Class 3900 Steam Locomotive Challenger
Prototype: German Federal Railroad (DB) class 44 heavy freight locomotive with coal firing. Built starting in 1937 as a German State Railroad standard design locomotive, updated starting in 1950: welded tender and Witte smoke deflectors. The locomotive looks as it did before the transition from Era III to Era IV.
Model: The locomotive has a die-cast metal frame and boiler. It also has a 21-pin digital connector with a bridge plug for conventional operation. The locomotive has a powerful 5-pole motor in the firebox area. 5 axles powered. 4 traction tires. The locomotive's frame is articulated to enable the locomotive to negotiate sharp curves. The headlights will work in conventional operation and can be controlled digitally after a decoder is installed. The locomotive is ready for installation of the Märklin 7226 generator. The locomotive's paint scheme is weathered. The close coupling between the locomotive and the tender is adjustable. There is an NEM coupler pocket and close coupler mechanism on the tender. Length over the buffers 260/262 mm / 10-1/4"/10-5/16".
The class 44 steam locomotives spent the last 10 years of their service life based at the railroad maintenance facility in Rheine, where they were kept fit for the "Langer Heinrich" / "Long Henry". This immensely heavy ore train brought raw material as a volume freight load from the harbor in Emden to the Ruhr area and to Saarland. A single locomotive could not master the train with 50 cars and 4,000 metric tons weight. The class 44 locomotives with coal firing (later the class 044) or with oil firing (later the class 043) were always operated in pairs at the front of the train. Occasionally an oil-fired class 41 (later the class 042) or a V 200.1 (later the class 221) diesel locomotive helped out.
Twelve ore cars for the "Langer Heinrich" / "Long Henry" train are available in the set, item no. 24202. The locomotive for doubleheading the train is item no. 22043. Märklin is offering an entire train for 3-rail AC as item no. 26536 and the second locomotive as item no. 37883.
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