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Offline KyleGamble  
#1 Posted : 05 June 2021 11:57:34(UTC)

United Kingdom   
Joined: 05/06/2021(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: Hertfordshire, UK
Hi Everyone

I am Kyle, I am an electrician and I have been given a job by a client to connect up his model railway.

The client had an attempt themselves and nothing works, so they have stripped it all out and I will be having a go and hopefully, working with circuits all the time should give me a good base to start with.

So I am after some helpful advice/tricks/tips etc.

I have been told the System is a Marklin HO, 3 rail, AC control.

I have brought 10 different colours of cable to allow me to differentiate all the circuits and switches etc with different colour codes, I plan to do a really methodical way of wiring it.

Are there any stumbling blocks that a newbie would usually encounter but not think of?

My plan is to get each track powered up individually and working individually, then add switches to each track individually.
I know there is something about insulation blocks between each track that I need to think about, but dont quite understand yet.

Is anyone able to offer expertise over the phone? It is a job that I am starting next week, I am starting with a solid 5 day stint and then review the timings needed following that.

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Offline hxmiesa  
#2 Posted : 05 June 2021 13:45:30(UTC)

Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,286
Location: Spain
The cable-basic colouring is;

BROWN: Common ground. This is the rails and trackbed. Also the common ground/return is used for changing signals and points; In that case the brown goes to the blue or white push-button controllers.
All brown connectors should be joined together across all transformers. (Beware of wall-plug orientation; all trafos MUST be in"phase" for doing this!)

RED: Train running power: Goes to the center-strips/pukos of the rails. Powers the sliders of the locos.
Reds must NOT be connected across trafos, and normally a small insulator (i.e. piece of paper) is inserted between the rail-sections where different REDs would otherwise meet.
If there are signals for train-control, one of the red from the signal should be connected to the trafo, and the other to a small insulated section of track.

YELLOW: Constant 16Vac power. Used for lights, like signals and point lanterns. Each bulb consumes approx. 1VA, so lights should be distributed with care. Often a dedicated trafo will be used for lights. In your case you should use the older blue trafo for this purpose only, and NOT for running trains.
Each point and signal (and decoupling track) will have to be connected permanently to a yellow socket. The solenoids in these only consumes when activated form the blue or white control boxes, so is normally not a problem.

BLUE: Control of points and signals (solenoids). The blue cables are connected to the red&green connectors on the blue or white control boxes. (Remember that the blue or white control box is in turn connected to the brown common ground!) These control boxes operates the solenoids by closing the circuit between brown and yellow wires!

Sometimes you will find GREY wires. These can be any kind of the above mentioned. Each case is special.

Most of the blue or white control-boxes are for controlling points and signals. (The boxes with red&green buttons), but there are 2 other kinds, which both are used as permanent on/off switches for track-power (RED cabling) to sidings, or light on/off in houses or other accessories (YELLOW cabling)

That should get you started on the basics... Good luck! ;-)
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
thanks 8 users liked this useful post by hxmiesa
Offline Carim  
#3 Posted : 05 June 2021 15:34:17(UTC)

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/09/2014(UTC)
Posts: 518
Location: London
This document might help you:

beginners-Marklin wiring.pdf (3,878kb) downloaded 47 time(s).

Oh, and I also have this one:

EE_Marklinwiringbooklet (not official).pdf (170kb) downloaded 31 time(s).

thanks 6 users liked this useful post by Carim
Offline David Dewar  
#4 Posted : 05 June 2021 19:34:37(UTC)
David Dewar

Joined: 01/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 7,000
Location: Scotland
Save a lot of wiring by getting up to date equipment and use decoders for the turnouts etc. Costly but makes it easier with little wiring.

Edited by user 05 June 2021 23:23:53(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Take care I like Marklin and will defend the worlds greatest model rail manufacturer.
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by David Dewar
Offline KyleGamble  
#5 Posted : 05 June 2021 20:41:04(UTC)

United Kingdom   
Joined: 05/06/2021(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: Hertfordshire, UK
Thanks for all your help so far guys.

Those PDF's are really helpful.

Offline twmarklinfan  
#6 Posted : 05 June 2021 20:54:17(UTC)

United Kingdom   
Joined: 08/05/2015(UTC)
Posts: 266
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent, United Kingdom
Hi Kyle.

The post from Henrik is the absolute starting point. If you would like to chat through what you are doing then you can reach me on 07810 640235
Kind regards
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by twmarklinfan
Offline KyleGamble  
#7 Posted : 18 June 2021 10:39:27(UTC)

United Kingdom   
Joined: 05/06/2021(UTC)
Posts: 3
Location: Hertfordshire, UK
Hi Everyone.

thanks for your help so far.

The manuals attached above were fantastic.

To give you an update,

I spent 3 1/2 days on site,
I have all the tracks powered up, I have all the analogue controls wired up.
I have all the lights wired up and I have the crossings wired up.

So outstanding I have the signals, the points, the turn table and the up lifts.

I am fairly confident in my wiring plan for the rest of the project now after getting into it.

My only question so far, is how often would you recommend putting a power track?
The reason that I ask is that the train seems to lose power on most tracks, now I am not sure if it is because I haven't got the signals/points wired in as they will alter the flow of current around the track or if the client hasn't put enough in.

For example, would you generally put a power track every 3 pieces of track or every 15 pieces of track?


Offline Legless  
#8 Posted : 18 June 2021 11:46:12(UTC)

Joined: 20/07/2007(UTC)
Posts: 804
Location: Leopold, Victoria
Hi Kyle,
The tracks maybe dirty and not making a good contact so lightly dampen a cloth with some kerosene and rub all the tracks.

As for power to the tracks, every meter or two.
Era's 1 to 111,C track,k track
thanks 2 users liked this useful post by Legless
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