My Märklin rail layout

HO UK model rail

Digitally operated points

A point (or switch, as our American cousins call it) is a set of tracks that can alter the direction of the train in one of two directions. This can be done by hand using a throw over switch on the track or electromechanical using our digital operation.

C – track right turn point


The directions:

  • straight ahead (designated by green on the mobile station controller
  • deflected to left or right, (designated by red on the mobile station controller

There are two methods that I have used to effect the digital operation of points.

  • a decoder beneath the point track controlling a motor
  • a decoder box located remotely that activates the point motor

Märklin sell a variety of straight, curved, crossed and ‘Y” points. These are mechanically/manually operated and can have additional devices retrofitted. These devices are:


Point Motor – solenoid

  • An Illuminated point indicator light visible above the track (Artikel-Nr.: 74470 Weichenlaternen-Satz)


  • A digital decoder which listens to the mobile controller and speaks to the point motor. See 60831 m83 decoder as an alternative


Therefore to get a realistic looking, fully functioning set of digital points all 3 devices need to be purchased in addition to the points itself. Finding a kit with all 4 items is, I am told, possible but difficult to find.

Why doesn’t Märklin sell a digital set of Märklin points with motor,decoder and lights all in one? You may well ask. Presumably it is because they have calculated that there is a bigger profit margin on the separate items.

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