Märklin HO Digital model Railroad

A new place for tips, tricks and stories.

My dream of entering a very expensive and time consuming hobby has been rekindled.

When I was a kid I got a Märklin set with a locomotive, some wagons and tracks and loved playing around with it.

It was a locomotive like this.

At one point at a New Years party with a colleague of my farther, I got a box with several wagons, lots of tracks, including turnouts and crossings and a number of buildings.

I used it for a time until the locomotive direction shift stopped working and it was put up in the attic.

I moved away and several years later my parents sold the house. We cleared the attic and discovered that almost everything up there had been ruined by moisture including everything Märklin, Scalextrix and all of my LEGO instructions and worst of all, the pictures of the LC-39 Saturn V complex that was in LEGOLAND the first time I was there. To young for the Traffic School and the next time we got there I was to old and the Saturn V was replaced by a STS-1 complex.

The Saturn V in LEGOLAND



cape kennedy

On these pages I can remember having the following LEGO sets:

386: Air Ambulance

387: Excavator and Dumper

425: Fork Lift

435: Tipper Truck

460: Rescue Units

485: Fire Truck

695: Racing Car

712: Sea Plane

Probably the Sterling Boeing 727

At least one like it as I still have the wings and engines. Maybe the Learjet version

And even more sets.

Wow! That was a nostalgia trip.

Okay, back on track. That is Märklin tracks please.

I don’t have any room for any HO setup in my 48 m2 apartment, so abandoned dream.

What has happened?

My farther has always looked at and talked about getting a trainset, preferably in a smaller scale than HO.
When he turned 70 I suggested that we could give him money for a trainset and the rest of the gang agreed.

Z and N being to small for his eyesight and wanting to have some turnouts, he decided upon the 29721 HO Digital starter set.

For that Christmas I gave him 2 sets with 5 buildings each.

He haven’t done much with it and the main reason for that is that their house is for sale and that precludes a permanent setup.

So my Nephew and me have been the ones using it the most.

This Christmas, when I was down there, looking through a Märklin catalog that he got with the set, the dream sparkling in the back of my mind, I asked if I could get a locomotive and wagons to use on his layout and let them stay by them. (I use public transportation, so it limits the load capacity, when going back and forth.)

The reply was “Since it is going to be yours when I am gone, you can do whatever you want”

I have been in Railroad mode ever since.

For now there is a 90x210cm plywood board and I have purchased the SCARM (Simple Computer Aided Railway Modeller) and their Model Trains Simulator and have been playing around with it.

I have always dreamt of having a layout with a Turntable, so this is with the 74861 version.

I have done a lot of layouts but these 3 are the ones I like the best:

My favorite. (Note that red tracks are from 29721, gray from 24905, black from 24902 and blue is separate tracks.) I may skip 24902 and get them separately instead. There is also room for some buildings. I hope that this will be the end result. At least with the current baseplate.

This will probably be the next step as the Turntable alone is 3109 Dkr, roughly 480 USD

The add Turntable step.

This is a fully populated version, but it leaves no room for buildings so it’s not going to be.

I am looking into controlling all the Turntable functions with a buttonbox and some Arduino magic. For the time being I will probably go with the 72760 button box and the 4 functions that provides.

I am also determining how to control the Turnouts and wagon decouplers. That could be with 72710 buttonboxes, a homemade button box or a trackplan box with toggle switches, pushbuttons and LED’s. Button box and/or trackplan probably with Arduino or whatever else I discover that can work.

It’s a jungle to figure out what drives to use and whether I want to do it analog or digitally. I just know that I prefer to run Turntable, Turnouts and the rest of that stuff separately with their on powersupply and control connections. I don’t like the idea of running it through the tracks.

There are so many possibilities, so now I just have to narrow them down.

I have already bought the first 2 wagon sets.



I also preordered a locomotive.

Happy Simming and Railroading.



I am fairly sure I had the same locomotive in my first set! In fact… my brother might still have it.

Change of plans.

Dad won’t let me make a hole in the baseplate, so the turntable is out of the question for the moment.

I have made this plan instead: (Red Start set 29721, Gray Track set 24905, Blue To get, Black Have bought).

This is what I now have at home.

Unfortunately the UNIMOG is missing from the 46934 set. I knew that when I bought it and thought that it wouldn’t bother me, but now it does. I will have to see if I can find it somewhere.

The locomotive is a Heljan 44544 DSB MY 1157 with sound.
The testtrack is because I don’t even have room for the smallest possible Märklin circle and because Heljan recommends the first drive to be ½ hour at medium speed each way.

We have bought the Märklin 24905 C5 Track Extension Set and that has been sent straight to my parents place.

Here is one possible plan with 29721 and 24905.

Happy Simming


One of these years I need to get back into model RR’ing. I have been scratching that itch with TSW and it’s ilk for a while, but it’s fun to do a lot of the building for a real layout.

Yeah, it has been very popular in many years. I may get the new digital version, but there are many other investments to be made before that.

I tried out TSW and Train Simulator, but most of the Danish material and repaints at the time only worked for older versions of the sims, so I abandoned them.

It is a great hobby.

Another possibility with the 2 sets that we now have

Happy Simming

A lot of stuff have happened on the railroad front.

On my summervacation based on my farther wishing for a layout with tunnels and bridges I created this layout in SCARM

I was inspired by this layout

Inspired by this video I decide to use LEGO bricks as bridge pylons.

I spent an entire day on sorting LEGO bricks and building base pylons
(That was what pushed me over the edge on recreating my Classic Space LEGO including wished for sets collection.)
And most of the next setting up and adjusting pylons and layout. Because the incline was to steep I had to swap the upper right turnout with the 24188 track to the right of it. Then I had to change the trackrun to reach the groundlevel turnout.




As it turned out it was not so exiting to play with so we abandoned it.
One of the locomotives was having trouble with the incline on the back.

Instead I set up this planned for layout.

Sorry. No pictures.

One nice surprice was that my parents have gotten a bigger plate, so instead of 900x2000mm we now have 1050x2300mm to play with.

I did some experimenting and what they lead to, will be in the next installment.

Happy Railroading


Your dad must be thrilled to have something in the house that you two can share.


That looks amazing! I agree with @smokinhole. What a lovely thing to share


so many points, signals and crossovers to fail … ahhhhh its giving me real life PTSD … :scream:

but seriously, that’s a really good looking layout, good use of the space


Awesome stuff, and to be able to do that with your Dad must be really special. Please keep us updated.

Meanwhile. I am off to fire up TrainSim and take a BR Class 55 for a drive… I love the sound of those Napier Deltic diesels.

smokinhole, Victork2 and Harry_Bumcrack.

Yeah it is great. Unfortunately both of my parents where sick this Christmas, so they didn’t have much energy for railroading.

I did get to show the major features of my new Koff II with Telex couplings, some of the disasters and some shunting possibilities that took some experimenting to get right.

The koff II is the small locomotive in front of the middle of the red wagons.

I also sorted and built a lot of my LEGO sets and I could sit and do that at the dining table in the living room. So we could talk and be social at the same time.

But first I had to swap out the pickup shoe on my Heljan DSB MY locomotive.




My quick locomotive holder

It now runs much smoother and rarely gets stuck in the crossovers as it often did before the operation.

Happy Simming


I remember that Blue plane on floats!
I wanted it sooo bad, but it wasn’t available in any of the local toy stores, and back then, you couldn’t just order one either…

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Thank you tempusmurphy.

Fortunately we have no plans for adding signals.

I do have to give a PTSD warning as there are more points coming.

Happy Simming


Here is a quick screen shot of one of the programs I use at work … it’s an open source thing called open train times (it can be found at open train times.com) it gives a real-time layout of lines with units and head codes. The screen is from just outside Liverpool st in London

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I remember some of those sets, in fact I think I had two or three of them myself!

For Christmas I brought the following stuff.

Märklin 26617

Märklin 43599

Märklin 48842

1 Viessmann 5549 button panel
2 24672 curved turnouts
3 24997 decouplers
4 24977 bumpers
Some straight and curved tracks

This was the planned for layout.

I had to figure out what was needed to use the decouplers with the MY locomotive and if there was room for the top 24672 and track.

After a lot of experimenting I left this layout behind.

More to come.

Happy Simming


i like the double deck coaches, which country are they from (in real life) also is it an electric or diesel engine that pulls them?


Troll and Aginor

I know those feelings.

I will be posting about the LEGO in the LEGO thread, but I have to finish up in this thread first.

Happy LEGO Building (Dreaming)