Märklins Analogue AC system
100% European nostalgics!

The blue Märklin transformer hums pleasantly to the ground as the plug is inserted. A gentle turn on that steering wheel and train set begins to roll forward. The steering wheel does a bit of raspy resistance as the towing contact on the inside moves over the windings of the transformer. The lamps shine as it passes through the first tunnel. Gears are switched on the blue switchgear and the train arrives at the station shortly. A familiar scent of model trains spreads throughout the room. The transformer rating plate has already become lukewarm.  
Different types
of operator panels

Märklin Signals
7000-series Hand book

Advantages of analogue AC operation
- Easy and understandable to connect the electrical system. Some cables in different colors are all needed.
-Transformer, relays, flip-flops and buttons give so much more feel than touch screens and computers. Model rail is at its best with real tram boards and transformers.
- Lowest price. Once you have purchased your entire facility with locomotive wagons, tracks, transformers and everything you ever wanted, it has cost no more than a mock stealer compared to the tricky digital stuff.

Disadvantages of analogue AC operation
- Highly restrictive in multi-train traffic.
- Significantly much more wiring than digital operation.
- Significantly poorer driving characteristics of the locomotive and no access to the built-in sound effects.
- Extremely restrictive for automatic traffic and combined control of signals and switches..

How to power your analogue AC power supply
Simple! Only two wires involved!

Märklins electrical system for operation with AC (AC) consists of two components; a torque transformer and a current rail. The power strip has two connected wires; one brown and one red, which are connected directly to the color-labeled terminals (brown and red) on the transformer. Brown is electric zero and is often marked with "0". Red is electric phase and marked with "B".

The transformer
Märklins transformer converts 230VAC from the mains to a suitable alternating voltage for the model railway.
The transformer generally has 3-4 outlets:
- Brown is electric zero and marked "0".
- Red gives 0-16VAC and marked "B".
- Yellow always gives 16VAC and is marked "L".

The voltage in the red-labeled socket (also labeled "B") can be adjusted from 0 Volt position (max counterclockwise) to 16 volts (max clockwise) with the knob / knob. To change the direction of travel, a voltage shock of about 24 volts is given (resilient position max counterclockwise, or by pressing the knob / knob).

The yellow marked socket "L" provides 16 volts at all times. This socket is used for operation of signals, electrical magnetic articles (eg switches and relaxation rails), as well as possible lighting in houses and on platforms, yards etc.


The power supply track section
The power supply rail is really just a regular rail with two wires connected;
- Brown (-, "0") is connected to the rails
- Red (+, "B") is connected to the center conductor

It is therefore very easy to make more power supply rails yourself. All that is needed is cable, tin and a soldering iron. In addition, some track sections have a small capacitor connected. It is not necessary and can be omitted. The purpose of the capacitor is to reduce the electrical interference caused by the locomotive when traveling on the rails. In the event of a later transition to digital operation of the train, these capacitors must be removed and then it is nice to have already removed them from the beginning and thus not have to tear up the rail at their layout.


Multi-train traffic with transformer operation (Analog operation)
When the plant is small and may only consist of a starter kit, it is sufficient to let a locomotive handle both freight and passenger traffic. Soon enough, however, you want to get more locomotives and then the plant must be divided into several different sections, each running with its transformer.

Insulation between sections
The easiest way to insulate between different sections is to put a piece of electrical tape on the center conductor connector. See picture. Märklin, however, has special central conductor insulation if you want. The item is called 5022, but I doubt it is still available for purchase.

Connection of current to each new section
Each new section requires an additional transformer and a supply rail for running current. The straight feed rail is called 5111 and the curved feed is called 5103. However, it is easy to make feed rails yourself by soldering cables to any rail.

Polarity check
It is important to check that the driving current has the same polarity in all sections. This is most easily done with the help of a 12 Volt lamp. First set half driving voltage. Connect the lamp between the center conductor in section "1" and the center conductor in section "2". It should NOT now shine. To do so, the plug of the transformer supplying section "2" must be turned 180 degrees in the wall socket. Perform the control between all transformers.



I have connected all my transformers to one branch outlet. When I am going to drive that I simply put in the power outlet and then I know that all transformers are properly connected each time (because I never pull them out separately).



Fiddle- and staging yards
Fiddle- and staging yard tracks for train sets does not need a transformer of their own, but can be disconnected and switched to the nearest section / transformer.

This is most easily done with the help of a toggle switch. How this is conected is shown in the picture here. The toggle switches are mounted in a control panel next to the transformers so you can easily reach them.

/ Martin

Koppla in Märklins elväxlar
Fjärrstyrda växlar är toppen!

The Märklin series 5100/5200 metal rail includes a number of turnouts that can be operated remotely. Remote maneuvering is done using Märklin's switch box item 7072, or rather with toggle switches mounted in a home-built control panel. The Märklin electric turnouts have built-in solenoids that moves the turnout tongue. A solenoid is an electromagnet with a moving iron core.

The solenoid has three connections:
- Yellow cable that connects directly to the transformer yellow socket marked (L).
- Blue cable with red contact is connected to the red terminal of the switch box 7072.
- Blue cable with green contact is connected to the green terminal of the switch box 7072.


The lamp is connected to the rails (0)
The yellow cable is also connected to the gear's built-in lamp, which illuminates the semaphore. The other pole of the lamp is connected directly down into the rail and thus marked to the transformer socket (0).

This is important to know in the event of a later transition to digital trains. Namely, it is the only electrical connection between the digital drive voltage and the AC transformer.



Så här kopplar man med egna vippströmställare i sin spårplanstavla


3-way turnout (Article 5214)
The 3-way turnout has two solenoids and therefore 4 blue cables and a yellow.

Two of the blue cables are interconnected to provide straight track maneuvering. The other two give right, and left turn respectively. Maneuver from left turn to right turn and vice versa, must be done via straight ahead, for the groove tongues to end up right.


/ Martin

Märklin Signal system 7000
A good start to get started on automatic train traffic

Unfortunately, I have always known that Märklin's signal system 7000 has been difficult to connect and use. It's a shame, since I now far in hindsight realized that I really could have had great benefit and pleasure from some signals on my first three layouts.

All at a cost of a few hundred pieces and with only a few simple handles for installation. That is why I am now writing this guide

For those of you who build a larger layout, more than 20 turnouts and simultaneous operation of more than 4 locomotives, I recommend instead to invest directly in digital system with PC control.

Three types of signals in series 7000
Train traffic signals can be divided into front, main and track latch signals. A pre-signal gives the driver the information about what the main signal will show later. This allows the train driver to plan in time for the heavy train to slow down. The main signal provides information about the run / stop, the train path and the permitted speed. The latch signal is usually used to control the exit from a station area or industrial track



Märklin försignal 7036 och 7038


Pre-signals on the model railway
The pre-signals on the model railway are only eye candy. They have no real function, as the line sections are usually short. As a result, the pre-signals are at most a few rails before the main signal. If you miss them, you can later complete the layout with them, but it's usually not something you need from the beginning.

The pre-signals in Märklin's signal system 7000 have article numbers:
- Semaphore: 7036, 7038


Märklin huvudsignaler 7039 och 7040


Main signals on the model railway
It is with the main signals that you build your signal system. The main signals have a built-in bistable relay and this switches in and out of the driving current from the tracks in front of the signal. With green light, or folded semaphore, the power is on. In the case of a red signal, or a dropped semaphore, the current is off and thus the train stops in front of the signal.

The main signals in Märklin's signal system 7000 have article numbers:
- Semaphore: 7039, 7040

Märklin spårspärrsignal 7042


Track block signals on the model railway

The track block signal is usually used to prevent the switcher (shunter) from accidentally exiting station areas and industrial tracks on a main line. The track interlock signals have a built-in bistable relay that switches in and out of the driving current from the tracks in front of the signal.

The track interlock signals in Märklin's signal system 7000 have part numbers:
- Semaphor: 7042


Connect the Märklin's signal system 7000
Märklin's signals are essentially connected in the same way as the switches. This means that the yellow cable of the signal with yellow contact, is directly connected to the yellow socket of the transformer.

The signals have 3 blue cables, one with red contact, one with green and one with orange contact. By briefly connecting the red or green signal of the signal to transformer "0", the signal is set to "STOP" and "RUN" respectively.

Manual control with switch box 7072

Manual control of signals may be suitable for where one wants to manually allow passage.

Then the blue cables of the signal, the one with red contact and the one with green contact, are connected to switchgear 7072.

The red cables with their contact tongues are connected to the rail's center conductor in two rail joints, partly before the signal where the driving voltage is located, and afterwards in the insulated track section.

The switchgear side outlet is connected to transformer "0". By pressing the red or green button on the desk, the signal is switched to "STOP" or "RUN".


Automatic control with contact rail 5146

Automatic control of signals may be suitable, for example, along main lines where you want to prevent a train from catching another train.

Then the blue cables of the signal are connected, the one with red contact and the one with green contact to each of the contact rails 5146. The first contact rail "STOP" is located just after the isolated section. The second contact rail "RUN" is placed at the end of the section.

The red cables with their contact tongues are connected to the rail's center conductor in two rail joints, partly before the signal where the driving voltage is located, and afterwards in the insulated track section.

The yellow conductor is connected directly to the transformer socket marked "L".

For those who want to immerse themselves in signal system 7000, here is a link to the Signal Handbook in English (see link in the top of this page).

Good Luck!

/ Martin