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Module 16a 4-6-0 Locomotives.jpg

Introduction to 4-6-0 Steam Locomotives  

For no particular reason (other than that this wheel arrangement is probably the most popular with the large-scale modelling fraternity) I propose to start with the 4-6-0-wheel arrangement which used to be found in many countries of the world including the UK, USA, Europe, South Africa and New Zealand often superseding the less powerful 4-4-0 type.


Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives 4-6-0 represents the configuration of four leading wheels on two axles in a leading bogie, six powered and coupled driving wheels on three axles and no trailing wheels. This is the full Steam Locomotive Classification in most common use. 

Scan-170305-0001 Whyte best.jpg

Come to think of it starting  coverage of this topic with Steam Locomotives based on a 4-6-0 wheel arrangement makes a lot of sense as thanks mainly to Bachmann's ubiquitous "10-Wheeler" Train Sets it is one of the most popular designs amongst large-scale railway modellers (over 1 million have been sold worldwide).

Bachmann are by no means the only supplier of this engine type but to the best of my knowledge few volume producers (even the likes of LGB) have never sought to compete seriously in the train set market with their own version despite 4-6-0's being very popular in Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Bachmann Annie 4-6-0 V&TRR _Fotor.jpg

Bachmann 4-6-0 Steam Locomotive (Wood Burner) in Virginia & Truckee Railroad livery liberated from a "Silverado" Train Set.

During the second half of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries, the 4-6-0 was constructed in large numbers for passenger and mixed traffic service.


According to Wikipedia the most numerous 4-6-0 series in the world was the Prussian P8 passenger locomotive of which 3,556 were built for the  Prussian State Railways and German railways between 1906 and 1923. Of these, 627 locomotives were given to other countries after the First World War. When exports and licensed production in Romania are included, their number reached almost four thousand.

In the UK between 1906 and 1925, the 4-6-0 became the most common express passenger locomotive type in everyday use and  continued to be used as mixed traffic locomotive right up until the end of steam in the United Kingdom in 1968. Popular designs including the GWR “Castle” and “King” locomotives and the LNWR “Prince of Wales” and “Claughton” Classes not to mention the GER “Class S69”.   In the United Kingdom the 4-6-0 remained in service from 1894 until the end of steam in 1968.

Prussian P8 Locomotive

Prussian P8 Locomotive


GWR No. 7029 "Clun Castle" 

Let us start with Narrow Gauge which has gained a  considerable following in the UK and Europe as a whole but also in many other parts of the world. In the UK I think there is a nostalgic and genuine fondness for quaint old steam locomotives working on narrow gauge lines as epitomised on many UK 16mm garden railways especially featuring live steam.

The resurgence of narrow-gauge trains was spurred in the early 1960’s by LGB’s resurrection of two metre gauge locomotives and rolling stock based on European prototypes.

This trend was also evident in the USA which developed its own large-scale model steam locomotives typifying prototypes to be found on the numerous 2’, 2’6”, 3’ and 3’6” narrow gauge lines to be found across North America from New England, through the Mid-West to the Western Coast States.

Before I digress  into giving a complete run-down of every locomotive type ever produced it should be pointed out that in the absence of a large-scale model train manufacturer in the UK (both in size of model and production volume) examples of mass-produced G Gauge steam locomotives, of any variety, based on a domestic British prototype are likely to be quite rare. In fact, I know of only two (apart from the popular "Thomas the Tank Engine" series, and even these models were manufactured by Bachmann Trains and Aristo-craft in the USA, but if you know of any other examples please let me know.

Lyn Southern 762.jpg

The first "UK outline" was (notice the past tense) the Bachmann USA model of the Southern 2-4-2 Steam Locomotive “Lyn” No. 762 in green and black livery pictured above. The original was actually produced by Baldwin Locomotive Works (Philadelphia) in 1894 in the USA and shipped across the Atlantic in a disassembled state to be re-assemble at the company’s Pilton workshops before working on the narrow gauge Lynton & Barnstaple Railway  for many years.  Unfortunately, on the closure of the line in 1935 the original locomotive was sold and cut up for scrap. However, in 2009  members of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway Trust started a project to raise funds to build an advanced modern replacement locomotive for “Lyn” (but including some technical improvements and refinements on the original design) and the new version re-entered service in 2017.

For a locomotive originally manufactured in 1894 to still be operational over 125 years later is no mean feat and the trust is to be congratulated on preserving this heritage.


The same team have now set their sights even higher and hope to build new versions of all for Manning Wardle locomotives that originally operated on the same line starting with “Exe” and “Yeo” and eventually adding “Law” and “Lew” (all named after local rivers)


This is a major challenge as these locomotives cost around £500,000 each to build so if you can help with the funding please go to their official website:

Lenin's Funeral Train

Lenin's Funeral Train hauled

by a 4-6-0 - Moscow

Bachmann Annie 4-6-0 V&TRR _Fotor.jpg
90048-1 BACHMANN BALDWIN 4-6-0 ET&WNC (6

The second mass-produced locomotive based on a British prototype was, somewhat surprisingly, the ARISTO-CRAFT TRAINS GAUGE 1 EMD CLASS 66 DIESEL LOCOMOTIVE based on the British Rail Class 66 version built between 1998-2008 and 2014-2015. Around 480 were manufactured altogether and this particular locomotive seems to be a favourite of the diesel modelling fraternity and much sought after. Aristo-craft claimed that this powerful 1:29 scale Locomotive was the first British outline model produced for British Garden Railway enthusiast by a major manufacturer.

The range was distributed in the UK by Bachmann Europe PLC and the picture below shows a pre-production test model produced from initial tooling. 


According to Wikipedia 394 Class 66 locomotives were actually built in America and Canada by General Motors (now EMD) for service in Britain between October 1997 and September 2005. I understand that many still remain in active use for freight operations with DRS, EWS, Freightliner and GBrf in the UK - most recently in NHS livery. 

The impressive model is built to 1/29th scale and suitable for use on Gauge 1 and G scale standard gauge railways. It isregarded as being superbly engineered and includes ball bearings on all axles, 2 motors on each power bogie, interior cab lighting to show the cab interiors, DCC and RRC ports fitted, an operating smoke unit and bright LED directional lighting featuring both headlight styles. 

Initial releases were believed to be:


A23200 CLASS 66 Undecorated
A23201 CLASS 66 EWS Livery
A23202 CLASS 66 Freightliner
A23203 CLASS 66 German Railways
A23204 CLASS 66 Malcolm Logistics DRS
A23205 CLASS 66 GBRF Livery

Intermodal twin container wagons were subsequently developed by Aristocraft to accompany the Class 66 locomotive.

If you know any other British outline locomotives mass-produced in large-scale please let me know.


Large Scale Models of 4-6-0 Steam Locomotives


I appear to have digressed from the topic again so back to work! In the USA the 4-6-0 (affectionately known as the “10-Wheeler” for obvious reasons) was the second most popular configuration for new steam locomotives in the United States of America



















Most large-scale manufacturers have a 4-6-0 locomotive in their range, particularly Bachmann Trains who virtually built their company on their omnipresent “Big Wheeler” design aimed very much at the younger toy train enthusiast and featuring in the majority of their low cost entry-level train sets in many different guises.


Here is a complete list of diverse manufacturers I plan to cover in thie module. (but if I have left anyone out please email me and I will do my best to rectify the omission.

  • Bachmann Trains

  • Piko

  • LGB

  • Accucraft

  • Aristo-craft

  • Aster

  • Kiss

  • Marklin

  • Maxi

  • Fulgurex

  • Aster

Bachmann 4-6-0 Steam Locomotive (Wood Burner) in Virginia & Truckee Railroad livery liberated from a "Silverado" Set.

Demonstration of a G Scale Aristocraft Class 66 uploaded to YouTube courtesy of Joó Ferenc.

Bachmann Large Scale Model 4-6-0 Steam Locomotives   

As far as the large scale model representation is concerned the Bachmann “Big Hauler” 4-6-0 Steam Locomotive is said to be the most mass-produced model locomotive of all time with well over 1 million having left the production lines since it first appeared in 1988 (although it was 1990 when the Big Hauler first appeared in a Bachmann Catalogue which has led to some controversy over exactly when various anniversaries actually took place) and it has gone through numerous updates and improvements during its lifetime. The original model was described as "generic" but closely resembles the ten-wheelers purchased by the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina (ET&WNC Railroad - affectionately known as "Tweetsie" due to its distinctive whistle) and No.12 is still in use today having been acquired in 1917 (see image below). The line was original planned as a 5' gauge but eventually adopted 3' narrow gauge practices which was perfect for Bachmann's aspirations to compete with LGB.

Bachmann 4-6-0 in East Tennessee & Western North Carolina (ET&WNC) livery liberated from a "Big Hauler" Train Set

Tweetsie Prototype No.12.JPG

Bachmann 4-6-0 in colourful Glenbrook Valley livery liberated from a "Big Hauler" Train Set

Bachmann "Anniversary" 4-6-0 Steam Locomotive ("Annies")

In 2000 Bachmann unveiled a special "10th Anniversary 4-6-0 Ten-Wheeler" (Product No. 81XXX Series)  which represented a major leap forward from the toy-like appearance of previous models. Virtually all the cheap looking external details such as plastic grab-rails were replaced with metal versions and cab details were significantly enhanced. The most striking feature was probably the new metal valve gear in both Stephensons Slide and Walschaerts  versions and additional weight was achieved by fitting a diecast mainframe with all-metal wheels. Even the basic in-built battery sound system was improved to provide a more realistic 'chuff'. All in all an impressive and welcome development which attracted a lot of interest at he time.  


Second-Hand Bachmann 4-6-0 Denver & Rio Grande Western No.12   81097 


Apart from a new Version 6 chassis with an improved cast-metal front bogie being introduced in 2011 the next major event was in In 2013 to celebrate the 4-6-0 reaching its 25th Anniversary (Bachmann said they officially introduced the “Big Hauler” in 1987) and to commemorate the event the company released an enhanced “Anniversary Edition” (nicknamed “Annie”) of this classic workhorse which incorporated metal gears and an updated lead-truck and was still in production until quite recently. These locomotives feature in the 916XX series.


Bachmann have only just announced that there will be an upgraded replacement in late 2019 and I will append details below.

This series was far superior to those included in the 'Big Hauler' train sets and are well worth trying to find and may still be available from certain retailers - otherwise try the second-hand market.  The "Annie" locomotive comes in several liveries, five of which feature the impressive (and complicated) Walschaerts Valve Gear.

The following images are of the later upgraded versions with updated lead truck released in 2011 and bearing the 916xx product code range. They are all suitable for Narrow Gauge operations. For an informative video produced by Bachmann Trains please click the following link:


East Broad Top #10 – Item No. 91601 Narrow Gauge


Denver Rio Grande & Western #178 “Bumblebee” - Item No.91602 Narrow Gauge


 Rio Grande Southern #25

Item No.91603 - Narrow Gauge


South Pacific Coast #22

Item No.91604 - Narrow Gauge


Denver& Rio Grande #10

Item No: 91605 - Narrow Gauge

Bachmann Annie 4-6-0 91606 ET&WNC_Fotor_

East Tennessee & Western North Carolina #11

Item No.91606 - Narrow Gauge

91607c REVISED.jpg

Painted, Unlettered - Black 

Item 91607 Narrow Gauge

lg160-91608_750x211 NEW VERSION.jpg

Denver & Rio Grande "Bumble Bee" #168 Item No: 91608

91609 (New Tender).PNG

Painted, Unlettered Black w/Red and Black Trim

Item No: 91609

In the later 2016 Bachmann Catalogue models 91601, 91603, 91604, 91605, and 91606 – 91605 remain the same but 91602 (Bumblebee) and 91607 were replaced with new versions 91608 and 91609              respectively as shown above:  

Since writing this section and citing the ubiquitous nature of the Bachmann
4-6-0 appearing in almost every catalogue the firm ever published, they suddenly decided to pause production in 2018 and the Anniversary models no longer appeared in any form in the company’s latest Catalogue. Even the standard version is only available as part of two Christmas Train Sets. Hopefully this will just be a brief absence and normal service will be resumed.
C’est la vie!

All the Bachmann Anniversary Edition 4-6-0 Steam Locomotives came with operating headlight; smoke and speed synchronised sound (the latter is fairly rudimentary and is operated by a 9v battery and volume control knob in the tender), all new metal gears and an updated die-cast lead truck. New features also include metal side-rods; separate piping and all metal handrails. These models are far superior to Bachmann’s standard “10 Wheeler” production and naturally their higher price tag reflected this but probably worth the extra investment.

Each version comes with simulated metal valve gear (earlier versions were plastic) – either Stephenson or the more complex Walschaerts type as per prototype.


Dimensions (Locomotive and Tender):

Length: 30”    Width: 4.75”   Height: 6.75”

Weight: (Locomotive) 5.5 pounds

Great news, hot off the presses (perhaps mildly warm by the time you are reading this), is that Bachmann Industries will be introducing yet another upgrade of this ubiquitous locomotive in late 2019 - possibly slipped to 2021 due to Covid virus pandemic. Details to follow below.   


It's 2021 and Bachmann's classic 4-6-0 "Ten-Wheeler" steam locomotive has returned to the Big Haulers® line, and as expected, comes with metal gears, operating headlight, smoke, metal side-rods, separate piping metal handrails and an all newly tooled tender (details awaited) rather than any significant design changes to the locomotive body itself. All new models feature in the 918XX series.


Featuring a completely retooled tender body with more prototypical details along with metal gears and a durable Pittman® motor, the new ten-wheeler has more pulling power for your Large Scale layout. So far, very similar to the previous Anniversary Edition (in fact the company are now promoting the latest "Annie" adaptation under this appellation, rather than as a new addition to their ‘Big Hauler’ line – the major difference being that the new models will be DCC and Sound-Ready (similar to the Spectrum range)  that features an advanced non-proprietary plug & play circuit board to accommodate the control system of your choice, including conventional DC power, NMRA / NME DCC and/or Radio Control (RC)operation - a major step forward which no doubt is reflected in the price.


Features include:

• powerful and durable Pittman® motor

• completely retooled tender body with more prototypical details and coal load

• advanced non-proprietary plug-and-play circuit board to accommodate the sound system of your choice, including conventional DC power, NMRA/NEM DCC, and/or RC operation

• factory-installed speaker for easier installation of aftermarket sound systems

• metal gears

• die-cast lead truck

• metal detail parts, including handrails, piping, siderods, and wheels

• separately applied domes and smokestacks

• finescale backhead detail

• LED headlight


Equipped with factory installed speakers, it is ready for the installation of “plug-and-play” prototypical sound. (Plug-and-Play sound modules will be available separately for sound on-board performance.)

At the time of writing the following versions have been announced (but no official pictures of the actual models are available). These artistic impressions will have to suffice (now supplemented by actual shots of the finished locomotive - see postscript):

T91801 Flying Grande #170.jpg

"Flying Grande" #17   Item 98101

T91802 Pennsylvania 867 2019.jpg

Pennsylvania  #867   Item 98102


T91803 Denver Bumblebee #176.jpg

Denver & Rio Grande  #176 "Bumblebee"     Item 98103

T91804 Painted Unlettered Black.jpg

Painted, Unlettered - Black

Item No: 98104

T91805 North Pole & Southern 1225.jpg

North Pole & Southern #1225

Item No: 91805

Although Bachmann rarely publish the exact scale of their products (preferring to use the term ‘Large Scale’ or “Big Hauler’) it is thought that these locomotives will continue to adopt the 1:22.5 scale made popular by LGB although recent reviews have suggested that these "Ten-Wheelers" may actually have always been closer to 1:20.5 scale. Good old "selective compression".


Whilst Bachmann “Old-Time” 4-6-0’s used to dominate the field as regards low cost entry models there are other models with different wheel arrangement from some of their main competitors such as Piko (although so far they have not introduced a 10-Wheeler to their range.) This does not mean that you cannot obtain other makes of  4-6-0 (Ten Wheelers) as Accucraft for one, often feature such locomotives in their catalogue but they can hardly be described as “entry level” as they usually cost several thousand pounds like this splendid Southern Pacific version.

accucraft460_1 Live Steam.jpg

Accucraft Live Steam 4-6-0 #9 in Southern Pacific Railroad livery

A further update on the anticipated upgrading to the Bachmann 4-6-0 ("Annie"). The good news is that the improved versions should soon be available (Spring 2021) and incorporate all the "bells and whistles" more commonly found on their Spectrum range. The bad news is that the official SRP has now rocketed to US$ 999 (or around £750). The company do tend to artificially inflate their suggested retail prices and dealers usually offer a discount but even so you can expect to pay upwards of £650 depending on the exchange rates prevailing at the time. Mind you the newly announced LGB 2-6-0 Mogul in Durango & Silverton livery is priced at £1440 so perhaps costs are appreciating more than expected.

New photographs have recently been released in the 9180X series :

91801 bachmann 4-6-0 Rio Grande.jpg
91803 Bumblebee.jpg
91804 Painted Black 4-6-0.jpg
91805 Christmas 4-6-0.jpg

When available (production has been delayed by the worldwide Coronavirus Epidemic) the new 4-6-0 is now expected to feature:

  • DCC- and Sound-Ready with an advanced non-proprietary plug-and-play circuit board to accommodate the control system of your choice, including conventional DC power, NMRA/NEM DCC, and/or RC operation. 

  • Equipped with factory-installed speakers, it is ready for the addition of plug-and-play prototypical sound. (Plug-and-Play Sound Module available separately for sound-on-board performance although I was unable to locate the relevant Bachmann products.)

  • It also features metal gears, a new tender, operating headlight, smoke, metal siderods, separate piping, and all metal handrails.

Overall the specification seems a little disappointing considering the financial outlay involved particularly by the time you have paid for all the extra control and sound "add-ons". We can only wait and see if this latest reworking of a popular line proves as popular with customers.


Aristo-craft 4-6-0 Steam Locomotive  ?



To the best of my knowledge, despite producing several other popular wheel arrangements, Aristo-craft never did get around to releasing a "10-wheeler in G Gauge" unless of Delton origin or possibly in collaboration with Brawa during the early 2000's. Perhaps, the company decided to leave that field to Bachmann who had already cornered the narrow gauge market. A 1:29 scale 4-6-0 might have looked very small incomparison to the competitor's 1:22.5 version and Aristo-craft already had a 2-8-0 Consolidation in it's collection.

Piko 4-6-0 Steam Locomotive  ?  

Once again I have been unable to identify any large-scale 4-6-0 steam locomotives issued by Piko who tend to favour the 2-6-0 Mogul for the North American market although they did produce this design (class 38) for HO scale devotees.

LGB  4-6-0 Steam Locomotive  

LGB are well known for their extensive roster of steam locomotives but the 4-6-0 wheel arrangement does not feature prominently which is somewhat surprising given their early involvement in the North American market and their initial focus on narrow gauge prototypes. Indeed my extensive researcxh has failed to come up with a single example.  This may have been a conscious decision on the company's part  not to go head-to-head with Bachmann but their primary model aimed at the USA customer base was invariably the universally popular 2-6-0 Mogul and later the impressive Mikado 2-8-2 and Mallets 2-6-6-2 configurations.

Accucraft  4-6-0 Steam Locomotive  

Given the paucity of choice so far I feel I need to extend the list to include more "high-end, up-market and exclusive" brands to demonstrate possible alternatives to the mass-produced Bachmann offerings should your pockets be deep enough. These models are somewhere between LGB and companies who aim for museum quality replicas and are often crafted or hand-made in brass such as Aster.

A major contender in this field is undoubtedly Accucraft who have built up a solid reputation for models of near museum quality in fairly large numbers which must help to keep the prices down to a degree whilst still constantly striving for new levels of accuracy, detail and quality for the customer. The Southern Pacific 4-6-0 illustrated below is a prime example.

ac77-081 best.jpg

This company manufacture an extensive range of large-scale garden railway locomotives in various scales  (1:32; 1:20.3; 1;19 and even 1:13) with a choice of  electric and live steam models from diminutive 0-4-0s to live steam powered locos covering everything from diminutive 0-4-0s to massive 4-8-8-4 UP ‘Big Boys’!

In this module we are solely concerned with their 4-6-0 models but we shall cover other output in later wheel arrangements. This impressive British outline 5 MT and Black 5 are typical of the quality supplied.

UK 5MT 4-6-0 AST-107-GR 1.jpg

Aster Hobby 4-6-0 Locomotives  

Mention has already been made of Accucraft's long association with Aster Hobby in Japan. In this section we shall be examining their output of 4-6-0 (2C) wheelbase locomotives. First up is the impressive German Class BR38 (based on the earlier Prussian P8 design) which is a favoured choice for a number of major manufacturers.

ASTER BR38.jpg

The kit version sold out some time ago but I believe that both the DR & DB liveried RTR (ready-to-run) models may still be available together with the alternative "Bath Tub" tender. Contact the company direct for more information.


Scale/Gauge   1/32  45mm

Weight:  Engine 4 kg - Tender 1.6 kg

Length: 588mm    Width: 142mm    Height: 98mm

Wheel Arrangement:  4-6-0  (2C)  "Ten-Wheeler"

Driving Wheel:  54mm

Tender Wheel:  31.2mm Diameter

Axle Driven Pump:  Mounted on the main driver

Cyclinders;  2 (5mm Bore x 20mm Stroke)

Valve Gear: Walshaert

Boiler Type:  Smoke tube type

Water Capacity: 240cc at 70% full

Lubricator: Roscoe displacement type

Fuel: Methylated alcohol (spirit)

Fuel Capacity:  170cc

Minimum Radius:  2m

Locomotives with a more British flavour are also still available such as the BR B1 Class


















or the limited edition B1 Class "Mayflower" resplendant in LNER Green livery:




This video of the fairly recent Aster LNER Thompson Class B1 "Mayflower" 4-6-0 takes a much closer look at all the very fine details which are incorporated on this model.

Class BR38 bath Tub tender.jpg
ASTER B1-WS-1-1.jpg

Another Aster British Outline Steam Locomotive King Class in GWR livery "King George V".

Aster GWR King Class 4-6-0.jpg

..... and finally Aster British Outline BR Standard Class 5MT 4-6-0 #73051in black and green livery.

BR Standard Class 5MT 4-6-0.jpg

Marklin 4-6-0 Steam Locomotives 

Perhaps the German manufacturer Märklin (also LGB's parent company) may prove to be a more fruitful area for exploration with their Gauge 1 (1:32 scale) and the Maxi Standard Gauge locomotive output over many years.


In 2019, Märklin celebrated its 160th anniversary so is certainly no newcomer to the model railway scene. From what was initially a fairly broad range of toys, over time the company focused increasingly on the manufacture of "electric model trains" in various sizes. The company has always prided itself on the outstanding quality of their products which helped to make the name Märklin synonymous with model railroading worldwide.


Even today, unlike many of their competitors, metal fabrication is a key element in the manufacture of the company's locomotives, which thereby gain additional value in addition to their proverbial reliability, durability and performance.

Märklin Gauge H0: The majority of Märklin products are manufactured in this 1:87 scale. Thanks to the high operational reliability of the Märklin H0 three-conductor AC system, Märklin has helped to make this size the most widely used in the world. All Märklin H0 locomotives have been digitally controllable as standard since 2000. However, this scale falls outside the scope of this manual so if you are interested in the smaller scale please visit their website.

Märklin Gauge 1: Märklin builds what they call the "king gauge" of model railroading on a scale of 1:32. Marklin sometimes like to describe their Gauge 1 products as a model railway system for connoisseurs. They are characterized by particularly prototypical detailing and excellent running characteristics which, together with the high weight of the model due to the use of metal, convey a fascinating model railroad experience. Of course, the system provider Märklin also supplies all the track material in Gauge 1. It is this range of products that we shall cover in this publication.

Märklin Gauge Z: It's not only when space is at a premium that model railroaders opt for Gauge Z on a scale of 1:220. In Europe, Märklin is the only large-scale manufacturer of the "smallest", which appeals not only to passionate layout builders but also to collectors and lifestyle enthusiasts of both sexes (or so the company claim). Once again if you are intrigued by this miniature scale please visit the company's excellent website.

As much of their production is aimed at European enthusiasts they naturally tend to introduce models with a European flavour where the notation for 4-6-0 is rather different. In Germany the 'ten-wheeler' is classified as 2C whereas in France the classification is 23C - stay awake those at the back!

Märklin have been producing large-scale trains even before LGB (now also owned by Märklin) galvanised the market tending to concentrate on Gauge 1 (1:32) scale standard gauge models but not exclusively so. In fact they were responsible for standardising the Gauge 1, Gauge 2, Gauge 3 and Gauge 4 nomenclature ( or 1 Gauge, 2 Gauge, 3 Gauge and 4 Gauge for purists) despite not being the first company to use these terms.

Their degree of commitment showed by Märklin  to Gauge 1 was questioned, somewhat, throughout the 1960's and 1970's but the introduction of the MAXI brand in 1994 helped to allay some fears that the company was losing interest. This was rather shortlived as shortly after acquiring LGB Märklin  

There is a definite distinction, in most cases, between the MAXI models and Märklin #1 gauge models with the latter generally being far more faithful to the prototype (and also being far more costly). The MAXI models are of all-metal (or nearly all-metal) construction, and are usually somewhat more toy/tinplate-like in appearance, with some notable exceptions such as the Steeple Cab locomotives  even though they are MAXI models, look every bit as good as premium #1 gauge models in just about every respect, including detailing. There are also other MAXI models that can scarcely be distinguished from the #1 gauge line, and which would blend perfectly with them on any layout.

Operational characteristics of both the MAXI and #1 gauge line are renowned as being superb. Quiet, smooth, reliable, and durable are the words that best describe how these beauties perform. Typical Marklin quality in every respect. And, of course, you have the choice of conventional (AC or DC), Delta, or Marklin Digital operation available.

One note of warning. Unlike LGB and some other brands Märklin MAXI or #1 gauge  these models are not really intended for operation in severe weather conditions and should be restricted to indoor running or for outdoor operations only on fine dry days. 

Marklin Gauge 1 : Prussian P8 Steam Locomotive and Derivatives  


This excellent photo was taken by Reinhold Möller, CC BY-SA 3.0 

One of the longest surviving steam locomotives on the Prussian and German Railways was the P8 (subsequently DRG Class 38.10-40) which remained in service from around 1906 until 1974. This locomotive had a 4-6-0 (or 2C) wheel arrangement and numerous examples have featured in Marklins product range over the years. The range is completely retooled from time to time leading to a proliferation of product numbers

The company's latest catalogue (2021) again lists several versions of this locomotive in Eras II, III and Era IV although not all are in current production.  All have a common characteristic feature of the P 8 in that the distance between the centre and rear coupled axles is wider than usual. The significant visual differences are the number of domes. Initially the P 8 only had a steam dome behind the sandbox  but later on a third  feed dome was added at the front. Further constructional changes represented include the driver's cab roofs, Witte smoke deflectors, and various external assemblies. 

Marklin 38.10-40 Steam Loco with Tub Tender 55380.PNG

BR 038 10-40, DB | Gauge 1 - Article No. 55380

Steam Locomotive with a Tub-Style Tender

This is an extract from the Marklin Gauge 1 Product Catalogue:


"The popularity and recognition of the technology in the Prussian P8 is reflected in the fact that about 300 units were still in use in Era IV after 1968. Right up to the end of regular steam operation, they were representatives of this mode of propulsion that could still be experienced often. The individual models differ significantly in detail from each other due to technical changes during the locomotives' long building period and also due to later overhauls and conversions during the operating period of these locomotives. This is the special charm of each individual locomotive of this class for every steam locomotive fan.


Prototype: German Federal Railroad (DB) class 038.10-40 steam locomotive with a tub-style tender and with Witte smoke deflectors and 3 boiler domes (steam feeder dome, sand dome, steam dome). Inductive signal magnets and inductive boxes. Former Prussian P8. Road number 038 958-5, Stuttgart District, Rottweil Sub District.

This model reproduction is certainly impressive and has clearly been fabricated to a very high standard. Alas, this particular version is no longer being made but there are several versions still in production at the time of writing. However, you may need to save up as the current recommended price is €2.790,00 (approx. £2,450 at current conversion rates).

Key Features:

  • Inductive box and inductive magnet modelled on the locomotive.

  • Highly detailed metal construction.

  • A smoke generator with smoke exhaust and cylinder steam synchronized with the wheels included.

  • Operating sounds synchronized with the wheels and controlled by the load.

  • Smoke box door with many original details can be opened.

  • Two-colour fire box flickering light.

  • Hinged water tank cover, can be opened prototypically from the engineer's cab.

  • Randomly controlled steam exhaust from the safety valve.

  • Headlights with a light colour correct for the era and warm white LEDs.

  • Running gear lights and engine cab lighting included.

  • mfx decoder for operation with AC power, DC power, Märklin Digital, and DCC.

  • 7.5 kilograms / 16 pounds 8 ounces weight (locomotive 4.6 kilograms / 10 pounds 2 ounces); Length of the tub-style tender 28.9 cm / 11-3/8".

So far I have been unable to identify any 4-6-0 steam locomotives in the MAXI portfolio but if you know of such a product please let me know.

Kiss SBB Steam Locomotive A .3.5 4-6-0 .JPG

Whilst researching this module I seemed to recall that the Swiss firm of KISS may have released a 4-6-0 wheel arrangement locomotive in the distant past but I was unable to immediately locate it. The company seem somewhat reticent to publish their wares to a wider market so perhaps they already have enough collectors with deep pockets to provide a decent income.


However, I did come across a potential "new" introduction for 2023 in the form of a Class 2' C SBB Steam Locomotive A3/5 with three coupled driving axles and a leading two-axle bogie (classic 4-6-0 in my book) tender locomotive. These locomotives were built between 1902 and 1922 (or possibly in 1894 in an earlier guise) for the Jura–Simplon Railway, and the Gotthard Railway.  

My machine translation suggests that this is most likely to be an update of an earlier Kiss 500 3XX model so perhaps my initial recollection was correct. 

The following is a rough translation of the company's latest catalogue reference to this upcoming release.


"The four-cylinder compound De-Glehn steam engine acts with the external high‐pressure cylinders on the middle drive axle, with slightly obliquely arranged internal low-pressure cylinders on the first driving axle .According to the use of wet steam at that time, the steam distribution is carried out with flat sliders. Special to consider is the application of two different types of control. The external high‐printing ? machine is equipped with a Walschaert control, the internal low-pressure machine with a Joy ? control. The A 3/5 703–748 were equipped with four-axle tenders, the subsequent versions received three-axle tenders. Apparently the historic A 3/5 705 is still operational in the SBB fleet today for running vintage special trips having been maintained and restored using the boiler of locomotive 739 in 1953 and the base of locomotive 778 in 1963.


I believe that 705 may currently reside at the round shed at Brugg Locomotive Depot (which dates back to 1912) where it is currently being refurbished by the Association Dampfgruppe Zurich but is scheduled to be back on track in 2023. Good timing. In the meantime these two Youtube videos will give you a good impression as to what to expect.

Announced Features :


  • SBB express train locomotive steam locomotives A 3/5

  • Axles spring-loaded and ball-bearing

  • Wheel tyres made of stainless steel, ring-insulated

  • Drive ball-bearing / Belt drive with Maxon Motor

  • Original screw coupling, spring buffer

  • Sand trap pipes in wheel plane, sand dome for opening with sand imitation

  • Pre-friction mobile to the opening of the smokebox door

  • Opening driver's cab doors 

  • Lubricating pump drive 

  • Servo control 

  • ESU Digital and latest generation sound decoder

  • Driver's cab lighting, warm white SMD LED

  • Service lighting according to CH regulation

  • Flickering imitation of the firebox 

  • Speed-dependent steam emissions made by chimney

  • Train driver and stoker figure

  • Minimum radius 1020 mm 

  • Length 582mm

  • Weight approx.5.5 kg

PRICE: Not yet announced but current KISS locomotives sell for around  É 3,900 (approx. £3,400) each.

Fulgurex Precision Models      

Kiss are not the only company to be enthused by the Gotthard railway. Another swiss company (there is a pattern emerging here) have also chosen the A3/5 for inclusion in their range of precision product offerings.

The A 3/5 of the Gotthard Railway (GB) was already famous from 1896 onwards at the national exhibition in Geneva. Locomotive no. 202 was proof of the know-how and fame of Swiss industry at the time. As a result, the Gotthard Railway (GB) ordered 28 locomotives from Schweiz. Lokomotiv- und Maschinenfabrik. These were delivered in four stages between 1897 and 1905.

The first series locomotives were used from the depots in Erstfeld, Bellinzona and Biasca. The A 3/5s taken over by the SBB had the serial number 900. These famous locomotives came out of service around 1926. They were partly sold to other countries.

Fulgarex produce a very impressive hand-crafted brass model of the Jubilee version  to commemorate  the opening of the new St.Gotthard Tunnel in 2016. These high quality locomotives are highly sought after by collectors all over the world. Naturally they do command a high premium.

















For a more detailed look at this impressive creation please watch this Youtube video produced by Reynolds (the main European importer) : 


Gotthardbahn SBB CFF A3-5.jpg

An excellent model to close this module but if you would like other 4-6-0 locomotives to be included in future editions please let me have all the details and reference material.

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