Re: I'm back - sort of
- Hello Ole -
My main interest is Marklin (and compatible AC) HO, but I have the same
difficulties when it comes to my "little trains".
Of the main two sizes available (Z & N), Marklin Z (I don't model US.) to
me has the looks and the track and wheel standards look right.
Unfortunately, it cannot I think match the performance of Fleischmann or
At the moment I have a little Z material for the reasons above, but
everything has to be right for it to run well. I don't really think in my
case that I am dissatisfied with Marklin's build quality, but Z is very "on
the edge" of practicability when it comes to size.
So, at the moment I am still undecided whether to keep this or go back to
You are not alone in your frustrations.
"To be free, to be who you are"
> From: Ole Rosted <Ole.Rosted@...>
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [z_scale] I'm back - sort of
> Date: 30 September 1999 08:50
> From: Ole.Rosted@... (Ole Rosted)
> Hello group,
> A week has gone by since my Z-universe collapsed.
> In this week I have avoided contact of any kind with my z-layout,
> instead I let the advises and hints - many of you were kind enough to
> send me - sink into my brain.
> I think my conclusion is: It is OK to buy Marklin provided that you
> realize, that you must replace most parts with higher quality parts
> from other vendors, and that you must make the more critical parts
> (turnouts etc.) yourself.
> Further I realize that my intentions of going digital are pushed well
> beyond the horizon. With all that - as Bill Kronenberger wonderfully
> terms it - Scratch & Pray connections in locos, turnouts etc. the
> electrical noise level will ruin all efforts of using tracks for
> signals as well as suply current, I guess.
> I guess that remote control the wireless way would be possible, but
> where do I install the reciever decoder and things like that. In HO
> maybe - but in Z??
> This morning I felt an intense urge toward working with my Z layout
> again, so I'm apparently recovering from my bad moods.
> I'm beginning to see, that my fear of suddenly having nothing more to
> do layout-wise has - as many of you pointed out - nothing to do with
> the real world. My layout will *never* get finished! The knowledge of
> many of you having had the same Z-problems, as I do
> comforts me in a way. But at the same time puts a big question forward
> as to the quality of the materials we use for our hoby.
> I have been so far out as to dream in my sleep about tracks, that just
> clicks together, and turnouts that 8800s pass smoothly at very low
> I have been looking at Pecos homepage to find rail joiners but found
> nothing but tracks.
> My favorite place to look www.modellbahnecke.de do not even mention
> Some time ago one of the list members mentioned a US company making
> do-it-yourself turnout kits. I'm VERY interested in these kits. Would
> the mermber in question please repost the address and possibly an
> e-mail address and/or homepage URL - if available.
> Finally to each and everyone that replied to my letter about Marklin
> quality: THANK YOU!!
> regards Ole Rosted, Denmark
> > Z Scale RULES!
- Steve and other frustrated Zers�
I have watched and read with interest about your frustrations with Z scale.
These are the same frustrations many of us felt as we advanced through our
learning curve. Honestly, the first 13 years where very frustrating for me (I
have been modeling Z for 14 years!). Only lately, concepts, ideas, and skills
have come together to give me a wonderful running Z layout. I have watched
Fleischman and Minitrix N trains run, and you are right, their performance is
great, but with a little effort, your Z trains can run just as well.
I am not talking about gutting a loco and adding new motors like some have
suggested in the past. I am talking about using the M�rklin standard locos
with 3 (and now 5) pole motors. I have found most frustrations can me
eliminated at track level. Careful assembly of track and frequent cleanings
and maintenance helps keep locos running. Keeping the track clean helps to
keep the wheels of the loco dirt free. Clean wheels mean electrical pickup
and performance. A RELCO track cleaning unit really helps as well!
Next, look at your inventory of locomotives. If the only loco you are running
is an 0-6-0 (standard with many starter kits), yes you will be frustrated.
This loco is too light, does not have enough electrical pickup and tends to
'bounce' around the layout. In Z, size does matter. I found the larger the
loco, the better the performance. I also found that the truck based locos
such as the DB class 111 or U.S. F7 run much better on a layout then a 2-10-0
steam loco. It is just the nature of the loco.
Another idea to avoid frustration is to seriously examine what you would like
from your trains and layout. How large of a layout do you want? What do you
demand from your trains. For instance, I want to be able to pull long trains
on my mainline without modifying my M�rklin locos. I therefore avoided any
grades on the mainline. Through the use of varied heights of scenery, The
main line almost appears to raise and lower, but it is level. This enables me
to run trains such as the full 8 car Orient Express behind a 4-6-0 without
any hesitation or slowdown.
As for my branch line, I added a few steep grades in order to move the branch
line up to the main line level. But, I have cut running performance in half.
For instance, a twelve car freight on the main might only be a six car
freight on the branch. (Photos of the layout can be found at www.ztrack.com
in the gallery section)
Steve and others, these are just some tips on avoiding the common
frustrations associated with Z. There are many other tips out there to help.
Time and learning are by far the best way to overcome frustrations. So please
be patient. Steve, I hope you stick with Z, it is wonderful! Where else can
one model a 1/2 mile of mainline on an extra wall or do an incredibly
detailed layout in a briefcase or coffee table.
I hope this helps!