The History of Märklin Layouts

rail_designsMärklin layouts have changed over the years and looking back to the layouts in the catalogs of the 1930s, we can see the different track plans when compared to a layout proposed in the 1960s or 1970s. Many of the layouts were influenced by the accessories offered by Märklin or the realism that the layout operator wanted. Today layouts are designed to the highest level of realism, but mastering the designs of vintage layouts requires a different focus.

Track Offered in 1930s

Curved Rails

3600 A Section 7″ long
3600 A1/2 Half Section 3 1/2″
3600A1/4 Quarter Section 1 3/4″ long

Straight Rails

3600 D Section 7″ long
3600 D1/2 Half section 3 1/2″ long
3600 D1/4 Quarter section 1 3/4″ long
3600 D1/8 Eight section 7/8″ long

Connecting Rail

3600 AA – curved
3600 DA – straight


3600 W – hand operation
13600 EMW – electro-magnetic operation with cable
13600 EMWB – electromagnetic operation with lanterns

Common Track Plans



A simple oval in a 1936 catalog



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