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Gauge I Q&A
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How Big Is It ? Where do I put it ?
How do I design it ?
What kind of track should I use ? Conductivity ?
How much does it cost ?
What can one get ?
Where can I buy them ?

  • How Big Is It ? Where do I put it ?

    It's very big. You need 1M radius curves minimum. For big engines you need 2.5M curves. Indoors this can be a problem. What I've done is to fill an unused dining room simply with the station/yard complex, and then lay track into the living room to produce an acceptably long mainline. That way I have a conventional layout of moderate proportions, and the mainline doesn't bother anyone, it simply snakes around the furniture and under the piano.

  • What kind of track should I use ? Conductivity ?

    Marklin track is the basic thing; it works well enough but it has real conductivity problems unless you use the 56031 track clips. To get real you need Hübner track. They have the big curves you need for realism. Their track also has better connections. It's compatible with the Marklin track. If you want to go real high end, Hegob makes really fancy track, with Schnellfahrweichen for high speed operation.

  • How much does it cost ?
    • $200 for a locomotive, $100 for cars
      • Märklin Maxi - essentially toys. Works well, very sturdy, pretty, cute, fun. Your kids will love playing with it. So will you. But it's not prototypical.
    • $800-1000 for a locomotive
      • Märklin Maxi - the recent Maerklin Maxi locomotives like the BR18 or the V60 cost a little more, but are very detailed and have first class electronics in them. With their all metal construction these are a fine addition to any layout.
    • $1500 for a locomotive, $250 for cars
      • Märklin Spur I - the "Profi" Gauge I models - mostly these are the older Plastic models originally designed by Hübner.
      • Hübner - Makes absolutely perfect mixed metal/plastic models built in China. A few years ago they were actually priced under Märklin, but lately prices have risen with the increasing detail of the models. Their E94 and VT98 are lovely to behold. The cars are also very, very impresive.
      • Kiss - Kiss used to just make expensive handbuilt models, but have taken to mass producing their all metal models, still by hand, in Korea. Their specialty is really detailed all metal steam engines like the BR23.
      • Kesselbauer - These models are a weird mixture of good design and bad construction. The cars are affordable, and once you glue them back together, add real wheels, couplings and brakes, actually pretty nice. The locomotives are too flaky to deal with. But if you like building your own cars, the Kesselbauer cars are a good start.
    • 3000-10000DM for a locomotive, 2000DM for a car
      • Everything else - Dingler,Proform, Fulgurex,Lemaco, etc. beautiful handmade brass or steel models in small editions.
  • What can one get ? If you look around you can get everything you need! See also the information page.
    • Locomotives and cars - almost all the manufacturers offer that
    • Track - Märklin, Hübner, Hegob, Kesselbauer all offer different kinds of track. Märklin and Hübner together provide the most reasonable combination from a price/performance standpoint.
    • Signals - Märklin, Kesselbauer, Besig
    • Turntables - Besig
    • Buildings - Märklin, Lokfuehrer-Lukas
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Last modified:07/29/2014         Copyright © 1996-2014 Tom Hempel