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Offline river6109  
#1 Posted : 08 January 2019 13:02:36(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,442
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Hi, I have been collecting locos now for almost 40 years and in this time I have seen drastic changes and 99% for the better but lately I've got the impression locos are made for the collector and not for the everyday user on his or her layout.
there are several reasons I believe this has happened:
1.) reduction in Rubber tyres
2.) motor size has been reduced
3.) weight has been reduced
4.) light functions (led's) have been fixed to minimum changes (white/red) unless you buy a model with sound, premium or expert level.
but the details under a loco has now been reproduced to exact a prototype loco, in all these years running my locos and looking st them from time to time I hardly look at the details underneath a loco and I ask myself who is this for ? I don't have high enough bridges so I can see what's underneath the loco when it runs on my layout and I don't use a mechanic's mirror to see what's underneath but I can imagine a collector who hasn't got a layout and buys a loco he wants to have it all like the prototype, which is ok I don't have problems with this but when it comes when manufacturers stating to skim on materials and other parts my curiosity starts working.

We've had the announcement by ESU a new V 60 and apparently a lot of complaints from the previous model as it has hardly any traction force, although ESU is assuring customers this new model hasn't got the same problems it still remains the question: why only 1 rubber tyre ?, it has a power pack to overcome dead spots and it still would have 4 wheels to collect power from the track (either 2 or 3 rail).
some newer Roco electric locos have a weight reduction of 200g

so all your collectors out there you've won the battle over the everyday user , who, he or she operates his or her trains and shame on you to all you manufacturers.

My first whinge for 2019

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
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Offline GlennM  
#2 Posted : 08 January 2019 13:54:24(UTC)
GlennM

United Kingdom   
Joined: 09/05/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,751
Location: Somewhere Near Manchester, England
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
Hi, I have been collecting locos now for almost 40 years and in this time I have seen drastic changes and 99% for the better but lately I've got the impression locos are made for the collector and not for the everyday user on his or her layout.
there are several reasons I believe this has happened:
1.) reduction in Rubber tyres
2.) motor size has been reduced
3.) weight has been reduced
4.) light functions (led's) have been fixed to minimum changes (white/red) unless you buy a model with sound, premium or expert level.
but the details under a loco has now been reproduced to exact a prototype loco, in all these years running my locos and looking st them from time to time I hardly look at the details underneath a loco and I ask myself who is this for ? I don't have high enough bridges so I can see what's underneath the loco when it runs on my layout and I don't use a mechanic's mirror to see what's underneath but I can imagine a collector who hasn't got a layout and buys a loco he wants to have it all like the prototype, which is ok I don't have problems with this but when it comes when manufacturers stating to skim on materials and other parts my curiosity starts working.

We've had the announcement by ESU a new V 60 and apparently a lot of complaints from the previous model as it has hardly any traction force, although ESU is assuring customers this new model hasn't got the same problems it still remains the question: why only 1 rubber tyre ?, it has a power pack to overcome dead spots and it still would have 4 wheels to collect power from the track (either 2 or 3 rail).
some newer Roco electric locos have a weight reduction of 200g

so all your collectors out there you've won the battle over the everyday user , who, he or she operates his or her trains and shame on you to all you manufacturers.

My first whinge for 2019

John


Interesting thought John, but if you look how many people buy locos as opposed to rolling stock, I would say most people have a lot more locos than rolling stock to go with those locos.

Looking around Facebook and often this Forum there are so many locos housed in display cases and not being run, that maybe the majority of locos are bought as collector items for display and maybe this influences manufacturers.

In recent years Brawa has seemingly been the benchmark for detail, with many people expressing a wish for Marklin to follow suit in respect of detail levels, and likewise in terms of digital operation Marklin and others strive to produce an endless assortment of electronic gadgetry, which is most cases either has a very poor quality control level or does not last as we have seen with some of the peizo motor driven gadgets. Following failures and an inability to repair these items they simply end up on display.

How many Forum members own or have owned a Brawa item, which has detail bits broken or missing or which have been removed and left in the box for fear that they will get broken and go missing.

Like with many things in our throw away society we seem to strive for better detail and lots of electronic gizmos over quality (glitz over substance), and manufacturers have to cut their cloth to suit. The changes (corner/cost cutting) mentioned in your post are no doubt vital for manufacturers to try and stay profitable, in a dwindling market. Like with all manufacturing it is a compromise.

I still enjoy some of my Marklin locos that date back to manufacture in the 1950's and 60's, I cannot see my son playing with the Marklin models purchased recently in another 50 years.

Perhaps a return to simpler but higher quality items would be advantageous but I am afraid I doubt it will happen as the mass market wants to see, more detail, more realism, and better electronic functionality and operability, modern consumers want thrill and awe, and it seems provided we get that we will happily purchase a product of inferior quality
Don't look back, your not heading that way.
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Offline RayF  
#3 Posted : 08 January 2019 15:30:13(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,331
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
Again we go back to the debate about quality. It seems that everyone defines quality in terms of what they want to see in a model.

Quality is a difficult variable to measure. We can define it around any number of measurable parameters.

Reliability?
Robustness?
Construction material?
Functional abilities such as pulling power?
Accuracy with respect to the prototype?
Smoothness of running?
Technical sophistication in digital functions?
Value for money?

Some of these factors are difficult to achieve without compromising others, but I am convinced that all the manufacturers today are trying their best to create a balance that pleases the majority of modellers.

I disagree that models today are intended for display cabinets. If this were the case why would they bother with sophisticated digital functions? I approve of the current range that Marklin produces, being a mix of high cost detailed items and lower cost less detailed but more robust ones. My one reservation is that the cheaper range has gone up in price to accommodate sound and these are no longer as affordable as they were a few years ago.

I run my 2018 models alongside my 1960 models, and the difference between them is highly visible in terms of visual appeal and smoothness of running, with the new models being by far the preferable ones to me. And no, I don't have to keep picking up bits of trains from the layout because I'm careful how I handle these delicate treasures.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and if 1960's standards are what you prefer then by all means stick to buying old models, of which there are many on the market.

Ray
Mostly Marklin.Selection of different eras and European railways
Small C track layout, control by MS2, 100+ trains but run 4-5 at a time.
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Offline mbarreto  
#4 Posted : 08 January 2019 15:40:54(UTC)
mbarreto

Portugal   
Joined: 18/02/2008(UTC)
Posts: 844

Yes, quality is difficult to define. One definiton I saw some years ago was !quality is what the customer wants."... I don't like it at all, but that's just my opinion. I prefer measure characteristics agains standards or the existance of benchmarks.
Maybe Märklin may define some items as "rugged", like for example their E94s or RE6/6 to diferentiate them from other items.
Above all, I think Märklin items are a good compromise between durability and detail.
One thing that is not so good is the lack of spare parts to replace due I think to the enormous amount of different models and the price it would cost. This is bad in my opinion as it doesn't assure our models we be ok if they broke.
In 2019 I am tempted to buy an ESU locomotive but I have doubts all those sensors and electronics suvive long...
With Märklin I feel more confident.
Mostly Märklin H0.


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Offline H0  
#5 Posted : 08 January 2019 15:47:19(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,433
Location: DE-NW
Hi, John!
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
so all your collectors out there you've won the battle over the everyday user , who, he or she operates his or her trains and shame on you to all you manufacturers.
There are many brands to chose from. Each brand has better and lesser models, each brand has cheaper or pricier models.
Caveat emptor. Check what you buy and just buy what you like.

My Piko locos usually work as intended.
Roco are trying their best to lose my budget.
Märklin successfully lost most of my budget by supplying sound locos and lighted coaches only.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
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Offline David Dewar  
#6 Posted : 08 January 2019 16:05:16(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 6,628
Location: Scotland
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
Hi, I have been collecting locos now for almost 40 years and in this time I have seen drastic changes and 99% for the better but lately I've got the impression locos are made for the collector and not for the everyday user on his or her layout.
there are several reasons I believe this has happened:
1.) reduction in Rubber tyres
2.) motor size has been reduced
3.) weight has been reduced
4.) light functions (led's) have been fixed to minimum changes (white/red) unless you buy a model with sound, premium or expert level.
but the details under a loco has now been reproduced to exact a prototype loco, in all these years running my locos and looking st them from time to time I hardly look at the details underneath a loco and I ask myself who is this for ? I don't have high enough bridges so I can see what's underneath the loco when it runs on my layout and I don't use a mechanic's mirror to see what's underneath but I can imagine a collector who hasn't got a layout and buys a loco he wants to have it all like the prototype, which is ok I don't have problems with this but when it comes when manufacturers stating to skim on materials and other parts my curiosity starts working.

We've had the announcement by ESU a new V 60 and apparently a lot of complaints from the previous model as it has hardly any traction force, although ESU is assuring customers this new model hasn't got the same problems it still remains the question: why only 1 rubber tyre ?, it has a power pack to overcome dead spots and it still would have 4 wheels to collect power from the track (either 2 or 3 rail).
some newer Roco electric locos have a weight reduction of 200g

so all your collectors out there you've won the battle over the everyday user , who, he or she operates his or her trains and shame on you to all you manufacturers.

My first whinge for 2019

John



Hi John. Never did understand the collecting thing. Why have dozens of locos and coaches in a cabinet doing nothing. Most probably have a sound decoder. I know Ray has a good collection but he does run them all from what I see on his excellent videos.

I buy at most one loco per year and only if I am going to run it on the layout.


I expect Marklin will be happy to have collectors who buy almost everything new they produce and if it keeps them going then that is OK by me.


Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
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MrB32  
#7 Posted : 08 January 2019 16:17:29(UTC)
Guest


Joined: 06/01/2010(UTC)
Posts: 284
I would not have used the word "collector". "Detail oriented modeller" sounds more appropriate to me in this context. This is were the money is, and who manufacturers have been catering to for the last 30 years. Whether it is a good thing or not is open to interpretation.

I have got rid of my CS2 and my digital kit, because I got fed up with it, I like the train set feel of the old Märklin stuff, so this is what I opted to concentrate on. I also found that the level of care required to operate new stuff, starting with the basic handling was becoming a nuisance. I am just too clumsy and impatient. Details are nice, but not so nice when you are afraid to break something every time the stuff needs to come out of its box.
Someone else might be into the latest and greatest, enjoy tinkering for hours in front of a screen, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I get what river6109 is on about...
Offline michelvr  
#8 Posted : 08 January 2019 16:29:27(UTC)
michelvr

Canada   
Joined: 06/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 964
Hello John and fellow forum members,

I for one run the locomotives and the trains that I buy!

I've been in this hobby for fifty four years, yes I’ll be sixty in October so this make me an expert! From Z to gauge 1, I've had them all in my possession and enjoyed them to a certain level of entertainment. I've also been selling model trains for more that twenty years which even included owning a store at one time. I still sell model trains and accessories at train shows, next one here in Barrie in February!

But I must say from everything I've ever owned Märklin is the top leader in quality and reliability. Yes there might be issues with certain items and that's understandable, ask my brother in-law how his BMW M6 Cabriolet is doing? Remember Märklin makes everything for your model railroad. Can you tell me another manufacturer that makes everything? No.

Märklin works well and the Everready (battery company) has nothing on longevity!

Remember to have fun and enjoyment in this hobby it's the individual that makes it happen! Having fun and being in control of our miniature world takes patience! The end results in spending quality time doing what we love and that is running model trains!

Regards,

Michel
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Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#9 Posted : 08 January 2019 16:49:14(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 2,817
Location: NY, NY
I think there is a simple answer: us MRR "consumers" demand everything. And frankly we don't want to pay for it either. So the marketing department says they need "x,y and z" in order to sell enough orders for the model ahead of production. For example: great detail, sound, digital control. Basically the stuff in the catalogue that gets you to order.

Operations then says "how can we cut costs to boost margin"? You can't pull the decoder or cut detail corners or the buyers won't order, or won't pay the full price. But you can cut performance (tires, motors, weight/materials) by a certain percentage and 80% of modellers will never notice or complain because we don't have a big enough layout to test the limits of traction or adhesion. They pretty much all work well on a level 4x8 sheet of plywood and a 5-10 car train....
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
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Offline river6109  
#10 Posted : 08 January 2019 16:52:38(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,442
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Thanks for all the answers and opinions, my topic was more about favouritism than quality I have no quarrels with quality but when comparing details underneath a loco over inadequate pulling power due to lack of rubber tyres and lack of weight and comparing 32 functions without having the ability to recreate a Swiss lighting system I came to the conclusion manufacturers tend to look after the display cabinet collectors than the model train enthusiast who runs trains on his or her layout.
maybe over the years train enthusiasts have reduced the size of their layouts and manufacturers have aligned themselves to reduce the weight and number of rubber tyres and most modelers these days may find their locos adequate to pull a load of freight carriages and are happy with the overall improvement over the years.
Suppose I have to carry on like I have in the last 10 years or so and retrofit light circuits boards to suit or bring them up to standards like the prototype and suppose I have to add on rubber tyres in the coming years for every new loco I buy and may get extra weight to compensate for the lack of weight and suppose my whinging isn't going to make the slightest difference so I better get on with my work as there is no one to fill my place BigGrin

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
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Offline mike c  
#11 Posted : 08 January 2019 17:47:43(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,249
Location: Montreal, QC
I think that technology has changed so much. They can now make highly detailed plastic models, while the technology in say 1968 was much more basic.
Technology has also meant that models can be made lighter, using new technologies for motor and drive (cardan shaft, etc). Technology also means that cars and coaches might be more detailed too. The end result is that you need less tractive power to pull 8 cars today than 8 cars from back in the day.

Digital has also advanced in leaps and bounds since the days when the models had a single function (lights) to today's endless functions.

I think that in many cases, it is a question of cost savings by using a common design for AC and DC models. Older Roco models, for example, had different bogies for AC and DC models. The AC models had one bogie with slider and the second with multiple traction tires. Standardization means that both AC and DC models now have the same parts and all that is swapped out are the wheelsets and slider.

Many Maerklin modellers looked at the quiet DC models with envy and wanted to get models without the can-opener sounds. With new technology, this became reality and now there are some complaints.

Overall, is the technology an improvement over earlier designs? Are you willing to accept certain compromises to have more detail in other aspects?
Personally, I like the more detailed pantographs and appearance. I do not care for all the hoses and stuff on the lok fronts. Personally, I like being able to detach a lok from a train, go around it and pick up the train from the other end without having to rotate the lok. Unlike an American F7, European loks (mostly) had two cabs and could be operated in either direction.

What I do miss is small things like the design of light channels. When you take an old model (for example, the classic 3050 Ae 6/6), the lighting channels were milled so that the light yielded a focused beam that looked like headlights on the track. Modern models might have a plastic light channel or insert, but this only yields a diffused pattern in front of the lok and not two or three separate beams like the old models.

I collect trains because the models recreate trains that I have seen or ridden on during my travels.

I am happy with most of the models that I have.

What I would like to see is models where the user can change couplers without damaging the models in the process... On too many models, the rear end of the NEM socket is hidden and the only way to get the coupler out is to pull in an unsafe manner.

Regards

Mike C
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Offline MaerklinLife  
#12 Posted : 08 January 2019 19:27:57(UTC)
MaerklinLife


Joined: 03/02/2016(UTC)
Posts: 463
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Märklin successfully lost most of my budget by supplying sound locos and lighted coaches only.

The latter annoys me! I like to upgrade my rolling stock when ever I feel like it. By including light in coaches from the beginning, they take away that joy from me. It also means that their coaches come in at a price where I start to hold off. I would much rather that coaches were delivered without lights and a suitable upgrade kit become available.

I think they could go about the locos in the same way, yes, some locos can be sound fitted, but provide a non sound alternative. Also provide a sound upgrade kit that can be plugged into the loco.

Of course, I am just a customer and I have no idea whether this is a "business compatible" solution, but this is what I would like to see as a customer.

For me the joy of upgrading and getting more out of my models is part of the hobby. These "all-in-one" solutions take that joy away from me.

To me "good quality" is a perfect combination of play value, running conditions, price and detailing. To give some idea on what that means for me I can say that PIKO does a good job. I think they are currently number one at this. Things can change, but Märklin would need to pull itself together.
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Offline DA 800  
#13 Posted : 08 January 2019 21:18:26(UTC)
DA 800

Norway   
Joined: 02/01/2008(UTC)
Posts: 164
Location: Norway
A successful model must reproduce the character of the prototype. It is not always necessary with a number of microscopic details and lettering to make a realistic appearance. The pictures below are showing 50 years of Development. The improvement in detailling is really impressive, but what about the lights? I think John is rigtht. Display quality has priority before appearance on the track. Or what do you think?

The prototype:

DA orginal.JPG

Märklin EL 12 and my old home-painted DA from 1965


EL 12 og DA 2.JPG

You must watch the locomotive directly from the front to see the lights. Slightly from the side they disappear.

EL 12 og DA.JPG

But Ccose up the appearance is fantastic!!

Skjermbilde.JPG


Bent

- MRR keeps the child in you alive!
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Offline jcrtrains  
#14 Posted : 08 January 2019 23:32:56(UTC)
jcrtrains

Canada   
Joined: 31/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 473
Location: Toronto, Ontario
I am coming up on 40 years of European model railroading.

A key element for me is strong level of detail in the model. Overtime, as new models have come out, I have upgraded to the new model and sold the old. Examples of this include the Fleischmann BR 01 and BR 94.

I do not necessarily consider myself a collector although, frankly, I seem to have collected a lot. I do like to display the engines in show cases. However, the show cases are there to really deal with the overflow that does not fit on the layout. Carriages do not get the benefit of the showcases; if they are overflow from the layout, then they are in the box.

Although they are in show cases, and although some are quite 'rare', they still get their turn for a run. I recognize that 'diminishes' their long term value, but frankly who cares. Trains generally don't hold their value and a bit of running doesn't hurt too much.

As many of you are aware, I am analog. That is really a function of not wanting to convert my collection. Unfortunately being analog is a problem as fewer and fewer manufacturers are producing analog. I shudder at buying digital to run on analog primarily from a risk of poor running. Many manufacturers simply do not test their digital locos in analog and they frankly run very poorly. Unfortunately, it is very hit and miss even within a manufacturer.

An important thing about any hobby is that you can do want you and like what you want. If I am driving a lovely BR 98 with matching carriages and their is an Audi A6 at the gate crossing, so be it.


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Offline river6109  
#15 Posted : 09 January 2019 01:07:26(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,442
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
I would consider myself as a collector as well but I have the choice to run trains on my layout and it is my first choice. my article wasn't intended to point out collectors or show cases but putting the light more on manufacturers who as I've mentioned I think favour collectors who showcase their collection. I watched Dusan's videos and his locos seem to handle long freight or passenger trains, so I may have jumped the gun a bit regarding my concern about less weight and rubber tyres.

I'm awaiting my new loco from Roco: BLS RE 4/4 and with this model I should be able to tell if the loss of weight and rubber tyres has any negative impact and I also can compare it with my earlier Roco model: BLS Ae 4/4.
What I can see with 100 % confidence since I've bought electric DC models from Roco having 4 powered axles instead of 3 (AC) has made a difference in pulling power.


John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
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