Marklin Trains

Early trains by the German toy manufacturer Marklin, like those of other makers, were simple and solid, but unrealistic. However, in 1891 at the Leipzig Toy Fair Marklin introduced standardised gauges, which was a major development in the manufacture of trains and was to change how they were produced in the future.

The early 1900s were the first ‘golden age’ of Marklin trains. The simple early designs were superseded by a range of realistic, detailed trains with a superb, thickly lacquered finish. The larger lll gauge was particularly popular in this early period, but by 1910 the demand for the smaller l and 0 gauge models was growing too. It was at this time that Marklin introduced a range of rolling stock and accessories.

1895 Marklin 0 gauge clockwork train set SOLD £3400

After World War One the heavy, thickly painted trains began to look old fashioned and by 1930 the I gauge was obsolete. All this led to the company, in the 1930s, investing in new tooling and launching a brand new range of trains.

In 1948 yet more changes, which included the launching of the smaller and instantly popular HO gauge. The die cast bodies were narrower with more accurate proportions, a slightly matt finish and a new type of coupling. By the late1950s the solidarity and quality of Marklin trains had firmly re-established the company’s reputation world wide.

Marklin trains are extremely popular and collectable today and many of the very early examples can realise impressive prices at auction.

Senior Valuer Michael Dowse

For more information or if you have similar items you’re thinking about offering items in auction or you simply would like a valuation, please get in touch with us, full details can be found on our company website

How ‘Big’ do you like your Model Railway?

It was once estimated there were around 50 different model railway gauges and standards throughout the world, how true this is uncertain. However here in the UK by far the most popular size is ‘OO’ being dominated by the ready to run manufacturers such as Bachmann and Hornby amongst many others. However for those with very little space how about Z gauge, developed by Marklin in Germany in 1972 a Z gauge layout where a single circuit of track will fit on top of a large cake tin! Then at the other extreme perhaps the choice is 7 ¼ inch gauge where large gardens and paddocks are required and motive power is provided by live steam and diesel engines.

5 Gauges of Model Railway
5 Gauges of Model Railway

As for the smallest gauge a trip to Japan is required – where else? – where in 2006 T gauge was developed with a track width of just 3mm which is half the size of Z gauge! Tweezers and eye glass compulsory with all purchases.

Whether you are looking to add to model railway or sell your collection, Sheffield Auction Gallery hold regular model railway auctions on all scales and gauges (next Specialist Auction on August 27th).

For more information please visit our Sheffield Auction Gallery website.