A Case Study

The most recent Märklin track plan book is the 0294 (paperback) or the identical 0296 (hardback). Although they appear to be currently out of print, copies turn up on eBay periodically and they are worth a modest bid.

The book details the Märklin mini-club track geometry and electrical technic.  Starting in the middle of the book are three diorama layouts (a steam locomotive terminal, an electric locomotive terminal and a harbor scene).  All three could serve as an entertaining Z-Scale model railroad in themselves, but there are provisions for connection to the outside world, too. Next are ten free standing Z-Scale model railroads that range in size from the very small to the very large. Following these layouts are six examples of Z-Scale modules that can help you get started with Z-Scale until there is time for a full layout.  At that point, these modules can be incorporated into something bigger.

As mentioned on other pages, I’m a big fan of the 0290 layout book, which dates back to the 1970’s.  There’s something about the stark geometry of the railroads which appear in this book:

At the same time, Z-Scale has moved along with the times.  Layout No. 1 in the 0290 measures 952 mm x 427 mm. The first freestanding layout in the 0294, identified as No. 6.2.1, measures a smaller 800 mm x 400 mm. At the same time, the 6.2.1 also clearly illustrates the genius of Märklin mini-club.

Although small, the 6.2.1 has both operating interest and realistic scenery. The layouts illustrated in the 0294 book show model not only Märklin Z-Scale structures but also structures built from other German manufacturers, most notably Kibri.

The 6.2.1 uses the 8970 Wintersdorf station, the 8971 freight house and elements of the 8986 trackside detail set:

At the back of the railroad is the Kibri gravel works building:

The gravel works siding is being switched by an 8805 Class 80 0-6-0T with the appropriate 8624 Talbot type hoppers used to distribute track ballast.

In the middle of the 6.2.1 are six residences:

As with the balance of the 6.2.1 layout, these residence buildings are all examples of plastic assembly kits that were available at the time the 0294 book was written. There are also little vignettes that attract your eye:

Probably the most important idea of the 6.2.1 is to keep things small. Thus, the only big structures on the railroad are the gravel works and the station & freight house. Everything else should be kept small.  So, small locomotives such as the Class 80 and a rail bus and trailer.  No big freight cars, either.  The whole idea is to keep it interesting with little scenes located all over the railroad, interspersed with dense tree foliage.

The 6.2.1 is meant to be a little jewel.

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