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Offline Howard1975  
#1 Posted : 14 March 2020 10:22:13(UTC)
Howard1975

United States   
Joined: 27/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 13
Location: Delavan, WI, USA
Hello everyone, I have a question about DC wheels on Marklin AC track, and compatibility. Strictly talking about Marklin HO scale, 3 rail trains.


First I want to mention, I'm fully aware Marklin are 3 rail trains, and have a slight difference in the wheel spacing between the inner flanges.

Marklin wheels are spec'd at 13.8 mm.
DC Wheels are spec'd at 14.2 mm.

I have run my Marklin trains on M track, and they operate just fine. But I would also like to operate equipment (freight cars wagons and passenger coaches) with DC wheels, on Marklin track. I have read (here at this forum) that C track is most compatible with certain brands of DC wheels, while M track is usually more susceptible to derailments. How does K track fit in, with compatibility with DC spec wheels?

I have read that Trix (Märklin DC), Fleischmann, and Roco wheelsets usually work fine on Märklin C Track. But many people report Piko, Tillig, and Liliput can lead to derailments. What about the vintage Hamo that Marklin made in the past? What about the other European DC brands?

What about the American brands, such as Athearn, Walthers, Atlas, Bachmann, Kato, MDC/Roundhouse, Life Like 2000, etc? How well do those wheels work on Marklin K or C track?

I'm most concerned with the regular switches, long switches, curved switches, crossings, 3 way switches, and double slip switches.

I own both Marklin AC trains, and others brands of DC trains (mostly all American, such as Athearn, MDC, Atlas, etc). When I tried the 2 rail DC trains (just freight cars) on the M track, I had lot's of derailments in the switches.

I don't have any K or C track to test. Would K or C work better for my DC wheels, and reduce derailments, compared to M track? I would be operating any American type trains with Kadee body mounted couplers, with 17.25 inch (437.5 mm) or larger curves, if using C track. My European trains, will keep their original couplers.

I would prefer to operate both the Marklin AC trains (locomotives, wagons and coaches) with their normal AC wheels. Along with 2 rail DC wheel trains (mostly just freight cars like Athearn) together on the same track, to reduce expenses. All my locomotives will be Marklin brand. And all track, would be Marklin brand. Would C track be dependable for my plans?


Howard


thanks 1 user liked this useful post by Howard1975
Offline kimballthurlow  
#2 Posted : 14 March 2020 10:50:18(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 5,803
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Originally Posted by: Howard1975 Go to Quoted Post
.......

What about the American brands, such as Athearn, Walthers, Atlas, Bachmann, Kato, MDC/Roundhouse, Life Like 2000, etc? How well do those wheels work on Marklin K or C track?

I'm most concerned with the regular switches, long switches, curved switches, crossings, 3 way switches, and double slip switches.

I own both Marklin AC trains, and others brands of DC trains (mostly all American, such as Athearn, MDC, Atlas, etc). When I tried the 2 rail DC trains (just freight cars) on the M track, I had lot's of derailments in the switches.

...... Would C track be dependable for my plans?


Howard




Hi Howard,

You will get as many answers as there are readers to this.

The only purposeful way to get an answer is to buy C or K track and test them yourself.
However, I might save you some expense by trialling exactly what you want.
I have a C track layout with all the regular track pieces you mention, and I also own a lot of US rolling stock you mention.
These mostly have RP25 (standard NMRA wheel profile) metal wheelsets, and I suspect may be a bit "jumpy"on the switches.
In the next few days, I will trial some trains with a mix of stock, and let you know the result.

Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
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Offline thing fish  
#3 Posted : 14 March 2020 12:31:45(UTC)
thing fish

Turkey   
Joined: 25/01/2020(UTC)
Posts: 143
Location: istanbul
Originally Posted by: kimballthurlow Go to Quoted Post
You will get as many answers as there are readers to this.

The only purposeful way to get an answer is to buy C or K track and test them yourself.


Hi,

Kimballs answer is the best answer that could be given to your question.

You get derailments from anything, almost on all track types. I have no problems with my Fulgurex (RP25) on C track while some Roco derails. I have Roco locos run just fine on M track while I have Marklin locos derail on all types of tracks. This is just one of those "trial and error only" questions.

Cem.
Offline jvuye  
#4 Posted : 14 March 2020 14:43:27(UTC)
jvuye

Belgium   
Joined: 01/03/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,832
Location: South Western France
Originally Posted by: Howard1975 Go to Quoted Post
...

I would prefer to operate both the Marklin AC trains (locomotives, wagons and coaches) with their normal AC wheels. Along with 2 rail DC wheel trains (mostly just freight cars like Athearn) together on the same track, to reduce expenses. All my locomotives will be Marklin brand. And all track, would be Marklin brand. Would C track be dependable for my plans?


Howard




Hello Howard

Been dealing with the subject for many years.

I'm not re-writing the book, because it ain't no book!Wink

You have given the main answer already : wheel spacing!
If a 2-rail vehicle derails, check the spacing !
You will solve 95 % of the cases by readjusting
All you need is the gauge from Fohrmann and a wheel spacer to do the job :

Fohrmann HO gauge

Fohrmann wheel spacer

It is a small investment but you'll love it.
It will save you money and, above all, aggravation : you'll never again will need to search for "replacement axles" (they are often hard to find for older equipment, if at all...)
It will allow you to return you 2-rail vehicles back to their original setting, should you ever need it ...

Now what about the last 5% of the problems?

They mostly always come from the flanges depth.
The RP 25 /US style or the "Fine scale" profiles can be a problem, but less so if they are already regauged to 13.8 mm .

The good news is that with C-track , they will be very limited, or not there at all!

From my years of living in the US I collected a fair amount of RP25 compatible vehicles, including locos.

They all run on my C-track layout , after some adjustments as described above.

Only in a few locomotive case , did I replace the RP25 wheels with Märklin ones, essentially on some diesel locos .
That however is another ball game requiring often a lathe, a precision wheel press with the proper inserts and the ancillary tooling.

Converting 2 rail/ RP 25 locos to run on Märklin C-track is indeed another subject, but I'll share whatever you'd need when it would ever come to that.
Suffice to say, ** it works** and the only limitation is the minimal radius (R1 is often out, R2 is OK for 90%, and I have a path using only R3 and above on the layout to operate these big machines when needed.

But a UP Turbine operating on a SBB Gotthard style layout is a sight to behold, and well worth the effort! Wink

Cheers

Jacques
Jacques Vuye aka Dr.Eisenbahn
Once a vandal, learned to be better and had great success!
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Offline Howard1975  
#5 Posted : 14 March 2020 16:16:19(UTC)
Howard1975

United States   
Joined: 27/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 13
Location: Delavan, WI, USA
Thank you everyone for your replies to my questions. I think I will need to purchase a small amount of K and C track, and try for myself.

Thank you,

Howard

Offline Eurobahnfan  
#6 Posted : 14 March 2020 23:33:42(UTC)
Eurobahnfan

United States   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 275
Location: Stockton, CA
There’s a reason Jacques is known as Dr. Eisenbahn ;)
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Offline kimballthurlow  
#7 Posted : 15 March 2020 06:27:49(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 5,803
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Hi Howard,
OK as promised, here are my observations with RP25 wheels and C track.
If you can sensibly use C track, it is in my opinion a speedy and perfect basis for getting a layout built.
It almost guarantees the model trains to run smoothly/efficiently with minimal disruption and derailment.

So I ran a train on my layout consisting of up to 6 x 40 foot bogie US freight cars (each weighing 4 ounces/100 grams), with a varation of brands.
1. I noticed no jumpy effects on the frog of various turnouts (switches) including long, short, double slips and cross-0vers. Possibly because the two axle bogies smooth the passage. I also noticed no problems in travelling against the throw of the point. These observations apply for both plastic and metal wheels.
2. You will need to have the trip-pin height on the Kadees just perfect (or even higher than standard), as a low coupler will foul the higher centre puko of the track at turnouts.
3. The distance between your coupled cars is critical if too close, so you might need to experiment on the Kadee variations. I noticed on R1 small radius curves including small curved turnouts, the cars would derail because of colliding body corners (couplers mounted too close). The R2 curves did not appear to be a problem.
4. I have also used the TRIX 2-rail C track in test layouts for my US prototype stock (on RP25 wheels) including brass engines and it worked well for me. This is ostensibly the same form and geometry as the Märklin.

I don't see why you would, but if you occasion more derailment problems than you can suffer, do a test replacing the RP25 wheel sets with the Märklin profile 9mm diameter version (I do not know the part #). There are also other suppliers of these.
As you say, you would use a minimum of C track 437.5 mm radius (R2) which will be perfect.

Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
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Offline Howard1975  
#8 Posted : 15 March 2020 22:39:08(UTC)
Howard1975

United States   
Joined: 27/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 13
Location: Delavan, WI, USA
Hello again everyone,

I'm just replying quickly here, to thank everyone together, for your help and advice, instead of thanking everyone separately.

It is good to know from your testing (everyone), many of the 2 rail freight cars can operate well, on Marklin C track switches (turnouts, points).

I know it will be easier to change wheelsets on many European brands (if needed) such as Piko, Trix, Hamo, Brawa, Fleischmann, Roco, Tillig, Liliput, etc. Many offer 3 rail wheelsets, or a compatible Marklin wheelset can be installed.

But none of the freight cars typically used in North America, have 3 rail wheelsets available from the manufacturer (such as Athearn, MDC/Roundhouse, Atlas, Walthers, Bachmann, Life Like 2000, Stewart, Bowser, Broadway Limited, Kato, Mantua/Tyco, Varney, etc).

I know both Marklin and Trix offer locomotives and freight cars for US railroads. Marklin for 3 rail, and Trix for 2 rail, respectively.

I currently only have a few Marklin train pieces. Most of my collection is 2 rail, DC powered trains, those typical in North America. But I will be buying more Marklin trains, because I like them. I like the easier wiring for complicated track work, such as wyes and reverse loops. I like the replaceable parts for the motors (brushes, etc). I like that many Marklin locomotives have metal bodies, and most vintage models are easy to repair, reliable and rugged.

I generally prefer the older Marklin locomotives, from the 1950's until the 1990's, because they had fewer small detail parts, that could break off. And they have AC motors that can be rebuilt. For the time being, I use analog AC power to control my Marklin trains. But I'm considering upgrading them (someday) to digital controls. Doing the 5 pole, DC magnet and digital decoder of my choice. I will probably install decoders that are compatible with MM, MFX and DCC. But I don't know yet, I'm still thinking about that. That is a future project, not important now.

I don't have a layout right now anyway, I only run my trains on the carpet. I rent a small apartment, with little space for a permanent layout.

When I do build a permanent layout in the future, I know it will have all Marklin track. I think I would use only C turnouts, for their more reliable characteristics for train running. With good condition M or K track (just the straights and curves, not turnouts) mixed in. The M track could be used in hidden areas for instance. Most 2 rail DC wheels will operate fine on good condition M track, as long as it is normal straights and curves. I would try to use the Marklin 5200 (437.4 mm radius) curves when using M track.


Considering:

I could include a loop of K track (radius of 553.9 mm and larger) with both rails isolated completely, with no turnouts or crossings. That way I can operate all my 2 rail DC locomotives and cars, that don't like the Marklin turnouts. I would build my own feeder tracks, with code 100 nickel silver rail for easy soldering, to keep all 3 rails completely isolated electrically. That way I can control all of my locomotives, both 2 and 3 rail.

Plus I enjoy building the 2 rail freight car kits, (Athearn, etc) and I have a collection (various brands) that I still need to build. I will not be converting my 2 rail locomotives, they will remain 2 rail. I'm assuming they will work fine on Marklin K track, as long as I keep both rails isolated electrically. And only use the regular straights, curves and flex track; and avoiding special K track, such as turnouts and crossings. And like I said, I will custom build my own feeder tracks, to make sure the rails stay isolated for 2 and 3 rail operation.

And yes I'm fully aware and know, I can't put any 3 rail wheels on the track, at the same time, with the 2 rail locomotives. The 3 rail wheels are not isolated. They will short out the track, when I try to operate 2 and 3 rail trains, on the same track, at the same time.



Or just use regular 2 rail track (Atlas, Peco, whatever), for my 2 rail locomotives, passenger and freight cars.

And keeping the 2 rail and 3 rail track completely separate from each other. It would make some things easier.


I might just use 2 different track types on the same layout (both 3 rail Marklin track) and 2 rail (Atlas, Peco, etc), and keep them separate for the locomotives.



Another option is using K track, modified to allow both 2 and 3 rail trains, like the ETE MODULE SPECIFICATIONS. I have downloaded their PDF file from their website, so that is a consideration for me also. I know I can use Marklin K track, and modify the turnouts and feeder track, so I can use the same track for 2 and 3 rail trains.

Decisions, decisions!!

Howard
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Offline Howard1975  
#9 Posted : 16 March 2020 08:26:57(UTC)
Howard1975

United States   
Joined: 27/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 13
Location: Delavan, WI, USA
Hello, I have another question, specially regarding the long slim (902.4 mm wide radius) K track turnouts.

I have read that the ETE now recommend the newer 22715/22716 turnouts for their modules, compared to the older 2272/2273.

I know one the major differences between them, is the fixed frog on the 22715/22716, compared to a moving frog on the older versions of the 2272/2273. Are their any other differences, besides moving frog versus fixed frog designs?

How well do each type work for the RP25 DC 2 rail wheels?

And since I'm asking, how are the smaller K track turnouts, such as the 2262/2263/2265/2266? I read the small radius turnouts are not isolated, and will not work for DC without modification.



Howard
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