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Offline michelvr  
#1 Posted : 29 December 2019 16:33:48(UTC)
michelvr

Canada   
Joined: 06/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,254
Fellow esteemed members,

Märklin's K track's line has been around since the nineteen seventies. It's been the staple of professional model builders and still is the go to track for today’s layout builder! Recently I switched over to the C track system for my new layout and I must frankly say that I miss Märklin's K track. The C track is great but it's missing that special personality that K track has.

So to start of the end of twenty nineteen and the beginning of twenty twenty, I hoping Märklin's higher uppers are reading what this user would like to see.

* Updated Märklin's K track with code 83 rail. Out with the large code 100 rail.
* Updated and improved turnout closure rails, it's time for the one piece rail, no more hinged closure rails.
* New and improved switch machine mechanisms. Out with the solenoid and in with slow motion switch machines.
* Wood or concrete ties. Concrete ties are everywhere holding the tracks in place, time for Märklin to do the same.

I love building layouts and the experience is very rewarding. Nothing beats the quality of Märklin model trains. l'm hoping that they'll give this post some considerations and see the “light” in bringing Märklin's K track to the forefront of the technological Innovations they are famous for.

If anyone want to add any comments please feel free to do so! To all my friends, Happy New Year!

Here's looking to another year of enjoying Märklin's model train!

Edited by user 30 December 2019 15:26:52(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline Jimmy Thompson  
#2 Posted : 29 December 2019 17:24:37(UTC)
Jimmy Thompson

United States   
Joined: 26/03/2019(UTC)
Posts: 376
Location: Florida Classic but Successful Swampland City
Michel,

i hesitate to even barge in where 'angels fear to tread' as I am an M-track man, but since that has never stopped me from giving my 2f. worth...LOL

I think that the issue of Code 83 v. Code 100 may be predicated on wheel-sets of older items. Yes, one can change them out, no doubt about that, and for Code 83 modellers, a cinch of a decision. I may be wrong (again) but that is what I would see as the main challenge there - the old "mix-and-Match". Granted, that means I could restart the whole process and design a layout with C83 Scared ...

On the switch/point item, no clue there...Slo-Mo action would certainly appeal to a lot of modellers for sure.

And wood/concrete ties? Who knows? That could happen fairly easily, I would think - different color in the mold?

Having posited all of that...will Mother be willing to accede to our wishes? Or will she lean even more heavily on C-track? Ohhhh mmmmyyyyy...

Jimmy
Jimmy T
Analogue; M-track; KLVM; Sarrasani Zirkuswelt
There is a Prototype For Everything
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#3 Posted : 29 December 2019 17:35:44(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
probably highly unlikely.

Concrete ties would make it unacceptable to older era modellers, so that would remove a sizable part of the market.

You could install 3rd party switch motors for slow motion turnouts
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline kiwiAlan  
#4 Posted : 29 December 2019 19:09:02(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,580
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: michelvr Go to Quoted Post

So to start of the end of twenty nineteen and the beginning of twenty twenty, I hoping Märklin's higher uppers are reading what this user would like to see.

* Updated Märklin's K track with code 83 rail. Out with the large code 100 rail.
* Updated and improved turnout closure rails, it's time for the one piece rail, no more hinged closure rails.
* New and improved switch machine mechanisms. Out with the solenoid and in with slow motion switch machines.
* Wood or concrete ties. Concrete ties are everywhere holding the tracks in place, time for Märklin to do the same.


I spoke to Dieter Lorenz from Marklin back in the early 2000's about this (I was asking if Marklin would make a 22000 series K track with the same rail height as C track, i.e. Code 90) and he said no. At that time he said K track was around 10% of track production, with the other 90% being C track, and so the likelihood of development effort on K track was minuscule. I have no reason to believe these figures will have changed that much that development funds would be put into K track.

If you really want a smaller code rail then use Peco track (also has concrete sleepers available) with Weichen-walter centre studs. W-W make centre studs for Peco, Tillig and possibly other makes of HO track. The advantage of going the Peco or other manufacturers route is the availability of items like Y turnouts, various radii double curved turnouts and so on.

I agree the Code 100 rail is over size, but not as bad as the code 62 used on Z gauge track ... Blink



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Offline mvd71  
#5 Posted : 29 December 2019 19:25:47(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,446
Location: Auckland,
As someone who has used all three track types over the years, I would have to say that I'm a fan of k track, and I won't be doing any more modelling with C track.

I think we are unlikely to see further development for the reason that Alan has pointed out. However Marklin are probably not doing k track sales any favours by not offering it as an option in starter sets. If they made all starter sets available with either track type, it would probably result in an increase in k track sale. My reasoning behind that statement is that many people who would have chosen k track to begin with, but are forced into the c track road through their starter set are unlikely to change back. Instead they accept the c track and stick with it rather than mix the two.

Anyway, that's my two pfennigs worth of guesswork/speculation

Cheers.....

Mike
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Offline Purellum  
#6 Posted : 29 December 2019 21:38:57(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,404
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: mvd71 Go to Quoted Post
However Marklin are probably not doing k track sales any favours by not offering it as an option in starter sets.


I think it's the other way round Wink

When Märklin offered start sets with K-track, they didn't sell very well, that's why they stopped making them - I THINK RollEyes

This is just my theory; but I remember that many of these K-track start sets where butchered and sold as parts on Ebay by the German dealers.

Per.

Cool

If you can dream it, you can do it!

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Offline kiwiAlan  
#7 Posted : 29 December 2019 23:11:20(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,580
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post
Cool

Originally Posted by: mvd71 Go to Quoted Post
However Marklin are probably not doing k track sales any favours by not offering it as an option in starter sets.


I think it's the other way round Wink

When Märklin offered start sets with K-track, they didn't sell very well, that's why they stopped making them - I THINK RollEyes

This is just my theory; but I remember that many of these K-track start sets where butchered and sold as parts on Ebay by the German dealers.

Per.

Cool



Or with c track substituted for the K track.
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Offline mrmarklin  
#8 Posted : 29 December 2019 23:17:15(UTC)
mrmarklin

United States   
Joined: 27/10/2004(UTC)
Posts: 860
Location: Burney, CA
Originally Posted by: michelvr Go to Quoted Post
Fellow esteemed members,

Märklin's K track's line has been around since the nineteen seventies. It's been the staple of professional model builders and still is the go to track for today’s layout builder! Recently I switched over to the C track system for my new layout and I must frankly say that I miss Märklin's K track. The C track is great but it's missing that special personality that K track has.

So to start of the end of twenty nineteen and the beginning of twenty twenty, I hoping Märklin's higher uppers are reading what this user would like to see.

* Updated Märklin's K track with code 83 rail. Out with the large code 100 rail.
* Updated and improved turnout closure rails, it's time for the one piece rail, no more hinged closure rails.
* New and improved switch machine mechanisms. Out with the solenoid and in with slow motion switch machines.
* Wood or concrete ties. Concrete ties are everywhere holding the tracks in place, time for Märklin to do the same.

I love building layouts and the experience is very rewarding. Nothing beats the quality of Märklin model trains. l'm hoping that they'll give this post some considerations and see the “light” in bringing Märklin's K track to the forefront of the technological Innovations they are famous for.

If anyone want to add any comments please feel free to do so! To all my friends, Happy New Year!

Here's looking to another year of enjoying Märklin's model train!


There is a need for R3 radius for helixes. Now flex track must be used on a helix that will fit inside a four foot wide board. 4’x8’ is standard board for US modelers.
Better than code 83 for modelers would be a switch to nickel silver for rail. This would afford the opportunity to solder the ground at places other than at rail joiners.
Slow motion turnout motors are widely available from many sources.
Concrete ties would be a good addition, but unlikely given sales levels.
From the People's Republik of Kalifornia
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Offline mbarreto  
#9 Posted : 29 December 2019 23:40:26(UTC)
mbarreto

Portugal   
Joined: 18/02/2008(UTC)
Posts: 983
Just wondering if sales levels doesn't mean something needs to change relative to K track.

Mostly Märklin H0.


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Offline Goofy  
#10 Posted : 30 December 2019 00:14:08(UTC)
Goofy


Joined: 12/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 8,497
K tracks are more expanded than C tracks.
You have more track geometry by use K tracks.
C tracks are more expensive and do have sometimes bad contact too.
You have to fix the problems too like to change the motor under the C tracks plastic ugly under frame ballast.
C tracks are noisy too than K tracks.
Hopefully will Märklin not stop produce K tracks.
If they do it, somebody take over and start new K tracks type.
K tracks stay.
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Offline mrmarklin  
#11 Posted : 30 December 2019 00:14:43(UTC)
mrmarklin

United States   
Joined: 27/10/2004(UTC)
Posts: 860
Location: Burney, CA
Originally Posted by: mbarreto Go to Quoted Post
Just wondering if sales levels doesn't mean something needs to change relative to K track.



A re-do wouldn’t hurt. The track could be much better using today’s technology. It’s not sure that there would be enough sales to pay for this. Hence, the dilemma.
From the People's Republik of Kalifornia
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Offline DaleSchultz  
#12 Posted : 30 December 2019 00:27:15(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
Originally Posted by: mrmarklin Go to Quoted Post
This would afford the opportunity to solder the ground at places other than at rail joiners.


I just add rail joiners wherever I need to add a connection. I buy regular code 100 joiners...
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
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Offline river6109  
#13 Posted : 30 December 2019 07:02:19(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 13,858
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Well my layout is almost 40 years old and nothing new has happened with K-track so I don't expect much changes in the next 40 years.
never had any problem with Roco or HAG locos running over turnouts, sometimes Märklin couplings got stuck on the middle pick up studs on turnouts but this was mainly because the coupling wasn't set right., even sleeker turnouts would be nice but for me I wouldn't change them over just because they're sleeker, it would need a full redesign of the track and its not worth it., I'm already using ESU servo motors with metal gears and also using ESU Switch pilot servo modules and they have been doing the job properly.
I think today's innovators don't have the same outlook as in the 80's and the concentration for innovative ideas these days are elsewhere, finding that extra rivet and making sure to produce locos as cheap as possible, not suggesting the material they use is cheap and nasty.
Märklin have made some outstanding models but having followed them for 65 years its not same as it used to be and yet models produced these days are quite outstanding.
making a new K-track would mean materials would be reduced such as metals, the plastic sleeper part most probably stronger but all in all I can't see this ever will happen.
My opinion and not everybody agrees with it, Märklin has almost abandoned the modeller who has the initiative to build a layout., you get a better variety of passenger and freight carriages and with locos it s a repeat of a repeat of a repeat, sometimes with good results for the nostalgic collector.

It is hard for me to express my thoughts about today's collector, modeller or enthusiast and so far I'm concerned I've got what I've achieved (almost) and there isn't anything I'm mad about to have, to have (like an obsession)., I've made my choices with tracks, locos, carriages, buildings etc. etc. and what ever Märklin brings onto the market I look at it and this is about it, second hand stuff is my motto, its so cheaper if you at the right place at the right time.
I've almost converted 200 locos with a highefficiency 5 pole motor, all my locos have ball bearings and I'm getting closer to have all locos with sound decoders., as you can see what more do I want in my age.

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 mvd71  
#14 Posted : 30 December 2019 09:46:01(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,446
Location: Auckland,
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post
Cool

Originally Posted by: mvd71 Go to Quoted Post
However Marklin are probably not doing k track sales any favours by not offering it as an option in starter sets.


I think it's the other way round Wink

When Märklin offered start sets with K-track, they didn't sell very well, that's why they stopped making them - I THINK RollEyes

This is just my theory; but I remember that many of these K-track start sets where butchered and sold as parts on Ebay by the German dealers.

Per.

Cool



Per,

You have failed to understand my post. The starter sets can be offered with either track by Marklin, just tick the box for what track option you want when ordering your starter set and get what you want, then there is no loss of sales for Marklin, and the buyer can get what they want in the starter set of their choice. It ain't that hard!
Offline RayF  
#15 Posted : 30 December 2019 11:35:23(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,786
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
Originally Posted by: mvd71 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post
Cool

Originally Posted by: mvd71 Go to Quoted Post
However Marklin are probably not doing k track sales any favours by not offering it as an option in starter sets.


I think it's the other way round Wink

When Märklin offered start sets with K-track, they didn't sell very well, that's why they stopped making them - I THINK RollEyes

This is just my theory; but I remember that many of these K-track start sets where butchered and sold as parts on Ebay by the German dealers.

Per.

Cool



Per,

You have failed to understand my post. The starter sets can be offered with either track by Marklin, just tick the box for what track option you want when ordering your starter set and get what you want, then there is no loss of sales for Marklin, and the buyer can get what they want in the starter set of their choice. It ain't that hard!


Surely this would only work when ordering a starter set directly from the factory? When you buy from a shop, either in person or on-line, you get no "box" to tick. In my opinion most buyers will choose the track type which is easier for a temporary layout, and this is C-track today or M track in the past.

I believe only a small minority of "purists" will opt for K track on their layout, so I prefer the present situation where these small number of people will buy their track separately.

On reflection, perhaps their might be a market for the Mega starter sets to be delivered with K track?
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 Jimmy Thompson  
#16 Posted : 30 December 2019 13:19:29(UTC)
Jimmy Thompson

United States   
Joined: 26/03/2019(UTC)
Posts: 376
Location: Florida Classic but Successful Swampland City
And those who use K-track do have an advantage over (my) M-track and C-track - flex-track (although I suppose a vise could make my M-track "flexible" Blink wellll, maybe not), and as has been mentioned here in other threads, one of the big wish-list items for the C-trackers is flex-C (not really sure how it would work with the integral bed, but I am not an engineer [rubberized plastic? foam?]. I am trying to remember, I think it was Bachmann E-Z track, which actually had a removable roadbed, so if you wanted to start with the integral bed, you could and then if later you wanted to lay your own bed and ballast, you could do that also (but sectional only; no flex-track with roadbed). I, personally, have been hopeless with road bed and ballast (I am sure there is ease to it, but I never got the hang of it (fumble-fingers), so "M-track it is!" Love )

Jimmy
Jimmy T
Analogue; M-track; KLVM; Sarrasani Zirkuswelt
There is a Prototype For Everything
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Offline Purellum  
#17 Posted : 30 December 2019 15:13:17(UTC)
Purellum

Denmark   
Joined: 08/11/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,404
Location: Mullerup, 4200 Slagelse
Cool

Originally Posted by: mvd71 Go to Quoted Post
Per, You have failed to understand my post. The starter sets can be offered with either track by Marklin, just tick the box for what track option you want when ordering your starter set and get what you want, then there is no loss of sales for Marklin, and the buyer can get what they wantin the starter set of their choice. It ain't that hard!


I THINK I understood, and I THINK that the sales still wouldn't justify the logistic nightmare it would be. Blink

I also THINK that most K-track-users would like other curves and turnouts than the ones usually in the start sets,
why they probably wouldn't buy these sets anyway Cool

It would be nice if Märklin could expand the K-track system, thus making it more attractive to the 2-railers,
and thus raising K-track sales figures without reducing C-track sales.

Per.

Cool

If you can dream it, you can do it!

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.

In case this is not legally possible:
I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

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Offline michelvr  
#18 Posted : 30 December 2019 15:35:52(UTC)
michelvr

Canada   
Joined: 06/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,254
My dear fellow modellers,

My heartfelt thanks to you all for communicating your thoughts on this topic.

May I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Sincerely, Michel in Barrie, Ontario, Canada!
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Offline hxmiesa  
#19 Posted : 30 December 2019 16:20:25(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,324
Location: Spain
I also used to think that M. should upgrade the code of the rail, but now I am not so sure.
I have recently laid a LOT of K-track, and after ballasting and weathering it, it looks just perfect. Certainly the biggest detractor are the pukos in the center anyway.

Märklin should at least offer a flexible K-track with concrete sleepers. It´s not enough just pouring gray plastic into the mold, as the mold has the sleepers textured for a "wood" look.

More than investing in new R3 curved turnouts, I wish they would concentrate on making new motors for the turnouts, as already mentioned here by many. To STILL have problems with these, after so many years is just extremely embarrassing! Shame!

Also, an R3 curve section is not strictly needed, and less so for a helix! -Just alternate between R2 and R4 segments, and you are good to go!
(It would be nice to have, but its absence is not a deal-breaker)

Hopefully Märklin won't discontinue K-tracks. (as so often rumored). It is such a joy to work with. (the slim geometry is sooo good!). Lately I am watching a lot of Youtube videos of layouts, and 80% of the featured Märklin layouts use K-track. Only very few use C-track.
If K-track only accounts for 10% of their track-sale, then that means that they are selling shit-loads of C-track!!! But where is it all? -I fear that the majority is stashed away inside the starter-set boxes, only to be taken out and used occasionally... :-/

Originally Posted by: Jimmy Thompson Go to Quoted Post
and as has been mentioned here in other threads, one of the big wish-list items for the C-trackers is flex-C (not really sure how it would work with the integral bed, but I am not an engineer [rubberized plastic? foam?].

Some years ago, somebody published a link to a scan of the patented drawings for a flexible C-track.
Of course my post would be infinitely more useful if I could supply this link, but I cant :-/
The patent was signed by Märklin people, and it used a "slide-able" roadbed on the sides, and a zig-zag running center part with pukos. (It looked terrible IMHO)
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
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Offline Rinus  
#20 Posted : 30 December 2019 17:34:04(UTC)
Rinus


Joined: 20/02/2005(UTC)
Posts: 1,729
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands
I don’t expect Marklin to make a move on this area. I think the Majority of Marklinists would rather want to have another big boy, tin plate reproduction or Coca Cola waggon, than an update and expansion of the k track series.

However I do think / hope / wish / beg that other prominent manufacturers like Piko or Roco jump into this opportunity. They seem to have a keen eye for niches and opportunities and I think there is a market.

Rinus
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Offline kiwiAlan  
#21 Posted : 31 December 2019 00:03:08(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,580
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Purellum Go to Quoted Post

I also THINK that most K-track-users would like other curves and turnouts than the ones usually in the start sets,
why they probably wouldn't buy these sets anyway Cool

It would be nice if Märklin could expand the K-track system, thus making it more attractive to the 2-railers,
and thus raising K-track sales figures without reducing C-track sales.


The only way I can see an economical route to a new K track is to use existing C track rails and fit them to a K track type sleeper bed. This is likely to require a geometry change to the same as the C track system, but would have the advantage of the possibility of a k track flexible piece with code 90 rail that, with a Merkur style road bed, would match C track. The only loop to using such a piece of flexible track with C track would be having to make the connection to C track with rail joiners - but these are already available for C track anyway.

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Offline David Dewar  
#22 Posted : 31 December 2019 17:20:07(UTC)
David Dewar

Scotland   
Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 7,034
Location: Scotland
With C track taking 90% of sales I don't see much of a future for K. C track has too many advantages for underbed decoders with no wiring and ease of fitting together etc and will appeal to newer and younger folk coming into the hobby. I know I have said before but Ray has a C layout with great ballast which shows what can be done between the tracks. 10 years from now I expect K track will be the new M track and only available on ebay. However by then we should have improved C track with some flexible stuff. There is no doubt that K track with well done ballast looks good but how many of the youngsters of today will take the time to do that.
Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
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Offline mvd71  
#23 Posted : 31 December 2019 18:34:41(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,446
Location: Auckland,
One of my colleagues is looking at getting into model railways as a hobby, and regardless of the brand he purchases flex track is a must for him, so if he purchases Marklin he will use k track. He is in his thirties (relatively young for our forum I suspect)

Btw, this thread was supposed to be about what we would like to see Marklin do to improve k track, not predict its doom!

For me, the turnout motors and under baseboard mounting kits being improved would be the thing I'd like the most

Cheers...

Mike
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