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Offline plg  
#1 Posted : 26 November 2020 19:25:59(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 26/11/2020(UTC)
Posts: 9
Location: Katonah NY
Hello all!

After many years I am coming back to model railroading- specifically Marklin. It is very nice to be here. I have a fairly sizeable collection of 1st generation Marklin digital trains (I used the 6021 control unit) which had to be boxed up for years after I moved and which I never got the opportunity to use again- until now. Unfortunately I have much more limited basement space than I used to but nonetheless I took some time to redesign a layout that fits in 7' by 10' space. Because of the space limitation I have had to use R1 curves on part of the layout- for some part of the double main line corners (R1/R2 but which will be hidden), a reverse loop, and for the train yards.
In any event as I embarked on the project I also decided to see what new interesting products Marklin has come up with recently for eventual upgrades (I will eventually get one of the new Central Stations) and additions to my collection. With regards to this last point I have to say that both the 39480 and 39243 steam engines caught my attention- they are truly exquisite. However, I was very disappointed to see that according to the description on both, the minimum radii for these is R2 437.5mm. Is this in fact the case or is this a recommendation? I would really appreciate your input.

I realize that I may be behind the times but one of the reasons I have always been a fan of Marklin is the sophistication of their model train engineering and the backward and forward compatibility of their system. And ultimately 360mm, the European standard, is the basis of the C track system. To find that they are now making products that do not work on their tighter radius curves I find very disconcerting and a let down. I mean if the Big Boy, which I own, negotiates R1 curves with no problems- it might not look great and that is why when possible I, like many others, try to hide R1 sections, but that is another matter- I find it odd that now they are creating models that are not fully compatible- and arguably less technically challenging for R1 capability than some of the larger loco's of the past. Other manufacturers have done this but not Marklin- and which to me is part of what made Marklin Marklin ie you buy into a system that you know will work and will work well.

But I admit I may be behind the times. Yet I have had to use R1 as I have a tight space, which is the whole point of R1, and if their higher end products do not work on this radius then I cannot be a customer for this offering.

Many thanks for all your comments and thoughts.
It is great to be back!

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Offline DaleSchultz  
#2 Posted : 26 November 2020 21:54:34(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,997
welcome back into the fold of crazy Märklinists!

Some of the newer products are aimed at collectors and not running as in the golden years... I think that is why they can get away with not working on R1....
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline kimballthurlow  
#3 Posted : 26 November 2020 23:54:42(UTC)

Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,686
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Hello plg,

Yes the backward compatibility of Märklin trains, track and systems is a major drawcard for many.

Regarding the R1 compatibility it is been reported here previously, that for example the 39243 will operate on R1.
But that statement has to be qualified, and you can appreciate this because you own a Big Boy.
While the engine can negotiate this curve mechanically, the overhang may foul any close trackside structures/signals/poles etc., even the Märklin accessories.

Until delivery of the 39480 an assessment cannot be given on that engine.

HO Scale - Märklin (ep II-III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail HO (Queensland Australia, UK, USA) - 3 rail OO (English Hornby Dublo) - old clockwork O gauge - Live Steam 90mm (3.1/2 inch) gauge.
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Offline TrainIride  
#4 Posted : 27 November 2020 14:29:47(UTC)

Joined: 23/10/2010(UTC)
Posts: 1,954
Location: FRANCE
This is what we call "progress" BigGrin .

My previous layout was made with M-tracks.

And I even had some parts using #5120 "industrial" curves of 286mm radius,
This radius that could be negotiated by any locos I had.

Now I am using C-tracks, loving watching trains entering in huge radius curves.
But I still have R1 tracks for some loops .

So I now select the locos and the (not too long) coaches for their ability to run nicely on the layout.

You know, there is the same problem with the coaches which tend to reach their real length for the 1/87 scale,
i.e. more than 300mm long..., and they do not look so good on R1...

So, you can today still have lots of good Märklin models which appreciate R1 curves, depending the kind of trains you like.

Tomorrow, I don't know if the new models will only run in display BigGrin .
And if it's the case, I will only buy second-hand R1 compatible models.

But I think Märklin will keep R1 playability for many of the locos and coaches.

Best Regards

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Offline plg  
#5 Posted : 27 November 2020 18:33:27(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 26/11/2020(UTC)
Posts: 9
Location: Katonah NY
Thank you for the replies.
@ Kimball
I researched experiences with these and I guess I missed the post on the 39243. That makes me feel much better. As you say, this is a similar situation with the Big Boy- the overhang requires taking extra precautions for trackside accessories etc and I am fine with that as long as they work on R1. I am less concerned with the aesthetics as most of the R1 curves are hidden. What threw me off is that on some models (like ICE 4 I think) they specify R2 but explain that R1 can be used as long as the overhang problem is taken into account. However the description for these loco's just specifes R2 without further mention of R1- so I assumed they would not work with R1 under any circumstance.

Hahaha- yes, they may eventually do away with any track usage in the name of collectability and progress!. I love wide radius curves too- in fact my new layout design is essentially a rectangle with a missing side: the two corners are 90 degree R1/R2 hidden curves joined by a station straight- the two parallel sides are shorter straights and these 2 sides are joined by sweeping S-like set of R4 and R5 curves; inside the layout are the yards and reversing loop. The straights and sweeping curve are the only parts of the main double train line that will be visible. Unfortunately the yards and reversing loop will be more visible so I will try to find ways to obstruct the line of sight to some of the curves and draw the eye elswehere.

Btw, I will also post in the digital forum as I am curious if my current 1st gen digital can be upgraded to mfx decoders (by a professional) and if it is worth the cost (I have no idea how complicated that might be)
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Offline JohnjeanB  
#6 Posted : 27 November 2020 22:05:45(UTC)

Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,221
Location: Paris, France

Great to have you back. I am a Märklinist from Paris and been infected with the Märklin disease since 1961. Now, only Märklin on C track with a CS2 and computer control (Rocrail)
I have the same lack of available space so a lot of my hidden tracks use R1 and R1-curved switches.

Regarding the 39243 loco I have one (and also the 39241, its sister) and both run perfectly well on R1 on C track. It may not be the case with same radius on M track because of lanterns On the 39480 I cannot say for sure but I wouldn't be surprised if they ride also on R1. Track clearance is your responsibility (tunnel, catenary poles, lanterns, signals)
Just for fun here is the sister of the 39243 operating on my layout full of R1

I started with Märklin in 1961 and had some industrial track (5120) and not one loco or car could not run on this very short radius
So it is a tradition by Märklin.

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Offline plg  
#7 Posted : 29 November 2020 05:47:46(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 26/11/2020(UTC)
Posts: 9
Location: Katonah NY
What a truly stunning layout. I have watched the video twice.
My layout will be more basic (much more basic!)- I have opted for simplicity vs my original layout which in terms of layout design was great but was also perennially a work in progress. This time I am going to try for something less ambitious that I might actually finish.

It is great news to hear that the nothwithstanding the product descriptions these locos do work on R1. Thanks for the feedback. I probably should consider setting up my layout before "expanding" the collection but I cannot say that I am not tempted. I am actually considering swapping/selling some of what I have with some of these wonderful new steam engines and passenger coaches (Rhinegold 26750 vs the 2019 Orient Express loco + passenger cars- assuming I could even find them).
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