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Offline Beachie  
#1 Posted : 30 December 2022 08:31:52(UTC)
Beachie

Netherlands   
Joined: 26/12/2022(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: Gelderland, Apeldoorn
Greetings, I am new to the forum, US citizen living in Amsterdam. I have found great quality in the Marklin brand but still would like very much to run American diesels on my track.

Therefore, I was wondering before I switch to a different brand of track if it’s possible to run DC on the K rails?

I have heard it’s possible to run both AC and DC but I have no experience with this. Can anyone share insights or tips?
Offline PeFu  
#2 Posted : 30 December 2022 10:02:18(UTC)
PeFu

Sweden   
Joined: 30/08/2002(UTC)
Posts: 1,052
Welcome to this great forum, Beachie! The question should not be AC or DC. This is mainly a matter of physics.

(1) Your engines could be ANALOGUE powered with AC or DC. As an alternative, they could be DIGITAL with Märklin-Motorola, Mfx and/or DCC protocols (there are further digital protocols available). To simplify, one can say digital power is something between AC and DC (as I don’t intend to start a ”square wave signal” discussion here…)

(2) Your engines could require ”2-RAIL” tracks (i.e. power and grounding from the outer rails via the wheels) or ”3-RAIL” tracks (i.e. power from the ”mid-rail” pukos via a pickup-shoe, grounding to the outer rails via the wheels). You may run AC or DC, digital Märklin-Motorola or Mfx or DCC protocols, on both types types of tracks.

(3) The Märklin K-tracks are intended for 3-rail purposes. However, on the regular straight, curved or flex K-tracks, the outer rails are insulated from each other, which makes them easy to use for 2-rail engines. Note that the outer rails are connected on the Marklin K feeder track # 2290 and on the standard turnouts, which have to be modified. On long radius turnouts, as the # 22715, the outer rails are insulated from each other.

(4) Of course, you could never run 3-rail engines and 2-rail engines on the same power section of K-tracks. I would add a 2-pole switch for changing between 2-rail and 3-rail mode. Still, there would be a hazard putting a 3-rail engine on tracks that are in 2-rail mode.

An alternative could be to rebuild your 2-rail engines to 3-rail engines (i.e. add a pickup-shoe). Another alternative could be to have a separate line of 2-rail tracks on your layout…

Smile
Inspired by Swiss railways SBB and BLS | C and K track | CS2 | TrainController Gold V10
The Andreasburg-Mattiasberg layout on the Marklin-Users Forum and on Youtube
Offline Beachie  
#3 Posted : 30 December 2022 10:15:50(UTC)
Beachie

Netherlands   
Joined: 26/12/2022(UTC)
Posts: 2
Location: Gelderland, Apeldoorn
Hi, thanks for the response. I currently have the CS3 and quite a bit of C Track. But as I plan a new layout (digital) now I would like to run American trains which are mainly DC on a more realistic unbedded rail such as Tillig or something more prototypical.

I also don’t have so many locos where it would make such a difference and the Esu’s I have can switch to DC underneath.

So I think perhaps it’s a good option to just use a DC track in the new layout.
Offline PeFu  
#4 Posted : 30 December 2022 10:29:35(UTC)
PeFu

Sweden   
Joined: 30/08/2002(UTC)
Posts: 1,052
Originally Posted by: Beachie Go to Quoted Post
I also don’t have so many locos where it would make such a difference and the Esu’s I have can switch to DC underneath.

Do you mean ”switch to 2-rail”?

Originally Posted by: Beachie Go to Quoted Post
So I think perhaps it’s a good option to just use a DC track in the new layout.

Sounds reasonable, but it’s still ”2-rail track”, not ”DC track”. Also, you can power your new 2-rail digital layout with the CS3.

Inspired by Swiss railways SBB and BLS | C and K track | CS2 | TrainController Gold V10
The Andreasburg-Mattiasberg layout on the Marklin-Users Forum and on Youtube
Offline mrmarklin  
#5 Posted : 30 December 2022 20:00:30(UTC)
mrmarklin

United States   
Joined: 27/10/2004(UTC)
Posts: 880
Location: Burney, CA
Originally Posted by: Beachie Go to Quoted Post
Greetings, I am new to the forum, US citizen living in Amsterdam. I have found great quality in the Marklin brand but still would like very much to run American diesels on my track.

Therefore, I was wondering before I switch to a different brand of track if it’s possible to run DC on the K rails?

I have heard it’s possible to run both AC and DC but I have no experience with this. Can anyone share insights or tips?


This is totally possible and is the standard that we use on our ETE modules. We can run analogue or digital AC or DC. The only caveat is that you must use the "sleek" k-Track switches.Cool

We have two mainline tracks in our standard, and many times we will have DC on one line and AC on another.

Go to www.ete.org for more information.
From the People's Republik of Kalifornia
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by mrmarklin
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