My Märklin rail layout

HO UK model rail

Another layout change

Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 06.20.38As of July 2019 I’ve begun remodelling my layout with a high level reversing loop and eventually a remodel of the town and its hills at the rear.

This provides for a rewiring of the lighting circuits and possibly replacing the incandescent bulbs with a few led’s.

Wiring Märklin Digital Rail Layout

These are notes I have made on the wiring needs of my Märklin digital model rail layout. These also need to be seen in the context of a rail layout which is currently (July 2019) undergoing a landscaping and electrifying development, in anticipation of purchasing a full central station control in the new year.

The wiring I have installed is untidy and in need of a radical re-arrangement. The 8 points are digitally  controlled, and consists of a number with integral digital controllers and of course motors, additionally there are three others, including a crossover point, which are or shortly will be connected for control directly to a m83 control box.

There are no recognisable ring circuits for either the powering of the track, or for lighting and accessories. I have however, modified a number of pieces of track for an experiment in track detection, this can only be realised with a CS3 running a m88 with a 60881 connected.

My intention is to create a ring circuit for lighting with a common brown wired return to the m84 – made up of 4 switches thus 4 zones with lighting. For lighting I propose using green wire for switching control. 


From the layout diagram above I propose to control lighting in the 4 zones with 4 ring circuits. Looking at the layout, work in progress, I may place a ring in the individual landscape zones rather than drawing each accessory down to an under baseboard ring.

The diagram below outlines my ideas with one brown common ring going to the m83 and the 4 zone control wires going to the m83 separatel.Thus 5 lighting wires. However I will be using green wire and not yellow (possibly/probably) 

Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 13.44.08.png


I’ve had a few days now at reshaping my layout, the raised loopback works a treat and today I added the two left points and the crossover in zone 2. Lighting ring circuits in zones 1 &2 are active.  I had a bad moment when I discovered a break in one of the blue wires to a point, but a continuity test with my multimeter isolated the wire which I had pierced with one of my staples. Lesson learnt.

As I progress with rewiring I now realise that I no longer need to use the old big blue Märklin transformer for my lighting circuits. I can run everything off the Mobile Station power supply.  So much for the well intended advice from uncle Jürgen who runs the older analog Märklin system.

Today I used some mod roc plaster strips to contour around the hill tunnel and the new switch back tunnel towards the middle of the layout. Having chopped the layout about so much in the past couple of days, this new plaster work has the effect of stiffening up those parts of the raised landscape.

A visit in the morning to Brackley to A&H Models where I got a load of landscaping grass flock and some floor texturing sheets.


Using the foam insulation sheets has proved to very speedy way of getting a landscape working. One ‘interesting’ effect was that I discovered why I was getting lights on one ring circuit illuminating light on another – the cause was some old metal Märklin lights were picking up a stray current connection fed through the foil covering of the insulation. I could use this to my advantage for some other electrical devices, but for now I’ll just have to be more aware of what is stuck into the baseboard.

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This entry was posted on July 14, 2019 by .
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