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MÄRKLIN & RAILROADS : A personal view by Christian Vinaa

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  • Scale and size
    • 5", 1, LGB, H0, TT, N, Z

  • Electricity - Electronics
    • Turnouts
    • Signals
    • Light barrier

  • Real trains ( scale 1:1 )
    • Real trains - scale 1:1
    • Selection of train videos

Märklin Museumswagen marklin märklin logo

Märklin has each year since 1985 produced a special car - "Museumswagen" - that you ( in theory ) only could buy when you visited the "Märklin Museum" in Göppingen.

In the first years it was only a "H0" car. In later years also a "Z - miniclub" and a "Spur 1" car.

The Museumswagen has become collectors items - but with some questionable long-term value.

The later year Museumswagen are - as far as I know - produced in such numbers that there never will be too few of them. ( Märklin would have to buy back a lot of these cars to make them real collectors items ).

The very first Museumswagen was actually seen in 1984 in the set "2857 Württembergischer Zug" :

2857 Märklin

where one of the cars was this one :

2857 Märklin

In 1984 / 1985 Märklin was celebrating their 125 year jubillee and the first Museumswagen ( 1985 ) was produced and sold for 25 DM = 12,78 euro.

2857 Märklin 2857 Märklin

The two cars are almost identical but for the "Museum" - "1985" on both sides of the shield.

Since the "real" Museumswagen from 1985 is a real collectors item - selling for up to 1.300 euro due to the very low production number ( 200 - 500 ), there are a lot of forgeries where the car from the "2857 Württembergischer Zug" has been given a further print : "Museum" - "1985".

Especially when buying without seeing the Museumswagen - i.e. on Ebay - you can be fooled.

A further tell-tale mark is the box :
2857 Märklin

Obviously the date-code should not be later than "85".

Recent information seems to indicate that the date on the box for the 1985 Museumswagen should be 06 85.
Obviously this only goes to show that it really pays to be carefull if you want to buy the "real" 1985 Museumswagen.

When you think of it - a production of 500 items is the same as many of the "werbe-wagen" - the cars that Märklin produces ➚ for anyone who wants to promote their own brand - company.

Many of these "werbe-wagen" you can buy second-hand for anything between 5 - 20 euro. The real sought-after would set you back 50 euro - but there is still a long way to 1.000 euro.

During the first years the Museumswagen was just a car - typically the 4890 boxcar with brakemans cabin. From 1990 other car-types were used and finally in 1991 the supplementary lorry was added.

Also in 1991 the idea of a "theme" was introduced. Märklin would select a local / regional company and create a car and a lorry with that company's name and logo. Märklin typically states in the description that the model is created from a real excisting car, but Märklin hasn't made i.e. pictures of the real car awailable.

There are countless sites on the internet that lists the Museumswagen with details and photos
i.e. Märklin Stammtisch 72

The "Märklin Insider Club News" from 06-2008 covers the H0 Museumswagen.
The "Märklin Insider Club News" 01-2009 covers the Z-Mini-Club Museumswagen.
The "Märklin Insider Club News" 03-2009 covers the "Spur 1" Museumswagen.
The "Märklin Insider Club News" 04-2009 covers the "MAXI" Museumswagen 1996 - 2006.

As stated above the current Museumswagen, as far as Märklin advertices, can only be bought at the "Märklin Museum" in Göppingen.

This is not true.

Any model railroad train shop will sell you the current Museumswagen at the same price as you would pay in the "Märklin Museum". Of course there are shops that will try to sell it at a higher price - especially on ebay.

While I appreciate that I do not have to travel to Göppingen each year to get the Museumswagen I do think that there should be sommething SPECIAL connected with a visit to the "Märklin Museum".

However I suspect that Märklin will never be able to implement this - the big stores / buyers will always be able to get their hands on some of such items. So it would only add to the earnings of these shops.
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Copyright © Christian Vinaa
2014 -
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