The Swiss mountain locomotives that pulled heavy freight trains over the Gotthard grades were known as “Crocodiles”. The design (articulated hoods, extended shape) and the color green was the source of the name. When traversing combinations of turnouts and “S” curves, these locomotives “snaked” through the curves like a reptile.
“Six-axle full gauge locomotive, only for large curves, true reproduction of the 'Crocodile locomotive' …”, this was the way the reproduction of the latest Swiss locomotive was presented in the 1933/34 Märklin catalog. The design and the pulling power of the original locomotive impressed people so much at that time that it became a synonym for progress and power. A mystique that henceforth lingered on in the history of Märklin. This legendary piece of motive power was in all of the scales offered by Märklin. First in 1 Gauge and 0 Gauge, then H0 and even in Z Gauge Mini Club. It was the top product offered everywhere in the assortment and thus became the unofficial “heraldic animal” of Märklin. The color green dominated over the longest period of its service life on the Gotthard grades and left the original color brown almost forgotten. Märklin did not bring out a “Crocodile” in brown on the market until 1984 in a limited quantity in 1 Gauge as an offering for the 125 anniversary of the company. There never was a white “Crocodile” in reality. Despite that, a large Märklin dealer in New York ordered single samples of large 0 Gauge locomotives in special paint schemes. He chose the color white, which is totally atypical in the prototype. It can't be denied that the locomotives in this fantasy paint scheme had a special effect on observers. Despite this, there was only the one order for some unknown reason. These locomotives were thereby one-off pieces seen by only a few people. Amazingly, they became very well known in collector circles. Perhaps, because who could imagine a “Crocodile”, the Swiss mountain locomotive, which was typically green, in a white paint scheme?