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Offline Twinrover1965  
#1 Posted : 25 July 2020 14:04:07(UTC)

United Kingdom   
Joined: 18/03/2018(UTC)
Posts: 8
Location: England, London
Roco has just released a very nice 3 DB conversion coach set [Roco 74184] for DC. They are probably reissues from Fleischmann days. Correct me if I am wrong but I think Marklin last released these popular coaches in about 2015. I would like to convert them to analogue AC operation with interior lighting for my C track layout. I have only had the coach lighting bug for a few weeks now so please forgive my limited knowledge. I am already aware that I need a full set of AC wheelsets [FL6561] and lighting kit [FL6445]. Would the latter lighting kit suitable for AC operation? Which skater do I need for each coach [I prefer this to current flowing through unreliable couplers]. Anything else I need to consider?

Is this going to be a full blown industrial project or is it a case of joining a few wires together? If it is going to be overly complicated - I am essentially a plug and play person as I neither have the tools nor patience to perform major surgery - I will not pursue this and wait until Marklin releases these coaches again whenever that might be. Not much secondhand on ebay either.

I do however have a good friend who could use a soldering iron for simple jobs, if this is unavoidable, but I will need clear instructions to direct him.

Incidentally, does anybody know whether Marklin intends to reissue these coaches in the forseeable future? Looking back through other manufacturers' catalogues, they seem to be a popular mainstay over the last fifty years and in some cases a permanent big seller for some brands. I am not keen on the shorter type of conversion coach as the proportions don't seem quite right to me.

Hope somebody can assist, please. Many thanks and keep safe!
Offline mike c  
#2 Posted : 25 July 2020 15:51:53(UTC)
mike c

Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,659
Location: Montreal, QC
Roco has had these 4 axle umbau coaches in their product line since the 1980s, so I doubt that these models are Fleischmann reissues.
Roco coaches, especially the 4 axle ones, can be relatively easily outfitted for operation on 3 rail AC layouts.

Where the issue lies is equipping your coaches for analog or digital operation. Some lighting kits may only allow for a certain voltage, and the reverse spike or constant digital voltage could either burb out the bulbs or cause the plastic to melt.

Where possible, LED might be the best option (for digital or AC use).

Other possibilities to consider would be:

Individual sliders versus current conducting couplers, and if current conducting couplers, would you choose to use single pole (centre rail) or multi pole (live and ground) connectors?

As an alternative, you can search for the following models:

You can probably still find these on auction sites and at some shops.


Mike C

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Offline Rwill  
#3 Posted : 25 July 2020 16:18:42(UTC)

United Kingdom   
Joined: 04/05/2015(UTC)
Posts: 605
Location: England, London
Have you considered the train tech solution?


Motion controlled - little battery power.

Search the forum quite a few topics usually good write ups and relatively cost effective

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Offline David Dewar  
#4 Posted : 25 July 2020 17:38:58(UTC)
David Dewar

Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,942
Location: Scotland
I use Train Tech now for all coaches. No flicker and they switch themselves off after four minutes not moving. I tell my wife it is the loco driver who switches them off after I leave the train room.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
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Offline mvd71  
#5 Posted : 26 July 2020 05:59:11(UTC)

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,263
Location: Auckland,
You only need one set of AC wheels for one bogie on one coach. A pick up shoe for the same coach, after that use ESU two pole current conducting couplers for power transmission to the remaining coaches. The ESU lighting kits also would work well, and if you are using digital operation, for about an additional €5 you can buy a lighting kit with a decoder that will allow you to switch the lights in the powered coach on and off, and also switch the two coupled coaches power on another function switch.

I have found this to be the best option so far.
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