Finding a suitable 00 loco for conversion to Märklin 3-rail C-Track system

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Finding a suitable 00 loco for conversion to Märklin 3-rail C-Track system


Post by locomotive_a_vapeur »

Having lived in Britain for quite a while and commuted by GWR 80x/HST for more than two years, I’d really like to add a British 00 train to my Märklin C-Track layout. I’m aware that there are many pitfalls, including the different wheel profile with the Märklin wheel flanges being tighter together, causing problems when running on points with converted rolling stock, the need for a skid and the tight most common radius for C-Track (360 mm). The good thing is that I have already converted 2 H0 Mehano trains from 2 to 3 rail – I increased space for the bogies in the frame, soldered in an ESU decoder, changed some of the wheelsets and added a skid.
My layout is controlled with an ESU ECoS, using MM, MFX and DCC protocol simultaneously (I am aiming to use DCC with Railcom for all new trains), running a mixture of Märklin and Mehano trains built from the 1940ies to now.
I have read through a couple of forum entries, including those:
- ... bie)/?p=1/
- ... -dcc/?p=1/
- ... ible/?p=1/
Now my question is which locomotive / train to convert. I am thinking of 2 basic choices:
1) Starting with a Hornby Duplo locomotive from the 1950/60ies: I’d add a ESU loksound decoder, given there is enough space and the motor is isolated from the frame. I am not sure about the following: Does anyone know how well they do on C-Track? Apparently they work well on M-track, but C-Track does not like high wheel flanges too much. Furthermore, does the skid work with the point contacts in the middle rail? And what about 360 mm curves?
2) The other option would be to take a loco or train from the current / more recent 00 range of Hornby or Bachmann Branchline. It should either already be equipped with a sound decoder or I’d retrofit an ESU loksound V4 as well in the interface. All I needed to change is the electricity pick up. I was thinking of using a colorful locomotive which will be a nice contrast to the black German steam locos such as the Hornby R3854 Princess Royal class or the Mallard R3395TTS. Alternatively, my daily commuting train class 80x would be an option as well (R3609). For all those models, how well do they cope with first radius, given Hornby advertises them as minimum second radius? Do they have enough room between the wheels to fit a skid? It should be about 4 mm minimum in vertical because the skid gets raised on points. And a very naïve question to finish with, are most Hornby steam locomotives delivered without working headlights?
If you have a better suited model in mind, please don’t hesitate to propose it. I have also not yet had a close look at the Bachmann options.
Many thanks,
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