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Märklin is a German model train manufacturer. Components from its Gauge 1 models were used to construct the engines in the television series, and an HO scale 4-wheel passenger coach was used as the base for The Quarryman's Coach on the Rev W. Awdry's Ffarquhar layout.
They also released a limited range of Thomas & Friends merchandise in HO scale which were the Hornby models with Märklin compatible couplings and a pickup shoes to work on Märklin's C track using third rails. Due to licensing reasons, they were only available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, although they did leak out to other countries (non-German speaking nations). The range was only released in 2006 and discontinued shortly afterwards.
- Annie and Clarabel
- Troublesome Trucks
- Sodor Milk Tanker
- Sodor Tar Tanker
- Sodor Fuel Tanker
- Car Assortment
- "Thomas and his Friends" Starter Set (Thomas with Annie, Clarabel and Sodor Fuel Tanker, oval track and controller)
- Many of the engines that appeared in the first to third series of the television series were built using wheels, chassis and various parts of the BR 55, BR 78, BR 80, and DHG 500.
- In the fifth series episode, Busy Going Backwards, Toby's exposed chassis (originally BR 80) was seen pushing Toad and his train of trucks past the buffers that were set away by the points.
- The fourth series model of Crovan's Gate station has a box image of a Märklin #5440 "Maxi" Starter Set as a poster cut from the Märklin catalogue.
Behind the Scenes
The following Märklin's Gauge 1 models and parts were used in the production of the television series:
The BR 80
The BR 80 was mainly used during the first series for scenes where rolling stock passed by. The BR 80 would usually pull trucks whenever moving goods trains were supposed to be seen on-screen. As production of the series moved on and more characters were introduced, they would be used for the goods train movements, which meant the BR 80 was retired from its original purpose. This engine also provided various components for a few engines (chassis, bufferbeams, buffers, smokebox door and bell)
The BR 55
Much like the BR 80, the BR 55 would also provide various components for many engines during production. The entire chassis was modified where needed to be suitable for each size of engine that used it. It was the least changed for James, moderately altered for Edward and heavily modified for Thomas as his chassis was made to fit the existing body made for the pilot. The bufferbeams were also used for many of the engines with most only using one set from either the front or back.
The front beam was used for Henry's tender and both the front and back of Toby, making him the only engine to have matching Märklin bufferbeans on each end. The tender bufferbeam was used on Edward's tender and James' tender as well as Percy's original front beam.
The BR 78
The BR 78 played a crucial role in terms of providing components. It had a bigger chassis than the BR 80 and BR 55, meaning it could be used for bigger engines such as Henry and Gordon along with Oliver who's drive wheels were too large for the smaller donors to provide.
It was also the other main source for the bufferbeams on the engines, the front beam was used for Henry's front and Edward's front while the rear beam was used for James' front and Percy's back beam.
- Official Website
- Model Railway Constructor, December 1984 Issue (The Real Lives of Thomas)
- Articles (Sodor Island Fansite)