure and have done all I can manage for this day!

Here are 3 quick pics I took of the DA 800 showing its overall condition. Sorry they're not better but my daughter took my good Nikon DSLR to school, and I can't find our better P&S digital, so I'm stuck with an ancient one that shouldn't still work! :D Will get more pics tomorrow after I've rested and add them, especially focusing on the info you've given so far!

Marklin Locomotive
Marklin Locomotive
Marklin Locomotive - front view


Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
Hi Bill,

Some pictures would be great, partly to assess condition but also because we like pictures!! BigGrin

The Märklin numbering system is easy. They changed to 4-digit numbers beginning 1957 so anything letters & numbers, ie "DA 800" would be 1956 or earlier, from 1957 this Loco became renumbered as "3005".

An important note is that while the catalogue numbering changed virtually overnight, the castings/molds did not immediately change so you could still purchase new loco's which were numbered on the box as 3005 (for example), but the loco body may still carry the earlier DA 800 marking. Generally this is easily clarified by other details, and a common reference that collectors and enthusiasts use is the "Koll's" reference where each production change variant is noted.

But just briefly, the Plastic Body was indeed first, 1954-55, the Tender should be numbered "809". Die cast body was introduced in 1956 until '58, then from 1959 the Loco became marked as "3005".

The early plastic versions are considered by some as somewhat experimental to test the market. Obviously there are pros and cons. For the technology of the time, plastic allowed better detailing at lower cost, but the backlash was less weight so they sometimes didn't feel as heavy, and sometimes less traction, and one issue with some early plastic bodies was distortion, either from heat, or over-tightening of screws.

The catalogues for the period can also be a great help, did any come with it all?

I'm not sure what your "BA 800" is, there is no model with that designation, and to come with three small passenger cars means a smaller loco, I'd initially think of a CM 800 (3000) but honestly it could be any model - a picture paints 1,000 words as they say. At least the Colour of the Loco and Coaches would be a start in the absence of a photo.

<<snip>>


Offline cookee_nz  
#4 Posted : 14 March 2019 02:49:54(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,876
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: bronicabill Go to Quoted Post
Steve,

Thanks for the helpful info so far! Looks like I'm on track (pun intended) with the DA 800, at least regarding its actual identity and age. It will be tomorrow before I can do any more photography as I'm recovering from a kidney procedure and have done all I can manage for this day!

Here are 3 quick pics I took of the DA 800 showing its overall condition. Sorry they're not better but my daughter took my good Nikon DSLR to school, and I can't find our better P&S digital, so I'm stuck with an ancient one that shouldn't still work! :D Will get more pics tomorrow after I've rested and add them, especially focusing on the info you've given so far!

Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
Hi Bill,

Some pictures would be great, partly to assess condition but also because we like pictures!! BigGrin

The Märklin numbering system is easy. They changed to 4-digit numbers beginning 1957 so anything letters & numbers, ie "DA 800" would be 1956 or earlier, from 1957 this Loco became renumbered as "3005".

An important note is that while the catalogue numbering changed virtually overnight, the castings/molds did not immediately change so you could still purchase new loco's which were numbered on the box as 3005 (for example), but the loco body may still carry the earlier DA 800 marking. Generally this is easily clarified by other details, and a common reference that collectors and enthusiasts use is the "Koll's" reference where each production change variant is noted.

But just briefly, the Plastic Body was indeed first, 1954-55, the Tender should be numbered "809". Die cast body was introduced in 1956 until '58, then from 1959 the Loco became marked as "3005".

The early plastic versions are considered by some as somewhat experimental to test the market. Obviously there are pros and cons. For the technology of the time, plastic allowed better detailing at lower cost, but the backlash was less weight so they sometimes didn't feel as heavy, and sometimes less traction, and one issue with some early plastic bodies was distortion, either from heat, or over-tightening of screws.

The catalogues for the period can also be a great help, did any come with it all?

I'm not sure what your "BA 800" is, there is no model with that designation, and to come with three small passenger cars means a smaller loco, I'd initially think of a CM 800 (3000) but honestly it could be any model - a picture paints 1,000 words as they say. At least the Colour of the Loco and Coaches would be a start in the absence of a photo.

<<snip>>





Thanks Bill, it looks to be in very tidy condition, that certainly helps its appeal. Love to see more photos in due course but the camera you did use has done a fine job!

And it's solid-3-rail track, Drool got my interest right away. 1956 was the last year of that track style being in the catalogue.

Of course, we'd far rather convert you to the joys of the hobby than seeing it sold, but if you are going to sell it, here is the place! You will find someone with passion for sure.

All the best with your recovery, take your time.

Cheers
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline bronicabill  
#5 Posted : 14 March 2019 02:54:36(UTC)
bronicabill

United States   
Joined: 24/04/2018(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Alabama, Madison
Oh, regarding that BA 800 loco that doesn't seem to be a valid part number (that is what's on the end of the box though), it is an electric loco with the little extending overhead line pickups, not a steamer like the CM800 you thought it might be.

Again, will be tomorrow before I can get any more photos posted... sorry!

Edit to add: Just found a pic of what I have on eBay, and they're calling it a CE800 Electric Shunting Loco...
Offline cookee_nz  
#6 Posted : 14 March 2019 03:15:08(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,876
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Originally Posted by: bronicabill Go to Quoted Post
Oh, regarding that BA 800 loco that doesn't seem to be a valid part number (that is what's on the end of the box though), it is an electric loco with the little extending overhead line pickups, not a steamer like the CM800 you thought it might be.

Again, will be tomorrow before I can get any more photos posted... sorry!


Even more intriguing.

If it's got two Pantographs, then it's a larger Electric Loco (smaller ones only have a single Panto) and that could be easily as interesting than the DA 800 Steam Loco.

Pending photos, don't hesitate to describe the items if you wish.

All Märklin items have markings on them, Loco's and coaches. Those alone can tell us a great deal, quite apart from knowing the Colour as well.

Does the box marking look to be a factory-printed label or hand-written? - definitely a photo of that Love
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline bronicabill  
#7 Posted : 14 March 2019 03:20:10(UTC)
bronicabill

United States   
Joined: 24/04/2018(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Alabama, Madison
Originally Posted by: cookee_nz Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: bronicabill Go to Quoted Post
Oh, regarding that BA 800 loco that doesn't seem to be a valid part number (that is what's on the end of the box though), it is an electric loco with the little extending overhead line pickups, not a steamer like the CM800 you thought it might be.

Again, will be tomorrow before I can get any more photos posted... sorry!


Even more intriguing.

If it's got two Pantographs, then it's a larger Electric Loco (smaller ones only have a single Panto) and that could be easily as interesting than the DA 800 Steam Loco.

Pending photos, don't hesitate to describe the items if you wish.

All Märklin items have markings on them, Loco's and coaches. Those alone can tell us a great deal, quite apart from knowing the Colour as well.

Does the box marking look to be a factory-printed label or hand-written? - definitely a photo of that Love


See my edit above your reply... it appears to be (and now confirmed) a CE 800 Electric Shunting Locomotive. All box markings, especially regarding item numbers are factory printed. More pics to come tomorrow... including overview of entire set!
Offline White Buffalo  
#8 Posted : 14 March 2019 04:19:09(UTC)
White Buffalo

United States   
Joined: 29/12/2016(UTC)
Posts: 353
Location: South Dakota
That is a nice looking & clean DA 800 Lok, looking forward to seeing the new pictures......BigGrin
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