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Offline Marley  
#1 Posted : 03 December 2021 01:23:21(UTC)
Marley

United States   
Joined: 03/12/2021(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Sacramento CA
Hi Everyone!
I have a 12 year old son that is absolutely obsessed with all things trains since he has been 2 years old. In the area we live in, someone was giving away a box of old model railway cars, and I grabbed them up thinking they might make a fun Christmas surprise for my son. The previous owner - a very elderly gentleman - said his father was stationed in Germany right after WW2 and bought him and his brother these trains. They are al Marklin. I was curious about the trains, and looked some up, and seems that there might be some real treasures in there. Now I am wondering if I should give them to my son, and risk them getting wrecked, or maybe sell them. Some of the notable trains are a RE800 (darker green), SE800 (olive green), CSS 800 crocodile (olive green), HR800 and more in various conditions.
I have no idea if these are in working condition, and no way to test them.
Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks
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Offline Paul187  
#2 Posted : 03 December 2021 04:11:37(UTC)
Paul187

United States   
Joined: 09/11/2021(UTC)
Posts: 6
Location: New Jersey
Hello:

They are certainly of value. Unless you have a sentimental attachment, I would sell them through Ebay to maximize your price. Take good pics and note any obvious flaws. At the age the trains are do not worry about testing them. The buyer will more than likely refurbish and tune them up. Your young son will be able to pick something train related with the proceeds.

Regards, Paul
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Offline V211  
#3 Posted : 03 December 2021 09:11:18(UTC)
V211

United States   
Joined: 27/10/2021(UTC)
Posts: 12
Location: New York, New York
Originally Posted by: Marley Go to Quoted Post
Hi Everyone!
I have a 12 year old son that is absolutely obsessed with all things trains since he has been 2 years old. In the area we live in, someone was giving away a box of old model railway cars, and I grabbed them up thinking they might make a fun Christmas surprise for my son. The previous owner - a very elderly gentleman - said his father was stationed in Germany right after WW2 and bought him and his brother these trains. They are al Marklin. I was curious about the trains, and looked some up, and seems that there might be some real treasures in there. Now I am wondering if I should give them to my son, and risk them getting wrecked, or maybe sell them. Some of the notable trains are a RE800 (darker green), SE800 (olive green), CSS 800 crocodile (olive green), HR800 and more in various conditions.
I have no idea if these are in working condition, and no way to test them.
Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks


In terms of giving them to your son it really depends if they'll be happy just looking at them on a track and will be careful handling them or if they are the type to treat their possessions recklessly(my first train was broken by a friend when I was around this age I understand the concern). Given you say he's obssessed with trains I'd lean on the more optimistic side. An idea is just giving him one or two and seeing how that goes and gifting the rest at some later date if it goes well.

As someone who just got a lot of the engines and cars from this era(though none of the ones you've listed) while they are valuable it doesn't seem like they sell for that much more than the newer models and it could even be less if you buy the new models full price. In terms of a future buyer fixing them up it really depends on what's wrong with them. On one hand I joined a Marklin FB group and I see this guy fixing various issues with them and there's people who can do that. On the other hand I have a TM 800(3004) whose wheels are jammed in place and my grandfather(who also was stationed in Germany post WW2 ironically in the same town he grew up in during the war) wasn't able to have it fixed and he was an engineer who had the resources to make that happen. While I don't know his reasoning(its likely he explained it to me as a child and I forgot what he said) and I can no longer ask him it was one of his first trains and I believe if he could have fixed it he would have. I will also say the old cars seem a lot less fragile but they are 70ish years old looking old is expected.
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Offline cookee_nz  
#4 Posted : 03 December 2021 11:10:47(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,788
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Bit of a conundrum there. On the one hand, for their time, many Märklin models were almost indestructible, good solid items made of metal, not plastic.

But that also means if they take a tumble onto a hard surface, ie falling from a table to a floor, something is likely to get damaged.

At 12, your Son is certainly old enough to understand careful handling, and it may be that he will intrinsically know these trains are something a bit special and take care of them accordingly. But only you know what he is like in this regard.

On the other hand, some older Märklin does suffer from poor materials, especially if manufactured during or soon after WWII when raw materials were scarce. In those cases, even with careful handling they may simple fall apart, and it would take someone with experience to identify any models at risk.

You say you have no way to test them but without knowing exactly what you have it's hard to give more advice. If they were purchased as a working assortment then you should have a variety of Locomotives, a mixture of rolling stock, obviously some track, and finally a transformer/controller.

The last point is one of safety. An electrical controller that is over 70 years old would need to be inspected by a qualified professional to ensure it is safe, particularly if a child is to be using it. Or you could avoid the risk entirely and purchase a new or good used modern Märklin controller, it will still power the Loco's but will need to be a higher capacity unit. At least 30VA and more likely 50VA for those models.

There is more and more older Märklin coming on to the market in exactly the way you have described. Older owners have passed on, or downsizing, the family are not interested, the trains may be broken etc. The market is still healthy, but not as strong as it was even just a few years ago.

Depending on the condition of the items, there might be a reasonable return to be made which you could then reinvest in a more modern setup for your son.

I think in the California area there are a number of Märklin enthusiasts so I am sure you will hear from someone fairly quickly either publicly or privately offering to assist, either with guideance, or purchase.

Good luck.
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
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Offline Mman  
#5 Posted : 03 December 2021 11:42:22(UTC)
Mman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/05/2021(UTC)
Posts: 202
Location: England, Guildford
The old purely analogue Märklin locos will run on DC as well as AC if you want to perform a simple test - 12v from a car battery or even larger dry batteries with one wire to the slider and the other to any wheel will produce movement providing that the mechanism isn’t gummed up with old oil and the brushes are ok. Of course to fully test you would need the 24v pulse from a genuine Märklin analogue controller to operate the reversing relay if it has one, some had hand reversing levers.
With advertisers of used Z gauge who say ‘unable to test’ of the locos they have for sale I despair, either they are dishonestly covering up for a non-runner or have no imagination at all. A 6LR / MN1604 9 v battery available everywhere, used in smoke alarms etc, will test a Z loco by touching the wheels to the terminals. Such a battery may even run 800 series locos for a simple quick test.
ChrisG
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Offline marklinist5999  
#6 Posted : 03 December 2021 13:58:34(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,659
Location: Michigan, Troy
Yes, an A/C motor will run faster with D/C.
Offline kiwiAlan  
#7 Posted : 03 December 2021 16:04:58(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,856
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
Yes, an A/C motor will run faster with D/C.


Not really. The way the voltage is measured means that they should run the same speed.

Offline marklinist5999  
#8 Posted : 03 December 2021 16:13:05(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,659
Location: Michigan, Troy
It depends Alan. It can run faster, but draws more amperage. My dad showed me when I was a teenager. I pit a 5 pole armature in my analog Hammo SBB re460, and it does indeed run faster, but draws more, and lights not as bright at lower speeds.
Offline Mman  
#9 Posted : 03 December 2021 17:22:25(UTC)
Mman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/05/2021(UTC)
Posts: 202
Location: England, Guildford
I thought that the Hamo range were 2 rail 12v DC locos - were there AC ones? I only have one example of a Hamo, an E03.
ChrisG
Offline marklinist5999  
#10 Posted : 03 December 2021 18:13:48(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,659
Location: Michigan, Troy
No Chris, Hammo were always D/C, unless beofre Marklin aquired the brand. I don't know if older ones had field coils, but since the 80's have had permanent magnet motors, similar to 5 pole digital ones. When Marklin aquired Trix, they dropped the Hammo name for 2 rail models.
Adding a rtectifier to a D/C motor allows itto run on A/C. The digital decoders do this as well as manage current voltage and draw so the speed range is constant.
Offline Marley  
#11 Posted : 03 December 2021 20:20:03(UTC)
Marley

United States   
Joined: 03/12/2021(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Sacramento CA
Thanks everyone! My whole family is stuck at home with covid, so I decided to show my son the trains as a distraction. He loves it, and is very gentle and careful with them. His bedroom has a train theme (Flying Scotsman) and he wants to display the trains there. I told him that some might be pretty valuable, and we might be able to sell some if we wanted to. But like most things, the value is dependent on whether you have a buyer. So we will take our time and explore the options. I took some photos of some of the trains just for interest sake:
20211203_110246.jpg20211203_110305.jpg20211203_110141.jpg20211203_110109.jpg20211203_110126.jpg20211203_110047.jpg20211203_110351.jpg20211203_110359.jpg20211203_110215.jpg


They all seem to be from 1950-1952 from what I could find online. It shows the CSS800, SE800, RE800 and HR800. There is also a TM800, G800, TP800 and various passenger and freight cars. No tracks, and no transformer/controller. Most seem to be in good condition, other than some crystallization on some of the tenders.
Offline Mman  
#12 Posted : 03 December 2021 20:40:23(UTC)
Mman

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/05/2021(UTC)
Posts: 202
Location: England, Guildford
Very nice, looking at the pickup shoes they would have run on track with a continuous third rail down the centre. In the mid fifties they changed to track with studs down the middle to look more realistic. Locos were then fitted with skis/sliders which would ride over several studs at once.
Still seems to be some of the old type rails about which crop up on eBay from time to time. Will also run on Hornby Dublo three rail track.
ChrisG
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Offline marklinist5999  
#13 Posted : 03 December 2021 22:12:42(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,659
Location: Michigan, Troy
You all have a speedy recovery Marley! My sister became ill with covid October 21st. She works in a V.A. hpspital as a vision therapist, and was vaxed early and was about to get her booster. She missed 2 weeks of work.
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Offline kiwiAlan  
#14 Posted : 04 December 2021 00:00:57(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,856
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: Marley Go to Quoted Post
I took some photos of some of the trains just for interest sake:
20211203_110246.jpg


The CCS800 is missing some wheels. The wheel arrangement should be symmetrical, so the left hand side should have a single axle bogie at the left just like the right hand end, and under the left hand end of the cab should be another axle just like under the right hand end of the cab.

Unfortunately i can't see what should be supporting the axle, so wonder if the chassis block has suffered what is often called 'zinkpest' where the metal crystalises and breaks up, as it looks like the axle bearing has completely disappeared.

[edit]
Ah, looking at the last of your photos that shows the underneath i can see that the chassis looks complete, but I wonder where the wheels and axle went ... Confused
[/edit]

This is not a total downer, as replacement parts can be obtained.
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Offline Marley  
#15 Posted : 04 December 2021 00:22:53(UTC)
Marley

United States   
Joined: 03/12/2021(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Sacramento CA
Originally Posted by: marklinist5999 Go to Quoted Post
You all have a speedy recovery Marley! My sister became ill with covid October 21st. She works in a V.A. hpspital as a vision therapist, and was vaxed early and was about to get her booster. She missed 2 weeks of work.


Thanks. Yes, we are vaccinated too, so thankfully our symptoms so far has been mild.
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Offline Marley  
#16 Posted : 04 December 2021 00:24:30(UTC)
Marley

United States   
Joined: 03/12/2021(UTC)
Posts: 4
Location: Sacramento CA
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Marley Go to Quoted Post
I took some photos of some of the trains just for interest sake:
20211203_110246.jpg


The CCS800 is missing some wheels. The wheel arrangement should be symmetrical, so the left hand side should have a single axle bogie at the left just like the right hand end, and under the left hand end of the cab should be another axle just like under the right hand end of the cab.

Unfortunately i can't see what should be supporting the axle, so wonder if the chassis block has suffered what is often called 'zinkpest' where the metal crystalises and breaks up, as it looks like the axle bearing has completely disappeared.

[edit]
Ah, looking at the last of your photos that shows the underneath i can see that the chassis looks complete, but I wonder where the wheels and axle went ... Confused
[/edit]

This is not a total downer, as replacement parts can be obtained.


Yes, I saw that some wheels were missing, but nothing seems "broken", so probably not too hard to replace.
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Offline cookee_nz  
#17 Posted : 04 December 2021 00:32:29(UTC)
cookee_nz

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,788
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Thanks for the pics Marley,

They are all somewhat play-worn already, some cosmetic damage so the value is relevant to the condition.

The CCS 800 'Crocodile' in particular is missing one end bogie and one set of driving wheels near the center housing.

It's still repairable but some reproduction parts can be a bit pricy, and that's just based on what we can see. Dismantling a Crocodile is definitely not a job for the inexperienced.

Did you get any assorted spare parts in a box or bag?, they may be among other items and I'm assuming the previous owner would have given you everything he had?

Unusual that no track or controller was with it.

Even just as display pieces on a shelf they are quite appealing. The crystalising you refer to is what you need to watch for. Mild cases are sometimes referred to as 'Zinc Bloom', and can often be cleaned away and neutralised with various treatments such as oil or polish.

But a more severe condition which can look similar is so-called 'zink-pest', this is more serious and generally not reversible.

Storage and handling plays a big part in how quickly the condition might advance. Any moisture is the enemy as are wide temperature fluctuations.

But having said that, some models don't get affected at all, it is sometimes just the luck of the draw.

Good score, I'm sure many of us are envious but also happy to share in the joy of your acquisition.

Once you've pondered them for a while you'll get more help here with regard to repair and operation should you wish to keep some or all of them, or offers to purchase if you decide to let some go.

Cheers

Cookee
Cookee
Wellington
NZ image
Offline 5HorizonsRR  
#18 Posted : 04 December 2021 00:54:21(UTC)
5HorizonsRR

United States   
Joined: 05/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 3,179
Location: CA, USA
Whoa- those are VERY special in any condition. I'd enjoy them, you can always sell later if you wanted... That is an INCREDIBLE find...
FS + SBB Era 2-5 and Vintage Marklin
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