For Beginners

Big adventures begin with that first step.

Regardless of the gauge you choose, here travel becomes an adventure: Märklin model trains are a lot more than a toy. They awaken interest and passion in young and old. Moreover, they connect people across generations and distances. With Märklin and your own ideas, you will create fascinating worlds of adventure.

1. Size

Model trains from Märklin come in three gauges. They differ mainly in their size and the characteristics linked with them.

2. Space Requirements

Kleine Spur in einem Koffer

Z Gauge

Compared to the other two gauges Z Gauge is very small and delicate. However, it has a very exclusive look and feel because of its size. You need hardly any space for these model trains and you can even set up in a briefcase.

Spur passend für den Tisch

H0 Gauge

H0 Gauge is the most successful scale from Märklin and also offers the most extensive assortment. For this gauge, it is best to build large layouts in their own room. A table or a comparable surface is enough for smaller layouts.

Spur in Raumgröße

1 Gauge

1 Gauge locomotives will impress you chiefly with their size and the fidelity to detail connected with this size. You should plan a room by itself to make enough space for a layout. A large floor space is enough for short setups at Christmas or other holidays.

3. Control

Many adults are familiar from their childhood with analog control of model trains. The train could be put in motion going around the track with a simple turn of the control knob on the transformer, and the fun began. A lot has been done since then. Now Märklin offers you digital solutions good for the future for controlling your trains, that can grow with your requirements, and that offer still more operating enjoyment. Moreover, they are compatible with the earlier components of the Märklin system world.



The classic way of operating model trains is running trains in analog. The locomotive or powered car is connected to a transformer by means of the rails. The voltage present in the track can be changed with the control knob on the transformer and the speed can thereby be selected. This setting on the transformer applies to the entire track network. You need separated track areas in order to be able to control several trains independently of each other, because with analog control each locomotive or powered rail car has its own closed circuit in the track.



With digital control, you are running several locomotives on the same track layout independently of each other. The voltage required here to run the locomotives is constant in the track. Control signals can be sent individually to each locomotive or powered car: Your locomotives thus "know" when a control signal is directed to them. With digital control, the operating enjoyment and flexibility increases, because you can monitor and control sound effects, lighting, or special functions on your models as part of the fun of operating trains.


Mehr zum Thema

4. Eras

If you want to get more serious about model railroading, on this page you will find an overview of the time eras and emblems for historic and current European railroads. To be more specific the division into eras follows NEM standards, but in the newer eras, the divisions are not so well defined. Even in the prototype, the features of different eras can overlap.