Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the Mostly Frequently Asked Questions about Märklin Start up
  • Why are Märklin Start up products best suited for children ages 6 and up?

    The Märklin Start up assortment is very well suited for children ages 6 and up because these toy trains offer not only the fun of playing but also many other advantages. Since the Märklin Start up assortment is operated with current, children are introduced in a playful way to the topics of current and electricity. Manual dexterity skills are also exercised in designing and setting up a layout. Naturally, help from the parents is often required here. This can turn into a great project for the entire family requiring among other things community spirit, socializing, and also technical understanding.

  • Why are Märklin Start up products just the right ones for adult beginners?

    There are several advantages offered by Märklin Start up products just for beginners in the hobby of model railroading. The starter sets include everything needed for getting started easily and quickly. After the purchase of an individual product, you can immediately start using it. Moreover, Märklin Start up products are affordable and they are thereby very suitable when you are first discovering the hobby of model railroading for yourself.

  • What do I need in order to get started with the hobby of model railroading?

    Track, rolling stock (locomotives and cars), and a control system are needed. All of this is included in our starter sets so that a quick start in the hobby can be guaranteed.

  • What is a practical way to expand a starter set?

    Pre-planned C Track extension sets from Märklin offer an easy way to expand a track layout the way you want. In addition, starter sets can be expanded with theme extension sets, additional locomotives and cars, and individual pieces of track. Of course, you can also install accessory components such as electric turnout mechanisms and control boxes or signals. The products needed for this can all be found in the Märklin Start up assortment.

  • Are other makes of model trains compatible with Märklin?

    No, since Märklin locomotives use a different form of current pickup (pickup shoes) than the locomotives from other manufacturers. However, several manufacturers offer individual locomotives for the Märklin system (see the packaging for the locomotive).

  • What are the advantages of the Märklin System with the center stud contact compared to other systems?

    The first advantage is the fact that the so-called Märklin center conductor system has a third electrical conductor compared to the two-conductor systems. The center stud contact is largely self-cleaning and the double ground return for the electrical current via the rails offers reliable pickup for the locomotives. This make the Märklin system less sensitive to dirt compared to other systems. Another advantage of the center conductor system is the electrical symmetry. An example of this is the reverse loop, a track that returns to itself in a circle in order to turn or reverse a train for example. On a two-conductor system opposite polarities meet in this situation at the turnout. Elaborate electrical circuits must be installed here in order to avoid a short circuit. With the Märklin center conductor track, you can build any type of track pattern without worrying about conflicting polarity because the polarity is always the same in the three conductors.

  • I have an old locomotive. Can I use this with no problems together with my newly purchased starter set?

    Old locomotives are usually analog. The current starter sets come with digital controls. Unfortunately, analog locomotives cannot be used with digital controls. The analog locomotives would have to be converted to digital operation to use them with a new starter set. In most cases, this can be done by your local specialty dealer or by the Märklin Repair Department.

  • Can I combine M Track with C Track?

    Yes, this can be done by using the 24951 adapter track that is available at your specialty dealer in the Märklin H0 assortment.

  • Can I control digital locomotives with analog locomotive controllers too?

    Yes, when doing this you must remember that the current generation of digital locomotives may only be controlled with the white transformers, such as item numbers 6646 and 66470. Using older transformers (mostly with a blue housing) can lead to the destruction of the digital decoder.

  • I have a DC layout. Can I use this for Märklin Start up too?

    No, since DC layouts have a different system of getting current to the layout than the Märklin Start up system.

  • I have an analog locomotive. Can I have it converted to digital?

    Yes, this is possible in most cases. The locomotive should be in good mechanical condition (functioning gear drive). Your local specialty dealer or the Märklin Repair Department should be your first contact for this conversion.

  • I have an analog layout. Can the layout be converted to digital control?

    Yes. Keep in mind when doing this that the current to the track (red and brown wires) from the old transformers must be separated. The current to the track is now going to be done by means of a digital controller. Any interference suppressors built into the track as is often common in analog operation must be removed. The control of turnouts and signals by means of control boxes can be kept. If you want, digital control of solenoid items (turnouts and signals) can be done in a second conversion step by the use of accessory decoders. However, an appropriate digital controller (Mobile or Central Station) for these solenoid items will be necessary.

  • What are the advantages of a digital control system?

    The essential advantages of digital model train control are the ability to have multiple trains (i.e. several locomotives can be controlled independently of each other in a single power circuit), easier wiring of a layout, and better running behavior of locomotives such as the ability to control auxiliary functions such as lighting or sounds on the locomotives.

  • Can I operate the new digital locomotives with my old transformer too?

    The current generation of digital locomotives may only be operated with the current transformers (examples: 6646 and 66470). Older Märklin transformers send out too high a voltage when reversing the locomotive and lead to the destruction of the locomotive decoders.

  • What are the different ways I have to control turnouts?

    The turnouts can be controlled by using turnout mechanisms, which can be installed under the turnouts, and the appropriate controllers to go with them.

  • Where do I find a Märklin dealer in my area?

    A specialty dealer search function is available on our Internet page to allow you to find the nearest specialty dealer. By entering your country and postal code or zip code or that of your locale, you will receive an overview of the dealers in your area.

  • Who can help with technical problems?

    You can contact customer service directly if you have questions about repair and service topics. Experienced employees are available with advice and answers at our hotline number in Germany +49 (0) 7161 608222 Monday through Friday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (German time).

    The contact information for customer service is:

    Gebr. Märklin & Cie GmbH
    Postfach 960
    D-73009 Göppingen

    Tel. : +49 (0) 7161 608222
    Fax.: +49 (0) 7161 608 225
    Email: service(at)