Gauge: 1 Era: II
Prototype: Propeller-driven Kruckenberg Rail
Zeppelin. The unit looks as it did in 1931 on the German
State Railroad Company (DRG).
Model: Reproduction of the
two-axle Märklin I Gauge model of 1930. In appearance it
looks like the historic Märklin-model, but it is technically
updated in construction. It can be run on current 1 Gauge
two-rail track (cannot be run on three-rail track). Built-in
digital decoder for operation with DC power, AC power,
Märklin Digital, or Märklin Systems. One axle powered from a
current 1 Gauge motor. Powered propeller on the rear of the
unit. Built-in interior lighting as well as dual headlights
and a red marker light, both with incandescent light bulbs.
These lights are on all of the time. The body and frame of
this Rail Zeppelin reproduction are prototypically made of
metal with finer details imprinted on the metal. Minimum
radius for operation 1,020 mm / 40-3/16". Rail Zeppelin
length approximately 56 cm / 22-1/16".
- One-time series
- Reproduction close to the
historic Märklin original in appearance.
- Built-in digital decoder.
- Powered propeller on the rear of
One-time series released in 2006.
Airplane Technology on Rails. In the Twenties of the
previous century, aeronautical engineer Franz Kruckenberg,
born in Uetersen, Germany in 1882, had the vision of fast
railroad passenger service with propeller-driven railroad
cars. The plans developed by him were based on lightweight
airplane technology and reached their peak on June 21, 1931
in a triumphant record run by his streamlined Rail Zeppelin.
It reached 233 km/h / 146 mph, a speed record for powered
railroad cars that stood for 23 years. The principle of
propeller-driven railroad cars proved to be less than
ideally suited during test runs. Yet, Kruckenberg laid the
foundation for modern, lightweight high speed rail cars with
the Rail Zeppelin and axle-powered successor designs
developed by him. The Rail Zeppelin was and still remains a
legend and synonym for the rapid progress in railroad
technology that has reached its peak in the present with the
current high speed powered rail car train technology. It is
very probable that the 1 Gauge model of the Rail Zeppelin
introduced by Märklin shortly after the record run also
contributed greatly to keeping the memory alive down to the
present of this proponent of technology from the steam era,
which was still in full swing at that time. The new Märklin
metal model is an almost identical reproduction of the rare
Rail Zeppelin collector's model of 1931. A closer look at
the new model will reveal that the third rail pickup shoe is
missing, since the new model is designed for operation on
current 1 Gauge two-rail track. In addition, it has a
digital decoder and a current 1 Gauge motor.