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Offline BillMNYC  
#1 Posted : 22 September 2022 19:32:28(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 22/09/2022(UTC)
Posts: 12
Location: New York, Kingston
I've done a fair amount of research but am still looking for some guidance.

Through family I have a lot of postwar Lionel trains in O scale but due to my son's interests I'm looking to add some European trains (especially high speed trains). I've settled on HO and really would like to do Marklin. At the same time I'd like to have the flexibility to be able to use the same tracks/transformers/etc for US trains (e.g. Subway trains). From what I have researched it seems like the best plan for that would be to purchase Trix rather than regular Marklin.

To get started I had been looking at the 29792 ICE train starter set which seems like just what I wanted. Unfortunately for me that configuration seems to only be available for AC/Marklin and the closest equivalent for DC/Trix would be to get the 22784 ICE train plus a 21000 track/transformer starter kit. The total price would be $900usd instead of $400usd. I realize I'd be getting a larger consist and a better train but I'd still rather be able to pay a bit less at the start.

So, I have two questions:
1. Am I missing something and are there actually the train starter sets for Trix?
2. Does anyone in the US have experience using Marklin? Am I worrying too much about AC vs. DC and should I just buy Marklin?
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Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#2 Posted : 22 September 2022 21:58:00(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,879
Location: CA, USA
Hi- if you are a Lionel postwar fan you will find an extreme amount of comfort in marklin. Same quality, same kind of company and history, similar product evolutions over the years, and of course an AC operating system!

Since you are starting in HO, my objective thoughts:

1- DC offers miles more selection, cost savings in many ways, and availability in the United States. I am a die hard Marklin/AC purist, but this is something that can't be ignored.

2- That being said, Marklin is very much available new (and used via ebay) and coming from Lionel you will be quite happy with the brand.

So my subjective advice:

1- If you need (or can get away with) tighter radius curves, this is a good reason to leave DC at the door. Most US models need the same radius as O scale to turn around! (22" radius for anything you really "want", but 18" a bare minimum and 24" for any scale passenger of note) Marklin does well on 14"!

2- If you want any variety of US models -like the subway cars you mention- or models not from continental europe, you might want to go DC, and buy trix for anything european you like. Its marklin but for 2 rail....

Hope this helps!
SBB Era 2-5
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Offline mike c  
#3 Posted : 23 September 2022 04:48:42(UTC)
mike c

Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 7,950
Location: Montreal, QC
This might be an interesting Start Set by Roco (DC):


Roco is another very good German/Austrian model train company. You can use Trix or any other DC (LSM, ACME, etc) material on Roco tracks

Personally, I use Maerklin tracks and system with AC locomotives from a number of companies and AC and DC rolling stock from many brands


Mike C
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Offline marklinist5999  
#4 Posted : 23 September 2022 15:17:28(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 3,228
Location: Michigan, Troy
Yes, and Piko also has a few budget start sets. The Roco Z21 digital system is also great, with the best cab driver graphics of any, but so is the ESU Ecos also nice for future expansion.
You can also get a Marklin/Trix CS3 as another multi protocol option for 2 rail dcc digital.
The Ecos and CS3 have screens, the ESU still has some hard buttons on the left and right sides, the Marklin/Trix is fully screen icon/function interface. The Roco Z21's have no screen, and require a permanent wifi connection and either a P.C., tablet or smart phone screen.
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Offline BillMNYC  
#5 Posted : 26 September 2022 17:41:25(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 22/09/2022(UTC)
Posts: 12
Location: New York, Kingston
Thanks all. Some good options here.
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Offline Jimmy Thompson  
#6 Posted : 26 September 2022 20:51:35(UTC)
Jimmy Thompson

United States   
Joined: 26/03/2019(UTC)
Posts: 636
Location: Florida Classic but Successful Swampland City
I have have very good dealings with rocousa (a. k. a. "Macro Micro Mundo") and recommend them highly. Great people!Cool

(having said that, (and from my own experience) Reynaulds is also a good source; they have a LOT of "M" (et al.) goodies, but occasionally, they may lose track of things in inventory, but merely a function of having so much good stuff stored away. (n. b. They soon found the item for which I was looking, so no problem at all))
Jimmy T
Analogue; M-track; BR 111; KLVM; Primex; Sarrasani Zirkuswelt
There is a Prototype For Everything
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Offline Minok  
#7 Posted : 27 September 2022 23:04:36(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,311
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
From what you are describing, the critical decision is the track system, and that depends on which rolling stock is available for it.
For European trains many makes exist in both 3 conductor (Maerklin) and 2 conductor (Trix, Roco, etc)

For the US side, some models are made by the euro manufacturers but special niche items like subways not really.

So the key is to find which US specific trains you want to run, and what system are they. If they are 2 conductor (ie DC/DCC) then you should rule out Marklin in favor of a Euro 2 rail solution such as Trix as the alternative.

Thus first see what your US rolling stock desires limit you to in terms of track type, then match up a compatible Euro track system that the US stock will work on, and from there get Euro rolling stock that works on that track set.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
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