Following the end of World War II Märklin resumed the production of 0 gauge trains in 1947 but ceased their production in 1954. There were really no new 0 gauge trains introduced in this seven year period and Märklin fans must have wondered what might have been produced had the company continued with its 0 gauge line. If so they had to wait thirty years!
To celebratethe 125 anniversary of Märklin in 1984, the company opened some of its archives to the public. The archives included three prototype model locomotives representing (Ref 3):
- a glass enclosed railcar ET 91- “Gläserner Zug”
- the electric locomotive Class E 18
- the famous streamlined Henschel-Wegmann trainset.
Märklin was clearly interested in this new Henschel-Wegmann train as its catalog of 1936/37 illustrated the train on its cover. The actual train was developed by the German steam locomotive industry to compete with the challenge being presented in the 1930s by the diesel-powered rail cars such as the “Flying Hamburger”. The train set consisted of a streamlined steam engine, built by Henschel, and four streamlined coaches built by Wegmann. The train ran between Berlin and Dresden from June 1936 to August 1939 at a speed approaching 100 mph. Märklin, however, produced only one prototype model before the war stopped the production of toy trains.
The prototype model of the Henschel-Wegmann train was loaned for several months to Herr Carlernst Baecker who ran the train hobby shop “Hobby Hass” in city center of Frankfurt am Main. Using the Märklin model as his prototype, Herr Baecker produced 34 of the model train sets – locomotive and three streamlined coaches - in the late 1980s. The price of the set in 1990 was DM 6.500.—and delivery was 14 months after the order.
The Hobby Hass model of the HenschelWegmann locomotive.
Two Märklin styled Henschel-Wegmann trains, one with four coaches, operate on the layout of Bernd Hess of Borchen, Germany. Photo courtesy of Bernd Hess.
Although Hobby Hass produced only 34 sets, there does seem to have been more of these sleek models produced. Chatter on internet forums related to Märklin trains indicates that Christian Selzer may have produced a number of sets but I am unable to confirm this information.
Hobby Haas produced at least two other Märklin related items of note. In 1904 Märklin produced, in Gauge 1 and live steam, a model of a Prussian State Railways experimental, cab-forward, locomotive Class S 9 numbered “Altona 561”. The actual locomotive was also built in 1904 but, performance wise, the locomotive was not very successful and it was removed from service in 1918.
Finally Hobby Haas produced replicas of the Märklin 1945 series passenger coaches in 0 gauge. These coaches are 34.5 cm in length, shorter than the sought after 40 cm 1941 series, and longer than the common 1751 series 24.5 cm coaches. The Märklin 1945 series coaches are good looking cars but they can be more difficult to find than even the more scale looking 1941 coaches.
Hobby Haas made the following 0 gauge replicas in the late 1980s into 1990:
|1945||Personenwagen||1st and 2nd class||Green|
|1946 R||Speisewagen||Rheingold||Violet and cream|
Note that although Hobby Haas did not replicate all of the original series, they did add the Rheingold restaurant coach to the mix. Hobby Haas does not appear to be actively involved in replica 0 gauge trains any longer .
Next: Ritter Restorations
Tags: Tinplate Trains