The Longevity of Märklin Models - Part 2
La longevità a catalogo dei modelli Märklin

Back to first page with locos and coaches / Torna alla prima pagina dell'articolo con le locomotive e le carrozze.

Freight Cars 4500

4503, Low side car (former: 305)
1951 - 1976 = 26 years
In 1951-52 Märklin introduced a new series of reasonably priced freight cars, with plastic body and sheet metal frame, thus replacing previous cars with die cast body. They were produced until 1975-78, when in turn they were replaced by the new 4400 series.
4505, Box car (former: 306/1)
1952 - 1975 = 24 years
This and the next two cars are the basic models of the 4500 series.
4508, Refrigerator car (former: 307/1)
1952 - 1975 = 24 years
4509, Banana car (former: 307/2)
1952 - 1975 = 24 years
4510, Wine car (Bordeaux)
1951 - 1978 = 28 years
This car was the last "4500" to be discontinued, so it won the maximum longevity for a 4500 model.
4513, Dump car (former: 362)
1953 - 1976 = 24 years

Freight Cars 4400

4410, Box car
1976 - 2006 = 31 years
In 1976 a new series of freight cars for beginners was introduced: the 4400 series, which immediately replaced the previous 4500. In these new cars also the frame and not only the body was made of plastic.
4415, Refrigerator car
1976 - 2006 = 31 years
While the 4500 refrigerator car appeared only in one version, the new 4400 unit was the base model for an almost infinite number of different liveries (perhaps hundreds, including all beer and advertisement units).
4423, Low side car
1977 - 2006 = 30 years
Still in stock in 2006 for the entry-level market, the cars of 4400 series have reached a higher longevity than those of 4500: around 30 years instead of 25.

Freight Cars 4600

4602, Open freight car
1957 - 1978 = 22 years
The high-end freight cars belong to series 4600, introduced in 1956-57, generally with plastic body and metal frame (or sheet metal frame with plastic details).
4610, Ballast car (former: 315/1)
1956 - 2006 = 51 years
This small car belonging to the first batch of 4600 series is surprisingly still in stock, thus gaining the record of longevity for freight cars.
4611, Crane car (former: 315/2)
1956 - 2006 = 51 years
Also the crane car has the same longevity as 4610, although it changed its livery at about half of its lifetime. The plastic body covers a heavy pressure-cast metal core.
A digitally powered crane was introduced in 2006, using the same body and frame (46715).
Since 1982 as 4671 with new yellow livery.
4627, Box car
1965 - 1986 = 22 years
The classic box car remained in stock for a shorter period as it was later reworked with short couplings (e.g. 46275).


5100, M-Track (former: 3601 A1/1)
1956 - 2000 = 45 years
The "modern" M-track with point contacts appeared in 1956, when it replaced the previous track with third rail, maintaining its geometry (i.e. the diameter of 72 cm).
Actually, the very first point contacts had been introduced in 1953 with the 3900 series with a larger diameter, but this series disappeared only few years later.
The M-Track was discontinued in 2001, that is five years after the introduction of the new C-Track (with plastic roadbed).
Since 1982 with new "invisible" bearings for point contacts (same article number).
Similar articles: 5106; 5200 N57
5117, M solenoid turnout (former: 3601 MW)
1956 - 1975 = 20 years
5121, M manually operated turnout (former: 3601 W)
1956 - 1974 = 19 years
5140, M solenoid curved turnout
1964 - 2000 = 37 years
5202, M solenoid turnout
1957 - 2000 = 44 years
5207, M DKW
1959 - 2000 = 42 years


2200, K track
1969 - 2006 = 38 years
In 1969 a new track system was introduced, designed in order to be as similar as possible to the standard 2-rail track. This system is still produced, together with the new C-Track introduced in 1996.
Up to 1980 with folded sheet metal rails (art. 2100), later with section bar rails.
2261, K solenoid turnout
1969 - 2006 = 38 years
2264, K manually operated turnout
1969 - 2006 = 38 years


7028, Locomotive roundhouse (former: 411 B)
1950 - 1991 = 42 years
This traditional sheet metal roundhouse was replaced in 1977 by the new 7288 made of plastic.
7047, Street lamp (former: 448/4)
1954 - 2005 = 52 years
This simple lamp is included in the list because of a surprisingly high longevity. A new series of street lamps was introduced in 2005.
7051, Slewing crane (former: 451 G)
1950 - 2002 = 53 years
The crane was made of sheet metal and had two motors (one for raising the load and one for turning the boom). This, together with the electromagnet, allowed a full control of movements and loading through a completely electro-mechanical system.
In last years a digital version was introduced, and also a kit for placing the motor below the layout plane.
7072, Control panel (former: 476/4)
1954 - 1994 = 41 years
The control panel with plastic body replaced a previous one with the same shape and colour but made of sheet metal (474/4). The new version had 8 buttons instead of only 4.
In 1995, a new series of control panels was introduced, according to the new "white style", used also for transformers.
Similar articles: 7210, 7211
7164, Pickup shoe
1965 - 2006 = 42 years
This is the most used middle-length pickup shoe.
Similar articles: 7185: in stock in 1961
7186, Turntable (former: 410 NG)
1951 - 1991 = 41 years
This turntable, made of metal sheet and suitable for M-tracks, replaced the previous one 410 M (which had a bit smaller diameter).
In 1991 a new plastic turntable was introduced, as a joint project with Fleischmann, suitable for K-tracks (M-tracks in conjunction with the adapter track).
7192, Level crossing (M) (former: 459 MG)
1950 - 1994 = 45 years
The classic level crossing made of sheet metal is one of the few articles of the early 1950's generation that survived up to recent days.
The electromagnet is powered by contact rails, i.e. tracks in which one rail is insulated from the other one and powered through the wheels of the train: the electromagnet is connected to such rail and thus activated (NEW see electric scheme.
7390, Mechanically operated level crossing (former: 457 B)
1951 - 2000 = 50 years
This level crossing was activated by the weight of the train itself. The effect was less realistic (long bogie vehicles let gates open between one bogie and the other), but 7192 was much less expensive than the electric version 7192, and survived even few years more.
As the track was built-in, it turned from third rail version to contact points when the 5100 series was introduced.
First years as 7054 (with red lights).


7163, Arch bridgs (M tracks) (former: 467/2)
1950 - 1970 = 21 years
The sheet metal bridges (arch bridge, girder bridge and ramps) had built-in tracks: so, when the K-Track was introduced, they were discontinued.
Just like 7390 crossing, they turned from third rail version to contact points when the 5100 series was introduced.
7263, Arch bridge (M+K)
1970 - 2006 = 37 years
The new series of bridges was made of plastic and both M and K-tracks could be used with them.


7009, Mast (former: 409 M)
1951 - 2000 = 50 years
In 1951 a new overhead system was presented, replacing previous one (with simpler masts and only a wire instead of the catenary). Although it was not completely realistic (e.g. the catenary had to be "turned" in curves), the Märklin overhead system was working fine and was really usable for powering electric locos.
In 2005 a completely new system, much more realistic, was introduced.
7018, Contact wire section (former: 409 R)
1951 - 2003 = 53 years

Similar articles: 7019

Interior Coach Lighting

7074, Interior lighting for 2-axe coaches (former: 484/12)
1953 - 1997 = 45 years
Märklin always gave the possibility to add interior lighting to its passenger coaches. The 7074 was one of the first lighting kits: it used the ancient version of pickup-shoe, that survived up to recent years for this kit only (in all other uses it was discontinued in mid Sixties).
As for most of the following kits, 7074 came out of stock many years after the last wagon that could use it was discontinued.
7076, Pickup shoe for freight cars (former: 484/22)
1955 - 1991 = 37 years
This pickup shoe was used for the 4500 wagons and the 4000/4040 cars (all with the same wheel base).
7077, Interior lighting for sheet metal coaches (former: 484/31)
1953 - 2006 = 54 years
Before the introduction of the new kits with light diffusers, the 7077 was the standard lighting for all passenger coaches. Generally two 7077 were used for each coach. Some D-Zug Wagen like 4051/4052 have always been using 7077.
Together with signals of the 7039 family, them too from 1953, this small object wins the maximum longevity of 54 years!
7079, Taillight for freight cars (former: 484/33)
1953 - 1991 = 39 years
Wagons from 4500 series had metal buffers, and therefore could mount 7079, which used the buffer for the return current to the rails.
7198, Pickup shoe
1964 - 2006 = 43 years
In 1964 the previous current supply 7075 for lighting 7077 (which had the same pickup shoe as the 7074) was replaced by this one, with a 7175 pickup shoe. However, the experience shows that a larger pickup 7164 can also be mount, greatly improving the performance.
7320, Interior lighting for sheet metal coaches
1966 - 2006 = 41 years
In 1964, for the new French coach 4050, Märklin introduced the first lighting with transparent diffuser (7197). Two years later, the same technique, which greatly enhances the quality of lighting, was used for TEE coaches, with the 7320 lighting.
The pickup shoe is a 7198/7175, but shipped together with the lighting (and not separately as for 7077).
This system remained the standard, up to the introduction of the first coaches with full plastic bogies (second version of 4091 in 1974), in which additional wheel contacts were needed for return current.
Similar articles: 7197: N64


7039, Home signal (semaphore arms) (former: 446/11)
1953 - 2006 = 54 years
In 1953, a new family of semaphores was introduced, consisting of 3 home signals and the corresponding 3 distant signals. They were made of pressure-cast metal, with sheet metal arms, actuated by metal wires. The double solenoid both moved the arms and switched the track power.
They replaced the previous 445 A/437 N and were extremely detailed for those years: not only the aspect, but also the operation exactly reproduced the real semaphores, even with coupled or independent arms for turnout paths.
After more than half a century, these signals are still in stock in 2006 and win the maximum longevity in Märklin range. Congratulations!
Similar articles: 7040, 7041
7188, Home signal (M+K)
1959 - 2003 = 45 years
Few years after the 7039 family, also the color light signal 7044 (from an almost fantasy design) was replaced by the new 7188.
Nevertheless, the use of standard-size bulbs prevented from an exact reproduction of the real DB signal (red and green lights at the same height): ten years had to pass, in order to see the new 7239 family...
7239, Home signal (M+K)
1969 - 2003 = 35 years
Color light signals became widespread in real railway and the introduction of the new K-track was a good occasion for presenting a brand new signal family, consisting of 3 home and 3 distant signals.
Smaller bulbs allowed a precise reproduction of lights and the absence of moving arms made it easy to separate the signal from its solenoid, in order to hide the latter.
In 2005 these signals were replaced by a new family, in which the LED technology permitted an extremely true-to-scale reproduction.
Similar articles: 7240, 7241
7339, Home signal (M, manually operated)
1971 - 1997 = 27 years
In order to simplify wiring, this manual version of the 7188 signal was presented. The two insulated tracks permitted to stop a train in front of the signal with no extra wiring and the absence of solenoids also made it much cheaper.


6631, Transf. 30 VA, plastic body
1972 - 1993 = 22 years
After various series of transformers with sheet metal body, the new plastic cases were presented in 1972, in two sizes (the smaller one being used also for Z scale and for other control units, such as the electronic control 6600 in 1983).
The digital control units (from 1984) showed a different design, based on black instead of blue, but the standard blue transformers survived up to 1994, when the new white style was introduced.

Tutti i dati come tabella in formato Excel / All data as Excel table.
The Excel file also contains a sheet for Z scale models.

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