Marklin Z Scale Track Geometry
Marklin Z Scale Track Geometry
The Marklin Z Track System
With a gauge of 6.5 mm or 1/4" and a scale of 1:220, the smallest mass-produced electric model railroad system in the world offers exceptionally attractive possibilities for planning and building prototypical model railroad layouts.
It is here that the smallest one shows its true size. Märklin Z offers a wide field of activity in the smallest amount of space for the dyed-in-the-wool model railroader.
Marklin Z Track Parallel Track SpacingThe standard center-to-center spacing for the track is 25 mm (1 inch). For larger spaces (think railroad stations), the spacing doubles to 50 mm (2 inches).
Marklin Z Track Straight Track IntervalsThe standard Marklin Z Track geometry is based on the 110mm length intervals.
Marklin Z Track Radii
There are three different radii. 145mm, 195mm and 220mm. They are measured from the center point of the circle to the center of the track. In each case the outer diameter of the circle is one track width larger (by 11.8 mm /7/16').
Number of tracks for a circle
|45 degrees||30 degrees|
|Circle 1||290||145||8 x 8510|
|Circle 3||390||195||8 x 8520||12 x 8521|
|Circle 4||440||220||8 x 8530||12 x 8531|
The 8591 curved track is the same as the turnout branch in the 8562/8563 (8565/8566) turnout and is not suitable for constructing a circle or part of a circle.
Marklin Z Track Turnouts and Crossings
Charlie's Tip: When it comes to straight sections of track and using turnouts, you will see that two dimensions are used here: the 110 mm interval for straight track, and the 25 mm spacing between tracks. Everything in Marklin's Z Track geometry is based on these intervals.
Use of Marklin 8591 Turnout Curve
The Marklin 8591 curved track is the same as the turnout branch in the Marklin 8562/8563 (remote controlled) and 8565/8566 (manual) turnouts and is not suitable for constructing a circle or part of a circle.
If the branch track of a turnout is to be parallel to the main line, then the 8591 curved track is required and an 8500 straight track must be joined to the straight or main side of the turnout. The center-to-center spacing for the track is 25 mm /1". The length of this pattern is 220 mm / 8-13/16". This is the same as two 8500 sections or one piece of 8505.
Charlie's Tip: We also refer to the 8591 curved piece as a turnout curve. It is identical to the curved section of the turnout.
Use of Marklin 8506 Straight Track (108.6mm)
The Marklin 8559 crossing or Marklin 8560 double slip switch is used, when the tracks of a a three-track or multi track line are to be interconnected and still have the same center-to-center spacing of 25 mm /1".
A section of 8506 track is required on both sides of the crossing / double slip switch, to get us back to our 110mm section length.
- length of 8506: 108.6 mm / 4-1/4"
- length of 8559/8560: 112.8 mm / 4-7/16"
2 x 108.6 mm (4-1/4") + 1 x 112.8 mm (4-7/16") = 330 mm (13-1/8")
Charlie's Tip: Using an 8560 double slip switch instead of the 8559 crossing in this example has the advantage of allowing the train to also travel from an outer track to the center track and vice versa.
Use of Marklin 8507 Straight Track (112.8mm)
Expanding the center-to-center spacing to 50 mm / 1-15/16" is achieved by installing an 8507 straight track. This section of track has the same length (112.8 mm / 4-7/16") as the straight length of the 8559 crossing.
Marklin Z Track Curved Turnouts 8568 and 8569
With the Märklin Z 8568 or 8569 curved turnouts you can set up a crossover on a curve between Circles 3 and 4 (r = 195 mm /7 -11/16" and r = 220 mm / 8-11/16') This allows the station/yard tracks to be longer. The 8521 track (NOT the 8531) is joined to the trailing end of the turnout on the outer circle.
You can also build the opposite configuration, note how the position of the 8521 and 8531 tracks on the outer (larger) circle switch as well. The 8521 always goes on the single track end of the turnout, the 8531 always goes on the branch side.
Use of Marklin 8504 Straight Track (25mm)
Here are some applications with the 8504 track.
Adjusting the center-to-center spacing on one side of Circle 1 (8510 curved track).
Note the two standard spacing dimensions of the track (25 mm and 50 mm).
Adjusting the center-to-center spacing on both sides of Circle 1
Adjusting length when installing the curved turnouts other than previously described
Marklin Z Track Reverse Loops
You can create reverse loops with the perfect standard track spacing of 25 mm. We give you three examples with the three different radii, using the Marklin 8510, 8520 and 8530 track.
All these designs need the Marklin 8504 straight pieces.
Marklin Z Track Reverse Loop using 8510 (145 mm)
Reverse loop with Marklin 8510 curved track.
This loop takes approximately 595 mm by 305 mm.
Marklin Z Track Reverse Loop using 8520 (195 mm)
Adjusting the parallel spacing on reverse loop using Marklin 8520 and with the use of three pieces 8504.
This loop takes approximately 610 mm by 410 mm.
Marklin Z Track Reverse Loop using 8530 (220 mm)
Reverse loop with Marklin 8530 curved track.
This loop takes approximately 665 mm by 480 mm.