Gauge 3 Steam Train a Century-Old Family Heirloom

Occasionally readers of the MarklinStop blog send me emails about trains which they would like to learn more information about. Many are modern digital trains, some are vintage trains from the 50s and 60s, and rarely I am treated with something very special.  Upon opening the pictures (shown below), I gazed at my screen in disbelief.  Before me was a very large Gauge 3 train produced from about 1900 to 1910 with a cattle catcher for the American market.   After letting the owner know what he had and providing him with an image of the loco from a 1904 catalog, I was delighted to hear the story behind the locomotive.  Here’s what the owner had to say:

My great grandfather was a maintenance man in a hospital and a doctor gave it to him back in the 40s I believe, the Dr’s kids were tired of playing with it.   He gave it to my grandfather to play with as a toy.  It then went into storage until he was an adult with his own home, and he displayed it on his fireplace mantle.   They went through a lot of touch financial times for about a decade and him and my grandmother never sold it.  My grandfather died in 2004 and my grandmother put the train in her closet.   I have since bought my own home, that has a very large fireplace mantle.  That train taught me a lesson at a young age that some things are more valuable than money, so I begged her to let me have the train to display it on my mantle, and I promised her it would stay in the family no matter what, until I pass it to my children only after they are grown and i can teach my them importance of the “train”.  Well she finally gave me the train, so as much as I appreciate the offer I am going to have to pass.  Sorry for the long story.  If you could point me in the right direction to find some track and possibly the coaches it would have come with, it would be greatly appreciated.  I know it would not be cheap, but I would like to put it together if possible for my grandmother to see.



  • Thanks for you time and doing this article Paul, if you come across those cars or track please let me know.

  • There is a thriving Guage 3 Society in the U.K. which has a site selling rail and rolling stock. They have a society website.

  • Art van der Zouwen

    Gauge 3 is pretty rare, the loco came with a lower 6 wheel tender, this 8 wheel bogie tender Marklin sold with a much bigger loco a FEM, the coaches are harder to find than the loco, here in Europa, l have some coaches for sale but they are very expansive. regards Art

    • Art,
      If you see this send me some pictures of what you have. This is my locomotive and tender, i’m still looking for track and the coaches. Cheers

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