S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Z-Scale Model Railroad Continuation Page 3 keywords = Z scale model rail train HO mini Club Ztrack Western Fruit Express WFEX Great Northern GN Pennsylvania Pennsy PRR Berlinerwerke Vest Pocket Degnon Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal BEDT Marion River Carry schnabel

Updated:   05 Feb 2017; 21:00  ET
[Page converted 21 Sep 2013
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/z-scale3.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/z-scale3.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Z-Scale Model Railroad Continuation Page 3


NOTE:  Page size was limited by HTML to some 30kB;
thus, I was forced to add new pages just for Z-Scale, more Z-scale, and articles about Z-scale.


The internal links, which work fine on my home page and others, don't seem to work here!  I'm working on it, but haven't a clue; I even just copied the working links over and they don't work here.  So, scroll away!

On the main Z-Scale page:

    Z-Scale Narrow Gauge (really)
(moved to the Sub-Z-Scale page 13 Nov 01)
    Scale and Gauge
    Scale Conversion Table
    Z-Scale Miscellany
    Z-Scale Wiring Conventions
    Z-Scale Vehicles and Märklin Rubber Autos
    Z-Scale Repair and Hobby Shops

On the Sub-Z-Scale Page :

    Z-Scale Narrow Gauge (really)
(moved from the main Z-Scale page 13 Nov 01)
    Z-Scale Meter Gauge
    Half-Z Scale - 1:440 Tiny Trains!
(moved from this page on 13 Nov 01)
    1:900 Scale - Tiniest Trains!
(moved from this page on 13 Nov 01)

On Z-Scale Continuation Page 1:

Zictionary - lotZ of wordZ.

On the preceding Z-Scale Continuation Page 2:

    Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal RR in Z
    Z-SCALE DIMENSIONS (with how to approximate a mile of track).
    Overton Coaches, Bobber, Crane and a Boxcab in Z! - plus other neat items.
    Wish List - some goodieZ I'd like and some I have,
like Freudenreich's Z Boxcab Diesel and GN/WFEX Reefer
and Larry Hoff's Bobber Caboose and Crane!
    M-T Z SP Moguls - the absolute top of the Wish List!
On this Continuation Page 3:
    Z-Scale Vehicles and Märklin Rubber Autos
    Half-Z Scale - 1:440 Tiny Trains!
(moved to the Sub-Z-Scale page 13 Nov 01)
    1:900 Scale - Tiniest Trains!
(moved to the Sub-Z-Scale page 13 Nov 01)
    Power - Volts, Amps, Watts for Z.
    Strange 8505 220mm Track Sections.
On the next Z-Scale Continuation Page 4:
    Some More Z (all the latest!)
including more on Freudenreich's Z Boxcab Diesel and new HomaBed Z roadbed.
On the new Z-Scale Continuation Page 5
(a page for the Third Millennium):
Even More Z (all the latest!)
    including more on Freudenreich's Z products.
Anhalter Bahnhof in Z.
Hermaphrodite (Conversion Coupler) Cars.
Microscopic Z Accessories.
On the Ztrack page:
    Ztrack Magazine
On the Z-Scale Articles page:
    Z-Scale Hell Gate Bridge
On the first Model Railroad page:
    Schnabel Cars
    Sunrise Trail Division (STD) of the
        Northeastern Region (NER) of the
        National Model Railroad Association (NMRA)
    Long Island - Sunrise Trail Chapter (LIST) of the
        National Railway Historical Society (NRHS)
    Long Island Live Steamers
On the second Model Railroad page:
  Vest Pocket Railroads You Can Model:
    Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Railroad (but see below)
    Degnon Terminal Railroad
    Marion River Carry Railroad
On separate pages:
  Berlinerwerke-Z Script   Berlinerwerke-Z Saga
    Berlinerwerke-Z Saga Continuation Page
  Berlinerwerke Script   Berlinerwerke Saga (HO, included with Horseshoe Curve info.)
    Berlinerwerke Apocrypha (tall tales of the BW and its equipment and such).
    Schnabel and other Giant RR Cars.



Z-Scale model railroading, at an incredible 220 times smaller than life size, or slightly under half the size of the familiar HO scale, with rails only 6.5mm (~¼") apart, continued ...

Z scale is about 2½ times smaller than HO!  In Z scale, a scale ¼-mile is exactly (and only) 6 feet; in other words, a mile is only 24 feet!

Because much information about Z scale is in German, you might find Chris Ozdoba's Eisenbahn- und Modellbahn-Wörterbuch - Deutsch-Englisch / Railroad and Model Railroading Dictionary - German-English of value.

Ztrack Magazine

The Newsletter for Z Scale Model Railroading

Ztrack now has a separate page of its own - ztrack.html.


  (moved from main Z-Scale page 01 Jan 2000 - just for the record
and very heavily revised 20/21/22 Sep 2005)

  The original 8714 Automobile Transporter car (which Märklin listed with passenger cars) contained 8 rubber autos; mine (ca. 1980) includes (top deck, left to right, with cars facing right) 1 red BMW 735i, 1 each orange and yellow Porsche 911s, and 1 blue VW Beetle, and (bottom deck, left to right) 1 yellow Opel Rekord, 1 blue VW Beetle, 1 red Porsche 911, and 1 orange Opel Rekord:

(22 Sep 05 photo by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
Ca. 1980 Märklin 8714 Automobile Transporter Car

The old 1980 8714 catalog cut shows (top deck, left to right) 1 blue BMW 735i, 1 ea. (2) yellow and orange Porsche 911s, 1 red Opel Rekord, and (bottom deck, left to right) 1 orange BMW 735i, 1 red VW Beetle, 1 blue Opel Rekord, and 1 yellow Porsche 911).

There also was an 8973 Miniature Autos set (6/pkg @ $1.45/pkg, ca. 1980); mine includes these rubber cars:  (top row) yellow BMW 735i, orange Opel Rekord, blue Porsche 911, and (bottom row) red VW Beetle, red Opel Rekord, and orange Porsche 911:

(22 Sep 05 photo by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
Märklin 8973 Rubber AutoZ

The 1992 E 1 and 1995/96E 8952 catalog cuts show 1 ea. green VW Passat, white Opel Rekord Caravan, blue or gray BMW 735i, and red Mercedes 500SE; my 8952 set has a yellow Opel Rekord Caravan (top left), red Mercedes 500SE (top right), blue BMW 735i (bottom left), and green VW Passat (bottom right):

(21 Sep 05 photo by and © 2005 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
Märklin 8952 AutoZ

Speaking of Märklin vehicles, I got (finally sprang for?) the 8903 Truck Set and realized that these are the Noch vehicles; the dump truck and cement mixer cabs are identical, down to the last mold mark, to Noch's discontinued models, except that Märklin did not continue the Mercedes-Benz dreifach Stern (three-pointed star) trademark on the grilles - there is a circular mark where the mold was altered.  But wait a moment; on 26 Jul 1999, I received a "pre-owned" 8918 set, with just the dump truck and cement mixer and these DO have the dreifach Stern am Kuhlerhaube!  Odd (see below).

Here are some images of autos, trucks, and an auto rack car from Brian Redmans's "Z-World" and Joris Illegems's "The Z Collection": (new URL - 08 Oct 2002)

8903 Trucks
8903 Trucks

8904 Autos
8904 Autos

8917 Fire Engines
8917 Fire Engines

8952 Autos
8952 Autos

ISZP120 Auto Rack Car
ISZP120 Auto Rack Car (special model)

Aha!  On page 50 in the "New for 1999" brochure, I noticed the new 86221 Auto Transport car Set (two 4-wheel cars like the one above) with "4 metal VW beetles in each car".  The photo appears to show black, brown, blue, and silver Beetles in one car and white, red, and two dark colored Beetles in the other.

  31 Dec 1999 - My last tranZaction of the 20th Century - money burned a hole in my pocket and I picked up the new Märklin Container-Truck Set #89010 for my container terminal (where I'm going to shoehorn these in I don't really know and the layout is still in vertical storage for the nonce); it contains:

3 ea. Tractors (white MB cabs, undecorated,
but with a new die cavity for the cab nose;
it has a horizontal diamond in place of the MB
dreifach Stern or blurred eradication thereof)
3 ea. Flatbed Container Trailers (black, undecorated)
2 ea. Containers - 20'
(red) DSR
(orange) UNIGLORY
(blue) HANJIN {perhaps most common ones in USA}
2 ea. Containers - 40'
(grey) COSCO
(brown) Global Trans
(green) wocoshi -> <-
    Capitalization of names per actual container models)

10 Jan 2000 - My first tranZaction of the 21st Century (me and Buck Rogers) - money burned another hole in my pocket and I picked up the big two-truck Märklin 8226 Stake Car with Log Load (gotta have logs for Mercerized Bents!):

Märklin 8226 Stake Car with Log Load
(image from Joris Ilegems's "The Z Collection")   [new URL 11 Jun 08]

22 Mar 2000 saw the arrival of four 1936 coupés (looking very much like LaSalles, GM's "baby" Cadillac of their day) from Rob Kluz, the editor of Ztrack, made for him by Bob Marotta [who is also making a well flat car and transformer load for Rob (which I had to order immediately - see my review in the Jan-Feb 2000 issue of Ztrack Magazine)].  Look at the steering wheel and head- and tail-lights:

Z 1936 Coupés
(photo taken 22 Mar 2000 by and © 2000 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The wheels turned on the grey turret top car and I freed them up on the other three but broke an axle in doing so on the red convertible.  The closed black convertible has an open interior, being an open car with a top glued on (it sits a little too high, as you can see); even though it doesn't show on the photo, all the convertibles have open windshields.  I think l'll hollow out the turret top (closed steel top) car from below and open up the windows; I had done that on the solid cab of the early-model Märklin truck tractor in the 8972 Container Terminal Kit.  These are magnificent little models, measuring a correct 18' long (for a LaSalle) and only slightly too high; my only major complaint (hey, the Master Nitpicker can find fault with anything!) is that they measure only 4½' wide, much too narrow, and so look kinda skooshed up side-for-side in end or top views.

The grey turret top has a black grille and bumpers; maybe it's a plain folks (Mennonite) car or a WWII U. S. Navy blackout version.  I like the latter; perhaps I can letter it U.S.N.

Rob came (Feb 2001) out with 4-door "coupés" (an oxymoron - they are sedans); I ordered some and they arrived 31 May 2001 and look really handsome; here are a pair:

Z 1936 Sedans
(photo taken 31 Mar 2001 by and © 2001 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Like the coupés, they are much too narrow, but they sure look good from the side.  I may hollow these out and pierce the windows as I noted above.

These sedans have underbody detail!  Not only are the head and tail lights painted, as are the grilles and bumpers, but so are the hood ornaments!  These sedans are actually "close-coupled" sedans, on the coupé ("cut") chassis (notice how the rear doors are over the rear wheels); I'm thinking of modifying one into a standard sedan, longer, especially in the door panels, and with the rear doors forward of the rear wheels.  I'm even thinking of adding side (fender) mounted spares.

11 Jul 2002 and in came my new pickup trucks (presumably also 1936)!  They look just great!  I ordered the set of five, in black, red, green, and blue, and got one in yellow (white is also available):

Z 1936 Pickup Trucks

Z 1936 Pickup Truck 3 Z 1936 Pickup Truck 2 Z 1936 Pickup Truck 4
(photos taken 10 Jul 2002 by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Images restored 05 Feb 2017]

Somehow the BM205 photographed as blue but it is really a nice, dark green; I picked that one for closeups (badly focused) because it has a clear body, allowing light through the cab windows.  I wish Rob Kluz (and ALL model car manufacturers) would always make their models in clear plastic.  There is no underbody detail but that taillight is a gem!  So are the free-standing bumpers.  No, those are NOT windshield wipers on the yellow truck; they are coincidental reflections off the shiny hood.

These pickup trucks measure 9mm (= 6½') wide; far more reasonable than the coupés and sedans but you really don't want to have a pickup parked alongside a coupé or sedan where they can be viewed head-on!  Here's why:

Z 1936 Pickup and Sedan 5
(photo taken 10 Jul 2002 by and © 2002 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Talking about money burning a hole in one's pocket, I finally found and bought an 88631 Super Whaljahr car (from Ron Rygielski) and rounded out my order with more dump trucks, another Noch 4752 and two Noch 4754s; these latter are 4753 with trailers.  Although both types are Mercedes trucks, the 4753/54 truck itself and the tipper body are quite different from the 4752; I'm always happy to get variety in my vehicles but it was a suprise!  They are not even vaguely similar, except that they each are cab-over and have a tipper body:

Noch 4753 vs. 4754 Dump Trucks
(grab shot taken 07 Aug 03 by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The 4752 has 6 wheels while the 4753/54 has 10 wheels (duals): the 4753/54 also has an eye for the trailer hook and the 4752 does not.  However, the 4754 trailer also has an eye so they can be triple-bottomed, leaving, in effect, a 4753 and a 4754 with double-headed trailers:

Noch 4754 Dump Trucks Tripled
(grab shot taken 08 Aug 03 by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

[Additional material on Z VehicleZ overloaded this page
and has been transferred to Z-scale continuation page 9.]

HALF-Z 1:440 TINY TRAINS - moved to the Sub-Z-Scale page on 01 Jan 2000.

1:900 TINIEST TRAINS - moved to the Sub-Z-Scale page on 01 Jan 2000.


WARNING! - Z-scale locomotives and lighted cars are designed for no more than eight (8) volts DC, and Z accessories for no more than ten (10) volts AC!  Voltage is analagous to water pressure and amperage (current) to flow.  Most power packs on the market, even many of those labelled for Z, put out about 12 - 16 volts DC and 16 - 18 volts AC, and have far higher amperage than is good for miniscule Z motors.  Power is calculated by multipying the actual voltage by the actual current to get watts; i.e. - 10 volts at 10 amps develops 100 watts; Märklin's power pack is rated at 8 VA (watts) for both the 8 volt DC and the 10 volt AC.  Using a pack with far higher voltage than Z motors are designed to take overheats them during running.  However, when they short or stall or bridge a gap between rails powered by two different packs, they can draw more amperage (current) than the motor can handle and a meltdown can occur.  Use ONLY Märklin's designated Z power packs (transformers), pegged HO/N packs, or other packs specifically tested to operate at Z's low ratings.  Another way is to use a higher rated pack with diode ladders* to cut down the voltage, as I do on the Berlinerwerke-Z; more on this method to follow.

{* - diode ladders, not diode bridges.}

Many years ago, I wrote an article on building a diode ladder to cut down HO/N pack power to work with Z; it was not published and, until I recreate it, don't play games with packs - you will FRY your motors and lights!

O. K.  I found the 1993 drawing of the diode ladders I cooked up to reduce power pack output voltage to Z specifications and have been using (I have two packs on the BW-Z) ever since:

Diode Ladder
(diagram 23 Jul 93 by and © 1993 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

The diodes I used with my Troller Autopulse packs are marked "2.5A 1KV", 0.107" (2.7mm) dia x 0.205" (5.2mm) long, with cathode color band, black with gray markings, Outline No. R-002, probably SK3081 Si General Purpose Rectifier/Diode, 1KV Peak Reverse Current, 1.2V Forward Voltage Drop, 5µA Reverse Current.  I made my ladders up on a pair of Archer (Radio Shack) Cat. No. 276-170 2' x 6' PC boards, mounted under the layout by each pack on standoffs.  As it turned out, I used eight (8) diodes on each leg on the DC feeds and six (6) diodes on each leg on the AC feeds.

DISCLAIMER: - Now, if you use those particular diodes, or something similar, you have to fiddle with the number used for AC and for DC and for different power packs and the voltages MUST be measured under load, not without!  Further, I take no responsibiity whatsoever for your frying your motors and lamps; NONE!  You should not mess with this stuff unless you know what you're doing; you have been warned!

In case you DO know what you're doing, or are just bound and determined to burn everything up regardless, here's what one of my ladders looks like:

BW-Z Diode Ladder
(photo 29 Jul 2000 and © 2000 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

That's the "DC" end on the right and the "AC" end is tucked above the leg nut plate on the left.

Strange 8505 220mm Track Sections

I had picked up an old box of Märklin #8505 220mm (8-13/16") track sections and discovered to my amazement that the rail ends are all offset by about 2mm (0.1"); the ends without joiners stick out that far past the ends with joiners:

Old Märklin 8505 Old Märklin 8505 Old Märklin 8505
(photos by and © 2000 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Images restored 05 Feb 2017]

The undersides are embossed "8505" exactly the same as the current tie strips, but the joiners are NOT notched and the tie strip has NO "spike heads/rail bolts" at the joiner locations.  I have lots of other very old (ca. 1980) track sections (most of my original layout uses them) but none of them have offset ends.  Very odd!

Trying unsuccessfully to find the (then) missing pix above, I took this composite shot:   added (05 Feb 2017)

Old/New Märklin 8505 (19 Feb 2016 photo by and © 2016 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Märklin seems to know nothing about this.  I had this up on my site on the BW-Z Saga page 5, but it belongs here.  Does anyone out there know what this oddity is all about?

"Some More Z" (all the latest!) has been moved to the next page; see Some More Z.

For the story of Boxcab Oil-Electric engines (the first diesels), see my Boxcabs page, et seq.

For the story of the Berlinerwerke-Z (my layout), see the Berlinerwerke-Z Saga page, et. seq.

For tall tales of the BW and its equipment and such, visit the Berlinerwerke Apocrypha page.

For more and better illustrations of the tall tales and such, keep in touch; I have my digital camera (11 Jan 99 - a belated Xmas present - an SLR, no less!), the requisite software loaded, and scads of server storage space.  Now, all I have to do is take more pictures.

See also the main Z page, the preceding page, the next page, and the Z-scale articles page.

For Ztrack Magazine, see its separate page.

For a really beautiful Euro-style layout, visit Hungarian-cum-Californian Lájos Thek's layout at http://www.zthek.com/ (new URL 30 Aug 05).  Lájos makes some really nice locos and accessories for Z scale.

You are cordially invited to examine, and even to participate in, the new RR message board-cum-forum, "Trainboard", at http://www.trainboard.com/, administered by Charlie Dix, et al.  I don't do rings, fora, chat groups, or such.  Charlie needs people with Z Scale expertise to participate and is looking for that special person to moderate the Z Scale board.  I can't resist this: "Good luck, Charlie!", but I do mean it nicely.

HELP! - an e-mail correspondent from Switzerland asks if anyone knows where to get a copy of the software used to design layouts, Railways 3.0.

If you know, please advise "Kristian D" at < swissair@postoffice.pacbell.net >.

Best regardZ,  S.B.,III

Someone else signs off, "Be Z'ing you!"

You may wish to visit the Railroad Continuation Page, et seq.

of this series of Railroad pages.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


See Copyright Notice on primary home page.

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prevpage.gif subjndex.gif frstpage.gif nextpage.gif
To tour the Z-scale pages in sequence, the arrows take you from the first Z-scale page to the Z-Scale index, then to the second page,
this page, continuation pages 4 and up, the Z articles page, the BW-Z saga pages,
and finally to the former then-current
Ztrack page.

© Copyright S. Berliner, III - 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2017  - all rights reserved.

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