Märklin 1 - Rossberg

As mentioned on other pages, I have a sentiment toward the Märklin Gauge 1 model railroad called “Rossberg”, which appears in the Märklin 0324 Gauge 1 book “Märklin I für Haus + Garten”.  It’s a classic junction, and a nice track layout that doesn’t take up a lot of space.  Well, “a lot of space” is a little different in Gauge 1 than it is in H0-Scale. The Rossberg layout measures 5 meters in length, over 16 feet long here in America. You can do a lot with 16 feet in Z-Scale, so inside Gauge 1 railroads are compromises at best.  But I liked the concept of Rossberg enough that it was the basis of my own Gauge 1 inside railroad, Amstetten.

All the elements are present, with the 5615 station kit in the very center of the scene. The 5615 was introduced in 1978, 5 years prior to the publication of the 0324 book.  Given the editorial deadlines, Rossberg was designed as a way to showcase this new structure and also to showcase the new locomotives and cars which were beginning to appear. Many of the photos of Rossberg include the 5799 P8, a 4-6-0 introduced a few years earlier, but they do not include the 5706, a model of a Class 78, introduced in 1980.  This neatly brackets the Rossberg railroad model as being constructed in the late 1970’s.

The track layout itself is relatively simple:

A “main” line runs from left to right from front to back, exiting the scene by going into a tunnel. A branch line enters the scene from the right, joining the main at the station. The other structures, a freight shed and a locomotive shed, are both scratch built, as are other details on this railroad.

The Rossberg railroad uses the large radius 5972 and 5973 turnouts, with the exception of a single sharp radius 5963, so the large engines such as the Class 38 and Class 78 of that era can be used. In practice, however, smaller seems to be a better choice. If the motive power is limited to the 0-6-0’s and the Henschel diesel of the early Märklin Gauge 1 product line, and rolling stock is limited to two-axle cars, then Rossberg can be operated as an interesting model railroad without drawing attention to the small size of the track layout.

Note: The above paragraph is a correction of an earlier statement which was in error.  Many thanks to sharp eyed reader Klaus Mielke for pointing out the incorrect information.

In the above scene, both 0-6-0’s are in operation, with the 5799 Class 38 staged to the left side of the photo.

Construction of the Rossberg railroad is fairly straightforward, with a wooden butt-joint frame for support:

The track and structures are supported by a flat sheet of plywood, with a small cut out for a watercourse:

Also, note that the track has been placed differently than in the original plan, a matter which is soon corrected.  A scenic backdrop helps add depth to the scene:

Station platforms are scratch built and added to the scene:

Note the 5872 box car with tail light markers, which was new in 1979, although it is possible that it is a preproduction model. The scenery continues in traditional form:

The text reads:

  • Our Märklin-Gauge I home system is ready. The final shape, with a few added low buildings placed with correct size trees and some detail parts whose production we have already described.

Rossberg Electrical Items

Märklin Gauge 1 electrical control in the late 1970’s was the same as other Märklin controls:

In a few years, Märklin Digital would enter the model railroad scene, but it was too soon for the wiring of the Rossberg layout.  Here, a wiring diagram:

Everything was connected together with the Märklin plug & socket system. Power for the railroad is provided by the 6611 transformer, with train control via the 6699 speed controller. Advanced in its day, the 6699 soon disappeared from the market when improved systems were developed.  Track switch and signal; control is made by traditional 7072 control boxes, the same ones used in Märklin H0-Scale and Z-Scale. Two distribution strips allow for the connection of multiple plugs for both brown and yellow connections.  The semaphore signals are decorative, without being able to directly control train movement.

In all, an interesting railroad, with Gauge 1’s large size able to show the fine details which make for an interesting model railroad scene.