Prototype: German Federal Railroad (DB) class 044 heavy freight locomotive. Version with open front skirting and Witte smoke deflectors.
Model: The frame, locomotive body, and the tender are constructed mostly of metal. The locomotive has an mfx digital decoder, controlled high-efficiency propulsion, and a sound effects generator with several functions. The locomotive can be operated with DC power, AC power, Märklin Delta, Märklin Digital or Märklin Systems. 5 axles powered. The locomotive has a built-in smoke generator. The triple headlights change over with the direction of travel. The running gear lights are maintenance-free LED's. The lights and the smoke generator will work in conventional operation and can be controlled digitally. The steam locomotive operating sounds, the whistle sound, and the Telex couplers can be controlled with a 6021 Control Unit or Märklin Systems. The acceleration and braking delay as well as other operating sounds can be controlled with Märklin Systems. The engineer's cab has interior details. The locomotive has many separately applied details. The minimum radius for operation is 1,020 mm / 40-3/16". Length over the buffers 71.0 cm / 27-15/16".
The class 44 with its five driving axles is one of Europe's most powerful steam locomotives, and is rightly considered to be the symbol of the standard design freight locomotive. The mighty exhaust from the three cylinder running gear fascinated several generations of railroad enthusiasts, who nicknamed the 44 "Jumbo". The class 44 was built over a period of at least 23 years at production facilities in Germany and countries occupied during the war. It started in 1926 with 10 prototypes. Initially, they had to take a backseat to the class 43 two-cylinder 2-10-0 units. The locomotive committee was under the mistaken notion that they didn"t need the somewhat more maintenance-intensive locomotive with the additional cylinder. As train loads and speeds grew, the time had come for the well-designed class 44, which was fast and smooth-running for its time. Scheduled delivery of the class 44 ended in 1944. The plant at Hennigsdorf built ten additional units in 1949 from existing parts. A total of 1,989 locomotives were built and they differ in numerous details, which should not be surprising, given the long production period. After the war both German state railroads modernized a portion of their motive power pool. In the west the class 44 was in service until the end of the steam locomotive era, 1977. In East Germany the end came late in 1981.