New :

MÄRKLIN & RAILROADS : A personal view by Christian Vinaa

New :

  • 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

New books

Einfuhrung in die Digitale Modellbahn Einführung in die Digitale Modellbahn
Grundlagen und Praxis Schritt für Schritt erklärt
Author : Tobias Pütz

Euro 15,00

The VGB ➚ has asked me to review this book.

These days the model railroad industry - at least in Germany - struggles hard. Who is interested in model railroads when everything else is plug-n-play and requires almost no work.

Going digital did save the model railroad around 1980 and the hope is that digital again in 2020 will be the saviour.

So making the digital model railroad easy and approachable is a major concern with everyone within the model railroad community; including publishers like VGB.

This book is mainly for "beginners" but actually also for those who have started with the products from only one single manufacturer and now would like to understand the basics behind the digital "stuff" and perhaps would like to branch out (pun intended) and include products from other manufacturers.

Some manufacturers have made the digital model railroad so easy that you dont really get to know, less understand, what lies beneath it all.

So if I should single out one thing that makes this book worth reading it is that it covers all digital systems and all gauges. You really get the BIG picture in this book.

So now with the details :

The book focusses on how to start with digital model railroad and explains in detail - but not too much detail - what digital model railroading involves.

Very early in the book the author recommends that a beginner should just buy a start set and start exploring. You really cannot do anything wrong. In digital all brands will basically work together, so your choice is which brand and which products you feel most comfortable with.

I believe this is sound advice. Just like buying a new car; you have to sit in the drivers seat and see how it feels. Do you feel at home in that car ? Exactly the same with the digital model railroad. You do not want something to spoil the fun you have playing with your trains. After all - if you just want a digital train there are several apps that let you run a cartoon train on your computer-screen.

So basically - off to the model railroad store or an up-coming model train fair and try out the different brands.

Spoiler alert :
The author, very early on, reveales that, although the digital "stuff" all works together there still is the "problem" with the hardware; Märklin still is the only one to use the center rail - the third rail, while all others use only the two "normal" prototypical rails.
So even in the digital age there still is the same issues with isolated wheels and the pick-up shoe. On this you have to make a decision.

But once you have sorted that out it is - so the author advocates - fairly easy.

The book is sufficiently illustrated - and with "analog" pictures. Only in the section about electronic components are digital schematics to be found.

And the pictures are especially usefull in the sections where the author explains the decoders and their functions.

Finally - I think that the author made the right decision to ALSO have sections about analog electricity and analog model railroading even though the book is about digital railroad.

No matter how digitalized you run your model railroad, it is wise to not forget how it all started. Like Einstein pointed out : Everything is relative to anything else. So having the analog model railroad as comparison will actually make it easier to really understand the digital model railroad.

  1. La conception du réseau
  2. La forme et le plan du réseau
  3. Le jeu, l'exploitation ferroviaire du réseau
  4. Les plans des gares
  5. La structure de soutien du réseau
  6. Les voies, aiguilles et caténaires
  7. L'électrification du réseau
  8. La signalisation
  9. La commande numérique des trains
  10. Les gares et bâtiments ferroviaires
  11. Les locomotives et trains de voyageurs
  12. Les locos et trains de marchandises et d'exploitation
  13. Les reliefs et paysages
  14. Les ponts et tunnels
  15. Les champs, bois et chemins
  16. Les rues et places
  17. Les bâtiments civils et urbains
  18. Les bâtiments civils ruraux
  19. Les fonds de décor
  20. Les effets visuels, sonores et lumineux
  21. Les scènes de vie
  22. Les détails ferroviaires
  23. Les détails urbains
  24. Les détails campagnards et routiers 
B.A.-BA. du modélisme ferroviaire - Vol 1 - 14.

From LR Presse

LR PRESSE debut le modelisme ferroviaire La conception du réseau LR PRESSE debut le modelisme ferroviaire La forme et le plan du réseau LR PRESSE debut le modelisme ferroviaire Le jeu, l'exploitation ferroviaire du réseau LR PRESSE debut le modelisme ferroviaire Les plans des gares
4 photos © LR Presse

This is not one book, but 24 small leaflets each 28 pages - color printed with many photos - and in French.

The 24 leaflets - see the titles in the left box - are a wonderfull beginners guide to model railroading, and they have the older child / teenager as target, which is a novelty.

They in fact go very nicely with the Train n Box ➚ that "LR Presse" also offers.

All in all some very nice initiatives with the goal of getting children and teenagers interested with model railroading.

Digital mit Maerklin - Schritt fuer Digital mit Maerklin - Schritt fuer Schritt Digital mit Märklin
Schritt für Schritt
Der einstieg in die digitale Modellbahn
Author : Thorsten Mumm

Euro 15,00

The VGB ➚ has asked me to review this book. It has a nice size - 23,5x26,5 cm - and there are many color-fotos. More about the fotos later.

The book is in German, but there are not many long technical words, so if you can read a German newspaper you'll have no problem reading this book. In fact - the book seems easier to read than many German newspapers.

The book only deals with Märklin digital. The digital solutions, that other manufacturers ( Roco Fleischmann - ESU ) have, are not mentioned at all.

The title "Digital mitt Märklin - Schritt für Schritt" is not really the best title. The secondary title "Der Einstieg in die digitale Modellbahn" actually says much more what this book is about.

Why ? - Because this book is an introduction to digital model railroading as we know it in 2015/2016.

The "Schritt für Schritt" title could be misconstrued as also being about more advanced digital stuff, which it really doesn't cover. However - the book explains the digital history, which is very nice especially for those of us who can remember Märklin's "Delta" and the "6021".

The main good thing about the book is the way it guides the complete newcomer into the magical world of digital model railroading in a way that does not intimidate or scare anyone.

When you begin with something new you want so much at the same time. You want to "get on" - you have specific questions that, if not answered immideately, will stop your understanding - and you also need to know "the bigger picture".

The book really takes care of all three things and this is where the many photos will help the reader. Just reading a discription about a "red wire" doesnt really help the complete beginner, but seeing a a photo of the "red wire" explains so much more than 100 words.

The book starts with the InfraRed (IR) system and ends with the "CS2" and "WinTrack" - "Win-Digipet".

Unfortunately the brand-new "CS3" and "CS3+" are not covered ( because they appeared after the deadline ), but a whole chapter is devoted to the "Soft-CS2" which you can use on your computer.

The main object of this book, and something the book does very well, is to introduce to a person, who hasn't any, or very little, knowledge about digital model railroading, the various options a buyer has, and especially why you shouldn't be afraid of the digital "stuff".

The book also explains the compability between the various digital items that Märklin has and/or still sells - something that is REALLY useful especially if you are going to buy second-hand items.

The author always keeps in mind that model railroading is all about getting the trains to run, and it is pointed out - again and again - that the digital option is more play-friendly and children-friendly, because you with the digital option quicker and simpler can build a layout than you can in analog mode.

Analog mode requires a lot of wiring and although digital mode still requires a little wiring it is much easier to construct a temporary layout in digital mode.

All in all : This book makes you want to start play with model trains in a digital mode.

It really is a book that Märklin should offer for free as an e-book or pdf-file in order to get parents and children interested in running model trains.

You actually need this book BEFORE you start buying a train set, because the book will make you want to have a digital model railroad and last but not least the book will help you to decide at which level you will want to start with digital model railroading.

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Copyright © Christian Vinaa
2014 -
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