My Krokis notes

Started 10Feb2020, updated 8Jul2020 (More around Speedometer with clock etc.). This note has the character of a log from my discovery journey. It has a lot of unanswered questions, also for you. It is not a textbook!

In this note I will try to convey what I discover about the gauge 1 Märklin 55681 “Crocodile” locomotive, a model of  the Ce 6/8 III with road number #14305, the original as owned and run by SBB Historic. This note is in subgroup SBB Ce 6/8 III Crocodile pages of group Models. That’s the start. Then come the real locomotives!

If you find any errors or problems, please comment (below) or mail me!


Photo: Mari

The original locomotive in 1/1 is parked for next “fitnessfahrten” in Olten in Switzerland – the 1/32 scale 1 model is by me. And I guess, at several thousand other places.

I thought this started on vacation in Bologna in the summer of 2019, where the owner of the Märklin Shop opened a box, showing me this scale 1 model. My wife Mari took a picture of me, she also enjoyed the sight of it. And of me, being so enthusiastic, I guess.

However, thinking it over, it started with the oldest Märklin catalogue I still have. 1961/62 (I still think I have the 1959 catalogue somewhere). In that catalogue the HO Märklin 3015 model of the Ce 6/8 III cost 246 NOK and weighted 960 grams.

The new treasure I hold in may hands cost 35000 NOK. In many ways this loco has a life with me, as I suppose it would for any old boy starting off as a small boy with a twinkle in the eye for trains of any size.

The Crocodile also has a life with Märklin. I think it started already in 1930 catalogue [3]. But only now do I have one myself. I did not buy it on the web and took the work with importing it myself, I just went to the local dealer that I want to keep: Trønderfrim, here in Trondheim (disclaimer).

And no, it’s not bolted to the track, I tell those whom I show how to try to lift it. It just weights its ton of 6.5 kg. If it had been scaled down with everything in it I think it should have weighed 126.000 kg. / 32 / 32 / 32 = 3.85 kg.

Singular and plural forms. A little different
krokodil krokodile crocodile crocodiles
Swiss jargon
kroki krokis .. ..

II and III?

Since this note is more like a log of discoveries, I start with what I have been most concerned about. What happened in 1925, when they designed the III models? My model. Story-wise I am pulling a thread, and much more than one answer fall out of the closet. So it’s a full in medias res start:

Fig.12 – SBB Ce 6/8 II vs. SBB Ce 6/8 III and SBB De 6/6 I. Märklin scale 1 55681, and HO 37511. Photo Øyvind Teig (Press for more pixels)

The figure will be described in the following. See the small brown loco lower, left? It’s the much smaller Seetal-crocodile SBB De 6/6 (also when scales compare!) which does not have pilot/leading trucks/wheels, ie. no end axle without drive. The drive construction was tested out on a somewhat older sister of the De 6/6 first, then taken to the Ce 6/8 III-version. Don’t confuse the 14.0 m long SBB De 6/6 (here) with Rhätische Bahn RhB Ge 6/6 I, which 13.3 m long and runs on 1000 mm meterspur narrow gauge (here)).

This is also much described at by Bruno Lämmli (at 203[08] but also here).

Inclined driving rod

One of my intentions with this note was to find out why the engineers around 1925, when they designed the III-version, decided to move the jackshaft (Wiki-refs) from ending at the nearby front/rear wheels to crossing a wheel to end at the third wheel. See Fig.12 (above), and more later. (The top connection of the jackshaft is a rather large box. I think this contains a rocker arm (Wiki-refs), introduced to get some flexibility there and get less vibrations (Moser and Pfeiffer @ [2] p.16). I learn that even with all this steel, flexibility is needed on all kinds of strange places).

Preempting about the driving mechanism with this explanation “The two motors in each nose unit were geared to a jackshaft between the drive axles farthest from the cab, with side rods carrying the power to the drivers.” (Wiki-refs: Crocodile). Since this was rather unprecise I edited the text on 17Mar2020 to : “The two motors in each nose unit were geared to a jackshaft between the drive axles farthest from the cab (SBB Ce 6/8 II) or farthest from the end (SBB Ce 6/8 III), with side rods carrying the power to the drivers.

This tells about the result of the design. If the jackshaft had not been moved I would have been happy. But now, I want to understand what happened.

 Download the screen clip PDF here. The text by Andreas Steimel, [14] p.38 goes like this:

During the Great War, gearings of 1 MW rating became possible. Fig. 3.5 shows the Winterthur “inclined driving rod” system with primary gear transmission, which was developed by the Swiss Locomotive Factory (SLM) of Winterthur in 1922 for the 2nd series of “Krokodil”- type locomotives.

Two drive motors provide torque via a primary gear transmission of about 1:3 to (*) an intermediate driving axle which is mounted slightly higher than the driving wheelsets. It drives the outer drive wheelset via slightly inclined oblige driving rods, the inner wheelsets being driven by coupling rods from the outer sets. This system was used for slow locomotives of high tractive force until the 1960s; for example, the heavy “Dm” locomotives of the Lulea-Kiruna-Narvik iron-ore railway where equipped with this kind of drive.

(*) Ce 6/8 has a different ratio (later). Winterthur “inclined driving rod” system is “Winterthurer Schrägstangenantrieb” in German. Puh! It took me days to get that term. Even if “schräg” means “inclined” or “slanted”. I had Google translate the German Wikipedia article SBB Ee 6/6 for me. In that translation I discovered the phrase for the first time. Then I found the Steimel reference (above). However, if I let Google do it only on “Winterthurer Schrägstangenantrieb” I get “Winterthur diagonal drive” which gets the meaning, but I assume – is not the technically used term in English(?)

However, to me both the II-version and the III-version‘s driving rods look rather inclined. Why call only the III-version inclined?

Then I found the German Wikipedia Stangeantrieb (Wiki-refs) article, which tells about everything. The Winterthur-Schrägstangenantrieb chapter (based on Google’s translation) goes like this (13Mar2020) (All German links):


Der Winterthur-Schrägstangenantrieb oder Winterthurer Schrägstangenantrieb ist ein im Aufbau einfacher Antrieb. Die Basis des Antriebs ist eine leicht nach oben versetzte Vorgelegewelle. Diese treibt eine einfache Treibstange an, die mit einer dreieckförmigen Kuppelstange verbunden ist. Die gesamte Geometrie des Antriebes kann vertikal in einer Ebene angelegt werden. Durch die Anordnung in einer Ebene ergibt sich aber, dass die Treibstangen nicht an den Kurbelzapfen des primären Treibradsatzes angelenkt werden können, sondern exzentrisch an den dreieckförmig ausgebildeten Kuppelstangen, was zu zusätzlichen mechanischen Beanspruchungen der Kuppelstange und der Kurbelzapfen der durch die Kuppelstange angetriebenen Radsätze führt. Dies manifestiert sich geräuschmäßig durch ein Knacken in den Wendepunkten. Nichtsdestotrotz war der Antrieb seiner Einfachheit wegen der meistverbreitete Stangenantrieb für elektrische Lokomotiven.

Ein sehr frühes Beispiel war die BLS Ce 6/6 121, ein Einzelstück, aus dem Jahre 1910. Sie hatte eine für damalige Verhältnisse sehr hohe installierten Leistung von 1470 kW (2000 PS). Weitere Beispiele sind SBB Ce 6/8I, SBB Ce 6/8III, verschiedene SBB Ee 3/3, RhB Ge 6/6I oder DR-Baureihe E 91.

Winterthur inclined driving rod

The Winterthur diagonal bar drive is a simple drive in construction. The basis of the drive is a countershaft that is slightly shifted upwards. This drives a simple drive rod, which is connected to a triangular coupling rod. The entire geometry of the drive can be created vertically in one plane. However, the arrangement in one plane means that the drive rods cannot be articulated on the crankpin of the primary drive wheel set, but eccentrically on the triangular coupling rods, which leads to additional mechanical stresses on the coupling rod and the crankpin of the wheel sets driven by the coupling rod. This manifests itself in noise by a crack in the turning points. Nevertheless, because of its simplicity, it became the most common rod drive for electric locomotives.

A very early example was the BLS Ce 6/6 121, a one-off, from 1910. It had a very high installed output of 1470 kW (2000 hp) for the time. Other examples are SBB Ce 6/8 I, SBB Ce 6/8 III, various SBB Ee 3/3, RhB Ge 6/6 I or DR series E 91.

What does the article mean with the part mentioning “vertically in one plane” and “articulated on the crankpin”? Time off for a picture:

Fig.19 – Parked in some light sun

Here is another description of the II to III transition. From [2], page 44-45 (the next three tables):


In der ersten Hälfte der 1920er Jahre waren die vier 1919 abgelieferten Probelokomotiven der Typen Be 3/5, Be 4/6 und Ce 6/8 I umfassend getestet worden. Die Ce 6/8 I Nr. 14201 verfügte über den von der SLM neu konstruierten Winterthurer SchrägstangenAntrieb. Er war gegenüber den bei den Ce 6/8 II verwendeten Triebwerken mit dreieckigen Kuppelrahmen und Blindwellen weniger aufwändig und hatte sich in der Zwischenzeit auch bei der Prototyp-Lokomotive Ce 6/6 Nr. 121 der BLS, den Ge 6/6 I der Rhätischen Bahn und bei verschiedenen ausländischen Triebfahrzeugen bewährt.

Winterthur inclined driving rod

In the first half of the 1920s, the four Be 3/5, Be 4/6 and Ce 6/8 I test locomotives delivered in 1919 had been extensively tested. Ce 6/8 I No. 14201 was equipped with the Winterthur diagonal bar drive newly designed by the SLM. It was less labour-intensive than the engines with the triangular dome frame and blind shafts used in the Ce 6/8 II and had in the meantime proven its usefulness also in the prototype locomotive Ce 6/6 No. 121 of the BLS, the Ge 6/6 I of the Rhaetian Bahn and tested in various foreign locomotives.

I always have to look over Goolge translate. It seems like aufwändig translates neither to expensive nor complex (as suggested by Google) but to something closer to workload or effort. However, labour-intensive probably covers best what the authors have meant (thanks, son Andreas!). Thomas Ruch (later) adds that the design effort (also difficult translation from aufwand) was less with the new scheme. And we saw that the Stangeantrieb article (above) talked about simplicity. So there must be something about the need for the counterweight on the II-version and the complexity with it that they really wanted to get rid of. The magazine article in [2] continues:

Diese Antriebsart funktioniert wie folgt: Die von den Fahrmotoren über Ritzel angetriebene Vorgelegewelle ist zwischen der ersten und zweiten Treibachse platziert. Sie ist mit einer Schrägstange gekuppelt, die die Kraft auf die dritte Antriebsachse überträgt. Hier wirkt sie auf einen Kurbelzapfen, derauf der von der dritten zur zweiten Antriebsachse führenden Kuppelstange sitzt. Von dort leitet eine zusätzliche Kuppelstange die Bewegung an die erste Treibachse weiter. This type of drive works as follows: The countershaft driven by the drive motors via pinions is placed between the first and second drive axles. It is coupled with an inclined bar that transfers the force to the third drive axle. Here it acts on a crankpin that sits on the coupling rod leading from the third to the second drive axle. From there, an additional coupling rod transfers the movement to the first drive axle.

Even if they had tested this mechanism in several locomotives, I think only one of the tested had the design of a crocodile (with two major joints connecting the middle box with the two drive frames), the Ge 6/6 I, see Wiki-refs. (They also tested other matters, like end gears and helical gears for the motors, I assume, also with respect to vibrations ([2] p.16)). My Seetal Crocodile is about the same type (SBB De 6/6 I, seen in Fig.12 (above, lower left)), but it was a little newer. Despite all this testing there were “undesirable vibrations“. Thomas Ruch uses the words “self-resonance” and “lulling” (later). Continuing:

Derfür die Ce 6/8 III gewählte Antrieb lässt bei schlechter Gleislage und bei Schienenstößen unliebsame Schwingungen entstehen. Sie können in extremen Fällen zu Materialermüdungen, Rissen oder Brüchen der Schrägstangen führen.

Dies ist auch der Hauptgrund, dass er sich nurfür Lokomotiven mit Fahrgeschwindigkeiten von maximal 70 bis 75 km/h eignet. Da die Krokodil-Lokomotiven unterhalb dieser Tempolimite betrieben wurden, galt diese Einschränkung nicht als Nachteil.

Entsprechend kam dieses Antriebskonzept auch bei den Seetal-Krokodilen De 6/6 Nr. 15301 bis 15303 (Inbetriebnahme 1926) sowie bei den Rangierlokomotiven der Typen Ee 3/3 und Ee 6/6 (Baujahre 1928 bis 1956) zur Anwendung.

The drive selected for the Ce 6/8 III creates undesirable vibrations when the track is bad and when the rails are pushed. In extreme cases, they can cause material fatigue, cracks or breaks in the diagonal bars.

This is also the main reason that it is only suitable for locomotives with a maximum speed of 70 to 75 km/h. Since the crocodile locomotives were operated below these speed limits, this restriction was not considered a disadvantage.

Accordingly, this drive concept was also used for the Seetal crocodiles De 6/6 No. 15301 to 15303 (commissioned in 1926) and for the shunting locomotives of the types Ee 3/3 and Ee 6/6 (years of construction 1928 to 1956).

They had got a problem with 18 machines, but this was considered a trait more than a misdesign. It was ok enough, even if they had more(?) breakages. But then, Thomas Ruch says below that they were quite “smooth” at 50 km/h. And SBB were still able to transform them to higher speed from Ce to Be. However, they did that with both the II and the III types.

Aside: I show the German texts here, as well as well as the Google translated versions, with respect of the original wording. But I do recommend to buy the magazine. It is a joy to have!

It is starting to dawn on me that this design became the standard. It’s the II-version that’s special! But it was only the crocodiles that were articulated (they twist when they turn). Maybe the vibrations were not present in the single frame type machines? All up to 1952 the SBB Ee 6/6 (German) was designed with this inclined driving rod construction. And as Steimer mentioned, almost like this, is the Dm locomotives at Luleå-Kiruna-Narvik – in 1954.

I must have some kind of attraction to this design. When I look over my HO collection, I have several locos with it! All built after SLM designed it in 1922:

  • SBB De 6/6 “Seetal crocodile” #15302, Märklin 37511
  • BR 160 E 60 09, Märklin 37561
  • BR 191 101-5, Märklin 37294 and blog note My Märklin 37294 DB Class 191 electric locomotive
  • EL 10 254, Märklin 36336 (Norwegian EL 10, based on Swedish Ub by ASEA, based on SBB Ee 3/3 I assume)
  • BLS Te 2/3 nr. 3. See blog note My BRAWA 0571 BLS Te 2/3
  • SBB Ae 3/6 II is also in the same family, I assume. See blog notes Models. This model started my interest of Swiss electric locomotives! I have some of them. I was hoping to find a scale 1 (or 1/45) model of it that I could afford, since I had seen several “live”. I didn’t. But Märklin came to the rescue with the Ce 6/8 III, this model 55681. If Märklin were to make a scale 1 of the Ae 3/6 II I would get more than one problem!

Thomas Ruch’s explanation

Fig.10 – From DVD of Eisenbahn Romantik 4.2019 at 1.06.20

The included DVD with the magazine [1] explains some of the difference between II-version and III-version. I photographed the screen (screen copy was not allowed) from this fascinating DVD. Thanks to VGB! Here is a transcription of some of Lokführer Thomas Ruch‘s description in, Swiss German, in Teil 2, Normalspur, starting at 1.05.50 (I pasted the German (thanks, son Andreas!) into Google translate, here. The English is based on it): eine aufwendige sache. Ist eine reine blindwelle, die dient nur dem massenausgleich, und der massenausgleich funktioniert. Es gibt fast keinen stangenlok, der mit 50 ruhiger läuft wie die hier. Das ist aber mit einem gewissen konstruktiven aufwand verbunden. Bei der nachfolgeserie wurde der konstruktive aufwand gesenkt. Es gab dann eine direkte stange hier vom antriebauf die hinterste triebachse, nacher wieder nach vorne – aber sie lief nicht mehr so ruhig. Das ganze kam (..) so wie in eine eigenresonanz, und im nachtdienst muss es ziemlich einlullend gewesen sein.
Das hier ist die dreiecksstange, daher auch der antrieb dreieckstangenantrieb. Die moteren arbeiten auf diese welle hier. Die da hier ist ohne antrieb, und dient nur den massenausgleich. an elaborate thing. Is a pure blind wave that only serves the mass balance, and the mass balance works. There is almost no rod locomotive that runs more smoothly at 50 than the one here. However, this involves a certain amount of constructive effort. In the successor series, the design effort was reduced. There was then a direct rod from the drive to the rearmost drive axle, then back to the front – but it was not as smooth. The whole thing came (…) as if it were a self-resonance, and it must have been quite lulling in the night shift.
This is the triangular rod, hence the triangular rod drive. The motors work on this shaft here. The one there is without drive, and only serves to balance the masses.

Ruch here seems to confirm what we also saw before this quote (but it was that DVD that caused me to research more and buy [2]) – that the new design of the III-version was wobbling. But how are the running properties of the previous II-version locomotives?

II and III-type versions


First, have a look at the Märklin Product database [20] and have search or two there. (Thanks to Jeroen Schrage (NL), for this tip. It caused me to add more models in the list below.) And [21] even shows the first scale 1 (gauge 1) CCS 66 12921 scanned from the 1934 catalogue. In [22] the original 20V AC motor and reversing mechanism are also explained.

This list originally started out from German eBay (here). Later on the references above were also used. I don’t pretend to make this a complete list, since this is not actually what this note is about. But the one took the other..:

  1. Ce 6/8 III with road number 14305, revision 02.11.17, done in Meiningen (green): 55681. It’s in the full line catalogue 2019/2020 p. 351-353. It has sound and also remote control of the pantographs. My locomotive
  2. Ce 6/8 III with “unusual, fictitious paint scheme, based on a steam locomotive”. One-time series. Available only in the “märklineum” shop in Göppingen.  It’s even got a fictitious road number: 2019. It’s green with red wheels: 55686
  3. Ce 6/8 II with road number 13256 (green): 55561. Crocodile Limited Edition 100 år – SBB-CFF. Product programme 2001 / 2002
  4. Ce 6/8 II with road number 14268 (brown): 55562. New items and full line catalogues, 2006
  5. Ce 6/8 II with road number 14272 (green): 55563. New items 2009 and full line catalogues 2009, 2010. One-time series celebrating Märklin’s 150 years anniversary 1859-2009
  6. Ce 6/8 II with road number 14281, revision 27.5.29 (brown): 55564. It’s in the full line catalogue 2013/2014 pp. 390-391. It has sound, but the pantographs are hand raised only
  7. Ce 6/8 III 55565. White version lettered for the New York Central Lines (NYCL), based on a hand sample produced as a single item by Märklin in the thirties for the USA(?) Märklin’s 150 years anniversary 1859-2009. Summer New Items 2009 – Product programme 2009/2010
  8. Ce 6/8 II with road number 14281 (Brown version with authentic traces of snow): 55567. One-time series (2016?)
  9. Ce 6/8 II with road number 14253 (brown): Märklin 5757 (1984, series of 3300) (revision 28.9.82). Plastic housing [19]
  10. Ce 6/8 II with road number 13253 (green): Märklin 5758 (1984, series of 3300) (revision 24.12?.47). Plastic housing. Märklin 125 years anniversary 1859-1984
  11. There also are a lot of older, analog models, like
    1. Ce 6/8 II with road number 13254 (green): Märklin 5756 (revision 24.4.76)
    2. Ce 6/8 II with road number 13254 (green): Märklin 5736. Same as above?
    3. CCS 66 12921 in the 1934 catalog, see et at [21]

Other brands

The Modelbex models are of metal, brass only (no die-cast zinc) [19]. Both from Era II (1925-1945). They don’t have the Integra-Signum magnets mounted, so the revision must be some time before 1933(?) They have sound, but I don’t think they can raise the pantographs remotely.

  1. Modelbex Spur 1: SBB Ce 6/8 III #14301 (Art. Nr.: I-MX.004/1A-Modelbex)
  2. Modelbex Spur 1: SBB Ce 6/8 III #14304 (Art. Nr.: I-MX.004/1B-Modelbex)
  3. Lemaco Brass Gauge I Model SBB Ce 6/8 III (about 1990) [19]

My Märklin

Fig.1 – 1 gauge 1/32 of Märklin 55681 is Ce 6/8 III and 14305 SBB Historic. Photo: Øyvind Teig (Trondheim) (press for more pixels)

In my dream the train driver, visible in the picture, is me. He can take the loco 2 m back and forth on a shelf. That’s all. No it’s not. The track has a 5602 track bumper in each end. The track starts with a straight 60 cm 59059, a cut-in-two of the same, two cut-in-two curved track 59076 as an open S and finally a straight 59059 again. So, the Crocodile winds itself a little, only to straighten itself a little up again. My scale 1 shelf! And the train driver certainly is happy, facing in the right direction only on the way back.

Aside: The light sources I used for the photo made the colours also somewhat dream-like, and non of the different tools I had could fix it. iA on my Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ100 camera produced fine colours, but the shutter was about 3. Not in focus all over. So I chose this picture shot in A (aperture) with an f of 8, which almost means pinhole camera with eternal depth.

There is a nice video presentation of the 55681 at YouTube by Peter Pernsteiner [7].

Fig.2 – 1/32 Märklin 55681 SBB Ce 6/8 III + Welly 9731 MB A-Class. Photo: Øyvind Teig (press for more pixels)

I think that it was Märklin who actually gave the locomotive this “crocodile” name when they made their first model of it, around 1930.

It looks like the train driver parked his short and tall Mercedes-Benz A-Class model from 1999 before he started the locomotive. Little Linnéa found it on a shelf when she slept over, and sensed that this was interesting for me. I had given it to Isac several years ago, but it was kept here. The car model is a Welly, a duplicate of this model.

Drawing from magazine


Fig.2 – From Eisenbahn-Romantik, 4.2019, page 42 by VGB Verlagsgruppe Bahn GmbH «Schweizer Krokodil» by Hendrik Bloem. Download PDF (4 MB, here) and JPG (4096, 900). Scanned from magazine and published here by permission from VGB Verlagsgruppe Bahn GmbH, 9Feb2020

I have actually found no sectional drawings of the Ce 6/8 II or III on the web. This drawing is from [1]. Thanks to VGB! I have not translated the German text. However, in [2] there would be even some cross sectional drawings, on two double pages.

Aside: I scanned as 1200 dpi and filtered some, then made a searchable PDF in ABBYY FineReaderExpress. But I found no font that had it convert Bloem correctly (it was always ‘i’ instead of the ‘l’), so imported that PDF into Pages and wrote the boxed text there (plus fixed 50/3 to 16⅔ instead of 16,7 Hz) and exported as PDF. It is still searchable. I also converted that PDF to 4096 and 900 pixels JPG. 

Electrical drawings

I have now bought a scan of the two best circuit diagrams (Schaltplan) that SBB Historic has. They are as nice that I could cry! See SBB Historic: Schaltplan –  two circuit diagrams of the Ce 6/8 III crocodile.

Märklin 55681

This is a beautiful and very well designed and produced model. A joy to own! I enjoy every second! The label underneath says märklin 19045206 C€. Plus there is the märklin which is part of the metal frame.


How to lift it

From the 55681 manual [8]. IMPORTANT!

As mentioned, it’s not bolted to the track. It just weighs its ton of 6.5 kg. The manual tells how to lift the model from the track [8]: “Please note that the roof is only sitting in place and is held by magnets. Do not hold the locomotive by the roof!” So it should be lifted with two hands across each end frame. See figure.

Not upside down with roof in place!

Made from the 55681 manual [8]. IMPORTANT! Press for PDF to print out


I was very unwise and wanted to have a curious look underneath – without thinking! The roof fell off! Luckily for me it hit the wooden floor from a low height, softly, and only a corner mesh fell off. It was easy to put back in place, there were three holes and pins. I also added a tiny drop of glue. Not visible from any angle, not even with the root off. The wire and connector were also pulled out, but nothing bad happened! I made the picture from several pages in the manual [8]. Press for a PDF to print out.

Disclaimer: (Not that it matters, since the roof did fall off). I may have been very unlucky and pushed the roof by accidence, in some way that I am not able to (or want to) reproduce. It may be that Märklin indeed has selected strong enough magnets, technically speaking. I tried to lift the roof with a luggage scale. It came off around some 500 g lift, on each side. 1 kg for both. The magnets also hold some after they slip. The weight of the roof is about 540 g. So it should be enough! Anyway, remove the top! It’s best in the long run!

How to place it upside down

If you do want to inspect underneath, find a silicon mat or similar, lift the roof off by also, carefully, unplugging the cable, lift the loco, turn it around and carefully place it on the mat. The roof, now on the mat, is flat – and the front and back parts will not bend down too much. Disclaimer: I guarantee nothing!

How I carry it

However, even carrying the loco like that for two meters is tough on the fingers. So I made a veneer base and screwed a 60 cm track on it. And after the topmost picture was shot I made it thinner and easier to grip at the ends. Also good for the first lift off the table. The base that came in the box is probably not too well suitable for this.

Fig.3 – Märklin 55681 Ce 6/8 III carrying railplate, Øyvind Teig (press for more pixels)

Setting direction

Fig.5 – MS2 arrows fit Märklin 55681 direction with DCC CV 29 BIT0 set accordingly. Photo Øyvind Teig (press for more pixels)

(Search: “SET-DCC-CV”). The arrows on the MS2 and the loco direction were opposite! And I did not want to turn the loco around, because (1) I wanted to see the driver in the I end, and (2) I want to see the electrical wires on the top – from where I normally stand. See mä point 3, which is where I got the hint, here is how I did it:

  1. Starting with the loco registered as mfx+ and having a copy of its setup on an (orig) loco card
  2. I set the protocol to DCC only
  3. I deleted the loco
  4. I added a “Kroki DCC3” as my new loco, with address 3
  5. I changed CV address 29 value 0x06(=6) to 0x07(=7) to have the direction BIT0 set
  6. It worked, the arrows on the MS2 now point in the same direction as my loco on my 2 m. shelf track
  7. I saved the loco to another loco card
  8. I deleted the loco again, since I did not want to set all the icons etc.
  9. I added the loco back again from the (orig) mfx loco card
  10. I changed the protocol to all three: mfx,DCC,MM2
  11. The loco now runs mfx and the arrows on the MS2 are ok!

This is about the same procedure as How to set register CV 50 to value 8 with MS2 in note 132.

However, this may also be done when the loco is configured. This is explained in the 60657 MS2 booklet: Mobile Station 2 (version 3.55 or higher):

  • P17: The following selection is only for locomotives with DCC decoders
  • P18: Programming a Locomotive (CV)


  • “scale 1” = “1 scale” = “gauge 1” = “1 gauge” = “gauge one” ≈ 1/32 with..
  • ..gauge = 44.45 mm → 45.0 mm Märklin, like 59059 (?)

Listed (1-5)

  1. When I had unboxed it and was going to clean up in the box, I found a loose plastic piece with a Swiss cross. It turned out to have fallen off the one of the joints of a rod. It was the cup, the one in the lower middle on the third driving axle of fig.1. I just pressed it in place, but I heard no click. So I must be observant in the future
  2. The wheels are driven through the extearnal rods, no gears on the drive wheels, and one electrical motor in each bogie.
    * At very low speed (creep range, close to stop or start, like when going from the last step to stop or from stop to the first step) the rotation is somewhat irregular and choppy. I think I heard said on the German language DVD accompanying [1] that the Ce 6/8 locos were famous for the sound of the rods, that they were somewhat loose in the joints. (Update: I have now discussed this more, see above). They certainly are somewhat loose on the model, so this is only natural. I have not changed the number of speed levels and the minimum speed in my Mobile Station 2. They are at default
  3. Even though the very large proportion of pieces are of metal (mostly die-cast zinc, with some smaller parts from brass ([19], Longimanus), some are of plastic. Like the sanding tubes, and the inside of the doors. All the breaking arrangements as well. Plus the “excitation and reception magnets for train protection” at the center of the unit. (See Train protection systems Integra-Signum and ETM-S in this note). I guess this is just as good, plastic would not break as easily as cast metal. Also, the boards to walk on, on the top, appear to be plastic. The flexible cables connecting the parts, two sets on each side, are rubber or something very flexible. See my question at, here. My buying of the loco was dependent on exactly that answer
  4. Observe that the metal alloy is not magnetic, so it’s not possible to use a magnet to check what is what
  1. The f30 sound is the “Speedometer (ticking)“. How does it work? It also ticks when the loco is standing still. See question 5 on which you should read before this. I have also asked on Norwegian at Mekanisk speedometer/tachometer anno 1920:
    * I have recorded and measured the ticking. There is a distinct tick every 0.495.. second. I assume that is meant to be 0.500 second, but the clock in the loco which they recorded from may not have been tuned that accurately. Between this tick there are two smaller ticks, so we have three intervals. At 36 km/h anything moves 10 m per second (36000 m / 3600 seconds), 5 m over half a second. This is a little more than a revolution. The main wheel has a diameter (⌀) of 1.35 m, so it would move 1,35 * π = 4.24 m in a revolution. If the speedometer is being kicked once per revolution per second it should show 36 km/h * (4.24/10 ) = 15.26 km/h. Thus with a fast “up” / slow “down” arrow to integrate over this length it should show about 15 km/h. If the speedometer is a wound clock I assume the ticking is to clear the integration, hold the arrow or something like that. In that case it would tick while there is a stand still. Plus it should then show zero, to be verified by the driver.
    * I found in [2] (p.20) that the speedpmeter of Ce 6/8 II was indeed Systems Hasler type. This was also suggested here:
    * From question 5 on there’s more (there may be more at the source):
    Me: “I have been thinking, maybe the ticking at stand-still might be from a paper logging mechanism? I read that the clock logged events on paper from the Integra-Signum safety system.”Unholz: “Oh yes, this is certainly true. I remember the recording paper rolls in the Hasler speedometers from my youth when it was still easily possible to sit next to the driver/engineer or behind him in some SBB railcar types (namely the “Red Arrows”, the BDe 4/4 and RBe 4/4). The paper had to be exchanged from time to time. I don’t remember whether this was after every driver shift change or when the direction changed or simply when the registration paper was full.
    BTW, the registration paper was always removed and confiscated by the police immediately after every accident or derailment because it contained the necessary information about the speed of the train.”
    Tom Jessop: “The Hasler recorders used a roll of waxed paper which recorded speed, engine notch position (speed setting), brake pipe pressure and brake operation, use of whistle, vigilance (dead man’s pedal) operation & something else which I cannot remember. Air pressure from different sensors then caused needles to operate across the waxed paper. A roll of paper would possibly last a month or more depending on locomotive use, the roll would be checked each time the engine would be prepped & if the tell tail on the tape was showing a fitter would be advised to come & put a new on in the recorder. Although a speedo is in every cab only one would have the tape facility mounted in it. This is only for double ended engines.”
    * Worth reading is the Speedometer article at Wikipedia, but it did not make me any wiser in this regard. Or maybe even more interesting are the Tachometer or Wheel speed sensor articles. But to me, still unsolved how this one would work.
Speedometer with clock

Maybe the final solution is as simple as this? The picture here is taken from an article in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung [23] and shows the speedometer with 24-hour dial in the 14253. Of course this clock ticks! This is the first picture I have seen of it. In retrospect, in all but one of the other references up to [23] I cannot find it. Not even on those from the newer cabin, like the double page picture of the 14253 (page 34-35) in [2]. The reason is simple. On the picture from [23] there is a different speedometer! It simply does not have a clock. Looking over the movie that came with the [1] DVD (example at 1.20.04) the clocked speedometer is seen in the 45 degrees right side window.
Update 15Jun2020: There also are two great pictures at [24] (Cab rides, Führerstandsfahrten by SBB Historic). See picture 3 and 5 of the 14305 series. Also, picture 3 shows the cabin in wide screen. And picture 5 shows the bottom text of the instrument:

Speedometer without clock

(iPhone Xr: Magnifier app)

And the Märklin 55681 cabin of the 14305 has a speedometer just like on the picture in [23] – without any clock!

So there still is a mystery: what ticks then? Is it still the paper logging mechanism?

From which locomotive is the soundtrack of the Märklin 55681? 14253 of 14305 or even 13302?

Time off for a picture

Fig.18 – Just lovely!

Listed (6..)

  1. After some time I discovered that a cable at the roof was not in position. This is visible in Fig.1 (right door, left handle then up, the purple cable end). The photo is not in focus there. When I moved it slowly with my fingers I was able to press the cable up and into its two fastening holes. I am 90% certain that this was as arriving in the box
  2. The labels on the servos for the pantograph don’t stick! Lift off the roof to see. I made new paper labels that I fastened with double-sided tape that I know stick. And stored the original stickers. If you want to do the same, print out this PDF
  3. The layout of the two central fan frame blinds may not be as prototypical as they could have been. Disclaimer about this: I am quite unsure! See note 203: Fig.1 aside
  4. Spring-loaded axles
    * On the Märklin 55681 with the three driven axles on each end part, the central axle only is spring-loaded. This makes 90% sense. Passing over a bump – that axle will be pushed up. Passing a dip it will be pressed down. But the two other axles on that bogie might, on bad track, be pressed up from the track, since they don’t follow. However, even if the model costs a lot, spring-loading all the three driving axles would have added cost. I am ok with not having to carry that extra sum, and instead keep my track from becoming bad. It looks like the 55681 certainly runs very smooth. More: it is a dream come true to hear, feel and see it run! Even without engine sound
    * This is somewhat different from the Ae 3/6 II HO Lemaco model I have, which is spring loaded on all three powered axles. In this case the locomotive probably will follow coarser track better than my 55681. For the Lemaco, see SBB Ae 3/6 II (Spring-loaded Lemaco model)
    * The two pilot/leading wheels in each end are of course spring loaded on the model
    * The real locomotive has leaf springs on all axles, even an intricate system with some springs being interconnected. When I turned my 55681 upside down, to see if this were modelled (when the top fell off!) I could see that Märklin seems to have modelled the complete spring system. Have a look at the beautiful pictures in [19] by Longimanus
  5. All the 18 Ce 6/ III were originally painted in brown colour and black chassis ([2] p.61). When was the #14305 (and #13302) painted in the fir-green SBB standard color and with gray-colored bases and drive parts?
  6. 55681 has no traction tires, and they are not needed. Much nicer without them!
  7. I have not found any materials and an exploded drawing of the 55681. There are some necessary drawings in the manual that comes in the box [8]. Would have been very nice to see them!
  8. Since the Märklin 55618 is revision 02.11.17 (2017) the colour (color) scheme should be as the original was at that time. Tinu (24Jul2019) [19] mentions that Märklin shall have stated that it is painted as it was on date of issue (2019), where the real handrails are black. But they were, according to Tinu yellow before they were painted black, in Jan2018. Consequently they were in fact yellow, as on the model, on the printed revision date 02.11.17. However, I would assume that when he says that the main green is not 100%, that might be correct. Because the green does not seem to have been painted in Jan2018
  9. I got this in a mail from a German friend, talking about the new Märklin scale 1 models (KM1 = KM-1 = KM-1):
    Märklin went with the production from Hungary to China and choose the producer of KM1. So they have absolute new know how and cheaper prices. The new models by Märklin look same as Kiss or KM1. But they are mostly die cast, which is not bad for players.
    What applies to the 55681? I have not spotted any “Made in ..” on the model, box or in any manual
  10. The nicest picture you will find of the 55681 is on the box! However, it is only the right side of the loco (when end I is ahead). I think the two pictures on the longer sides (52.6mm long buffer-buffer) are the correct ones. The one on the long top is a little pressed down, so it looks a little flatter than it is (I think). There also is a similar, small one at one end. I think it’s ok. Märklin must have had both sides of the loco photographed? In case, why didn’t they print both? And why did they print the least sexy side, with so few cables on the roof seen? Ask me, who only realised the same point after my wife shot the picture!

Rods, axles and ends

(Thanks, Eiler, for trigging me on these points!)

Rod placements

Fig.15 – Märklin 55681 rod placements

On my model, in both end I and end II, it looks like the rod placements are about 87° out of angle, one side of the locomotive with respect to the other side.

In the figure I have measured the angles from zero in the running/rotating directions “ahead” and “reverse”. I run ahead (white graphics) in the I  direction and reverse (yellow graphics) in the II  direction. There are 13 spikes, so each angle spans a “spike angle” of 360°/13 ≈ 27.69°. For the front end I I got 87.8° displacement. For the back end II I got 86.5° displacement. Like about 87°. But it’s not very accurate. If this should have been 90°, below is what 3° looks like. Yes, I may have been that wrong!

I don’t see that 87° coincides with spike angle or multiples of it, like 27.69° * 3 ≈ 83.08°. Maybe it’s more a function of the internal gear construction in the Märklin model?

How is this on the real Ce 6/8 III #14305? Will the rod placement angle have any significance on how smoothly the locomotive runs?


fig.14 Ce 6/8 II assembly at SLM Winterthur 1920 (detail) photo MFO

All the eight axles have their two wheels shrunk on them. Therefore two wheels and their axle are one part. As we have discussed a lot, the driving wheels on each side have rods connect their three wheels with the countershaft (“Vorgelegewelle”).

Two motors are paralleled. Each just have to have a through-going axle. We can actually see them on the outside: the two half moons. On each end of the axle there is a small cogwheel connected to the larger cogwheel on the countershaft.  This forms a gear on each side with a 4.03 : 1 ratio. So there would be four such gears on the locomotive.

I am not certain whether the countershafts have a single connecting axle or if they are alone on each side. I only found one picture out of all the ones I have (scanned from [2] p.19 and cropped to a small fraction only). Speculating (seen in the picture as red), I think I can see that there is an axle between the countershafts: a common countershaft axle and a gear on each side.  So “everything” seems to be mechanically paralleled. This is something that everybody that knows just a little about this would know. Help!

I am not certain whether the below indicates the opposite, that the countershaft gears are held in place “locally”, with no connection to the other side. See  [2], page 16:

Die Bewegung wird auf die im Rahmen fest gelagerte Vorgelegewelle mittels beidseitig angeordneter Zahnräder in einfacher Übersetzung von 4,03 : 1 übertragen. The movement is transmitted to the countershaft fixed in the frame by means of gearwheels arranged on both sides in a simple ratio of 4.03: 1.

By the way, the Coupling rodJackshaft and Stangenantrieb articles are interesting, see Wiki-refs.


There is no mechanical connection between end I and end II, no synchronisation. Even if all four motors are powered from the same transformer with the same step and all four motors are AC single-phase motors. (See SBB Historic: Schaltplan – two circuit diagrams of the Ce 6/8 III crocodile.) Speculating again, having them synchronised would make pulling less efficient. If one bogie’s wheel-set were to slide, the other bogie’s wheels could take over.

Artefact sound?

Update: I also hear this sound of a phantom raising of a pantograph if the f30 speedomer ticking is activate when the loco gets power for the first time. Before this activate f30 only and unpower and wait until the power bank is empty and it stops ticking.

Strange artefact sound on first start-up. Listen to it here. There is one strange sound (?), a start, a stop and a start again:

The sound file is downloadable from here. I recorded it on an iPhone.

When I repeat start-up (operating sound: f2) and turn off and new start-up I don’t hear the strange sound that comes before the first f2. When i press the STOP button on my MS2 and wait some seconds and power the line again, and then a new f2 to start, this artefact of a sound comes. Have Märklin hit the wrong seconds tag on the sound file? (If that is how it works).

In the manual f2 is said to be “with random sounds”. I assume that the random generator that is used in the firmware is a pseudorandom number generator that starts with the same seed. Then the sequence will be the same for every locomotive, every time. May this artefact sound be a feature from this effect?

I have tried all the sounds available on the loco, and I cannot find that artefact sound. I think it is the sound that comes when raising a pantograph.

I have queried about this at, point 4 (below).

The original sound file is downloadable from the Sound-/Decoderproject at the 55681 page [9]. It comes down as M55681_Ce6-8-III-Historic_Spur1.mdtp. There is a tool to build these files called mDecoderTool mDT3 [10]. Which decoder does the 55681 have?

Dead man’s foot pedal

Fig.4 – Driver’s cab in 1920 (MFO), Märklin 55681: Ce 6/8 III, 14305 SBB Historic, rev. 02.11.17. Photo: Øyvind Teig (iPhone Xr: Magnifier app). Right: the loco in Olten on 19.02.20. Photo: Justin Comps, SBB Historic (press for more pixels)

There is no dead man’s foot pedal on the floor, inside the cab. (So, on my small loco, no vigilance operation. Thanks, Tom Jessop at, point 5, below). I discovered the discrepancy when watching the fantastic DVD that came with [1]. The pedal is also seen on #14305 (2011) in a picture on page 44 of [2]. At first I thought that the pedal had been removed on the revision 02.11.17, which is the Märklin 55681. Maybe it was not needed any more, when more safety (of some kind) had been added? I mailed SBB Historic and I got the picture to the right (above) back. Thanks a lot! #14305 right now! I added some light to the floor part where the pedal is, just below the black protection shelf, so the pedal may be easily seen. Märklin has not replicated the pedal for the 55681.

Here’s more to the story. [JC] of SBB Historic, told in a mail that she had discovered (referring to the rightmost picture (above)):

a picture of the cabin from 1920 in the book “Krokodil: Königin der Elektrolokomotiven” [12]. There was no dead man’s foot pedal! The text beneath the picture says «The working space of the Kroki-driver, as pictured in a publication of the Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon 1920». The dead man’s pedal was not built in from the start – it was only added in the 30ies – according to the author of [12]. However it was on 15Jul1920 that the RhB (Rhätische Bahn, another Swiss rail company) decided to go from two drivers in the cabin to one, and then introduced the dead man’s pedal in their locomotives [13]. Their locos were also built by SLM (Maschinenfabrik Winterthur, for the mechanical parts) and MFO (Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon, for the electrical parts) – just like the SBB Ce 6/8 II and III. It then looks like the SBB must have kept two drivers in those locomotives for another some 10 years.”

Nearly no reuse of 55564 parts on 55681

I therefore speculated (wrongly, see below) that the faulty (but forgivable!?) cabin in my (1) 2019/2020 model of the Märklin 55681Ce 6/8 III revision 02.11.17 (2017) (colour green), road number 14305 is a reuse of the cabin of the (2) 2013/2014 model of the Märklin 55564Ce 6/8 II, revision 27.5.29 (1929) (brown), road number 14281. Assuming that there is no dead man’s pedal in the 2013/2014 model. Update: however, according to a mail reply from Märklin I am wrong:

Dear Mr. Teig, 55618 and 55564 are two totally different constructions. So nearly no part from 55564 is used at 55618. All parts are new designed. Sincerely yours, Your Maerklin Customer Service (5May2020)

Following this logic, there should have been two drivers in the cabin.. ..but this would also wrong as seen from the outside, since it’s a 02.11.17 revision.

It’s not only a pedal

Press for full text and transcription. Thanks to SBB Historic!

As this theme develops, more info is coming in. SBB Historic’s [JC] has again responded and sent me some more background information:

Some speculation on my part as well : Since the RhB is a narrow-gauge railway with a comparatively much smaller route system, they may have tried out the one-driver system earlier.

I tried to find some reference on the one-driver-system at the SBB and found the newspaper clipping you can find attached (Gossauer Zeitung 30.1.1932). (Press picture for full article.)

It’s from January 1932, back when there was still quite a public discussion about the safety of the one-man system. According to this article, the first trials at SBB with just one driver only started in 1926. It further states that at the time it was written the personnel felt negatively about the one-person driving and that there are still routes where two-manning the locomotive is necessary for safety.

So, safety systems where continuously being built into more and more locomotives. This would need definitely more research (and maybe there is a nice reference in one of our books I am simply overlooking…) but it’d be reasonable to assume that until then, the Kroki had two drivers.

Only somehow related, but in the same year a bad collision took place near Lucerne (Wikipedia, translated , where two one-manned trains collided, which then lead to the introduction of a Swiss-wide train protection system, Integra-Signum (Wikipedia, translated).

For the full text (in Fraktur typeface) and transcription: press the above picture to read (PDF). Thanks to SBB Historic. Just paste the German text directly into Google translation (here). But why not try the Die deutsche Sprache first? (It’s worth a try!)

The safety aspect goes on in the next chapter, but the Limits to miniaturization chapter discusses just what it says.

Train protection systems Integra-Signum and ETM-S

Summary: Integra-Signum unfolds as the excitation and reception magnets, down towards the track, in the middle of these locos. As seen above, the Integra-Signum is Swiss. It was in use from 1933 to 2018. Lately the newer ETM-S system was added, as a simplified version of the newer European ZUB standard. I don’t know if the crocodiles can run on all tracks in Switzerland these days.The “fitnessfahrten” are probably rather local. In the DVD accompanying [1] I think they said something about this, showing another, approved locomotive driving in front. I think that locomotive had ETCS Level 1 Limited Supervision (ETCS) system. Here is my path to this info:

I found this also confirmed in [2], page 45:

Ab den 1930er Jahren war dank einer neuen Sicherheitssteuerung und der automatischen Zugsicherung die einmännige Bedienung möglich. From the 1930s, one-man operation was possible thanks to a new safety control system and automatic train protection.

Is the “new safety control system” the Integra-Signum safety system – that is seen visually by the magnets going down from the Ce 6/8 II and III towards the rails, at the center of the locomotive? Yes! By reading further in [2], page 62 I learn that:

Die beiden Lokomotiven sind mit dem inzwischen vorgeschriebenen Zugsicherungssystem ETM-S ausgerüstet und gelegentlich vor historischen Zügen in derganzen Schweiz zu sehen. The two locomotives are equipped with the now mandatory train protection system ETM-S and can occasionally be seen in front of historical trains throughout Switzerland.

That text is in a chapter about the III-version locos. Therefore the two locomotives referred to are the two green coloured locos (1-2). Did the brown II-version (3) also get ETM-S added to its orignal Integra-Signum system?

Then, in the German Wikipedia article about Integra-Signum (chapter Euro-Signum) I read:

Zum Lesen der Euro-Signum- und Euro-ZUB-Telegramme wurden bis 2005[3] die Streckentriebfahrzeuge mit einem speziellen Zusatzgerät, dem Eurobalise Transmission Module (ETM) ausgerüstet. Das ETM, umgangssprachlich auch „Rucksack“ genannt, leitet die Informationen an die Integra-Signum- und ZUB-Fahrzeuggeräte weiter.

Zunächst waren noch etwa 400 Fahrzeuge des Rangier- und Baudienstes von der Umrüstung ausgenommen.[3] Fahrzeuge des Rangier- und Baudienstes oder historische Fahrzeuge, die nicht mit ZUB ausgerüstet werden mussten, wurden bis 2011 mit dem vereinfachten ETM-S ausgerüstet, das sich auf die Integra-Signum-Funktionen beschränkte.

Up to 2005, the mainline vehicles were equipped with a special additional device, the Eurobalise Transmission Module (ETM), for reading the Euro Signum and Euro ZUB telegrams. The ETM, also known colloquially as “backpack”, forwards the information to the Integra Signum and ZUB vehicle devices.

Initially about 400 shunting and construction vehicles were excluded from the retrofitting. [3] Shunting and construction vehicles or historical vehicles that did not have to be equipped with ZUB were equipped with the simplified ETM-S until 2011, which was limited to the Integra Signum functions.


Vehicles that were not equipped with ZUB were equipped with the simplified ETM-S. Von PlutowikiEigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

“An Eurobalise is a specific variant of a balise being a transponder placed between the rails of a railway.” See Wiki-refs.

From the German Wikipedia figure we can see the Integra-Signum magnets. See Wiki-refs, both German and its translation, and the English version of Integra-Signum articles.

Limits to miniaturization

Following up the chapter about the fact that there is no dead man’s floor pedal on my Märklin 55681, this chapter is relevant only as seen from a more general angle. Which is how I meant it in the first place. Here is my suggestion of an answer of why Märklin may have dropped it. It is still a model. Not the real thing. The window wipers don’t move, even with the f29 wipers sound on. There is no sand in the sand boxes, and the tubes from the sand boxes aren’t tubes. So what? Again, it’s a model. Scaling things down is about reducing size, how to do it, what to let go and what to keep. Some detail may have been scaled down 32 to 1 if that made them visible enough, or sturdy enough. Some may have been scaled down a little less, some much more, so much that that they are gone from the model. But they scaled the cabin. What the cabin is. And from the outside, a dead man’s pedal wouldn’t really add much. Maybe it was never even decided by the company, but maybe it was a decision done inside a single head; nobody thought any more about it. Maybe ten years before this model, for another model, with another level of detail. Then that piece was reused. It wouldn’t have been very expensive to change or add it at this point in time. But even then the driver still cannot die. He is still a model. On the other side: I can. And I will enjoy this model for my forever. It is not impossible to scale down everything. That’s just how it is.

Let it shine in the correct light

Use diffuser

Fig.17 – Use diffuser on lamps

LED lamps are fine, but some times they are too direct, so that the light will cast a lot of shadows. It is not nice to look at, and not nice for shooting pictures. Here are two IKEA JANSJÖ spotlights with adjustable arms, which is nice (standard disclaimer). First, place the switches close to the MS2 controller, so that you don’t have to lay down under the couch to switch off, which is necessary to enjoy night driving. I have two diffusers here. One that I made by picking a defect LED lamp apart, there is a very nice dome, and it’s in plastic. The other is some foil paper, quite transparent. To fasten the first I had to make a plastic ring (by using white chopping board), three screws (don’t throw away old electronics before you have removed all the tiny screws) and some copper wire. The paper I just fastened with tape. If I direct both diffused spotlights towards the loco, then the soft shadows from one tend to cancel with those from the other, making it even better. (See note My materials science notes)

Remaining Krokodils

I updated this list from the soyrces mentioned 8Jul2020.

Operable condition

  1. Be 6/8 III, #13302 (green) was lower speed and Ce before 1956, now taken care of by Betriebsgruppe 13302 in Rapperswil [15] (In the German SBB Ce 6/8 III Wikipedia page then this loco is taken care of by “the operating group 13302, a section of the model railway club of the district of Horgen (Model-Eisenbahn-Club des Bezirks Horgen MECH)”. According to [25] it’s kept running on the Südostbahn (SOB) which includes Rapperswil. Horgen and Rapperswil are only some 23 km apart. But one of those sources are not accurate enough that I understand it. What’s correct?
  2. Ce 6/8 III, #14305 (green) was Be 6/8 III #13305 between 1956-1973, now in Olten [6]. This is “my locomotive”
  3. Ce 6/8 II, #14253 (brown) was higher speed “Be” some years, now in Depot Erstfeld [16])
  4. Be 6/8 II, #13257 (green) is now called ÖBB 1189.10 and is in Südbahnmuseum in Mürzzuschlag in Austria [25]. (In the German SBB Ce 6/8 II Wikipedia page this is not shown as operable.) (In the German SBB 6/8 III Wikipedia page this is also shown in the list of preserved locomotives. It should be removed)

Not operable

Also in [25] the other (9-4)=5 locos are listed:

  1. Be 6/8 II, #13254 (green) in Verkehrshaus der Schweiz in Luzern
  2. Ce 6/8 II, #14267 (brown) in Technik-Museum Speyer in Germany
  3. Ce 6/8 II, #14270 (green) in roofed open-air monument at MFO’s factory in Zürich-Oerlikon
  4. Ce 6/8 II, #14276 (green) in Club del San Gottardo in Mendrisio (operational refurbishment planned according to German SBB Ce 6/8 II Wikipedia page). In [12] p149 it is shown as white (Some years on from 1986. Märklin also made a white version that they printed with NYCL (above))
  5. Ce 6/8 II, #14282 (green) in Technik-Museum Sinsheim in Germany


  1. Märklin gauge 1 catenary wires – 17Jan2020
    Märklin gauge 1 catenary wires – If 5635 and 5636 are obsoleted, what are the new product numbers?
    The answer: Sommerfeldt
  2. 1-scale original track and Hübner after 2008 – compatible? – Are these tracks compatible? – 22Feb2020
    The answer: yes. But the old Märklin were stainless steel, the new Hübner types are nickel/silver alloy
  3. How to change direction on a 55681 Kroki on MS2 – DCC CV 29 BIT0 – but still? – 25Feb2020. I made a separate chapter above: Setting direction
  4. 55681 kroki start-up artefact sound? – Only on first start-up – 25Feb2020
  5. Ticking speedometer sound (f30 on 55681) – Why does it tick when the Ce 6/8 III is standing still? – 2Mar2020. Point 5 in chapter Trivia


  1. Verein “Krokodil 14305”, in German, see


  1. Accident with Ce 6/8 II #14269, 22Feb1948. 22 died. See Eisenbahnunfall von Wädenswil (translated). Much about how to engage braking (“negative power”), engine brake, air brake and handbrake. The locomotive driver survived, mainly because he was protected by the long stem of the locomotive. It was repaired and was not scrapped before 1981

The manual

The manual that came in the box is [8]. Plus one about the 27-pin interface connector [11]. Some legend:


Just search for question marks in the text. Some are meant for youIf you have any answers, please comment (below) or mail me! Or comment elsewhere so that I can refer back. I will sort these matters out both as questions and answers here and in the text. And refer to you if you want to. I would be happy to see less ?’s!


[JC] is Jin Chei of SBB Historic, in several emails. This also goes for SBB Historic: Schaltplan – two circuit diagrams of the Ce 6/8 III crocodile Thanks a lot!


Numbered refs

I refer to several commercial sites below, however: standard disclaimer! I have not referred to all of the below in the text.

  1. Schweizer Krokodil. Drei Schweizer Lok-ikonen in Aktion by Hendrik Bloem, in Eisenbahn-Romantik, magazine no. 4, 2019. Pages 36-50. In German. By VGB. See (I did find an error on page 47. In the row of four locos the second from the right is not Ae 3/6 II, but the Be 4/6 (#12320)). Worth reading in this context are also the foreword by Hagen von Ortloff (p.3), as well as the interview with the two train drivers Martin Abt and Daniel Buner (p.6), plus the presentation of Stefan Andermatt, the CEO of SBB Historic (p.6). The magazine also contains a DVD that is very interesting. They go through narrow gauge (like the Rhaetian Railway) and normal track crocodile railroads in Switzerland. With a wonderful bunch of men telling about these locos. They all speak Swiss German. I just love it, even with my limited understanding
    * I think VGBahn (VGB = Verlagsgruppe Bahn) is owned by SWR Media Services (but it could be the other way around, or it could be that they just cooperate). I just call them VGB. Including RioGrande
  2. Krokodile, Legendäre Schweizer Elektroloks by Beat Moser and Peter Pfeiffer. 2.2017. A full 100 page magazine, with lots of in-depth technical details. In German. I have a text file with some pages translated to English, it’s quite some work to make it (scanning, OCR, Google translate). Mail me and I’ll send it to you. However, the most relevant paragraphs to my themes here have been included in this note. But there are hundred of others, that I have not scanned and have had translated. So I have much left to learn. But it won’t happen here. See This magazine is just wonderful! It even shows some of the original sectional drawings in a double sided fold out, from SLM-Archiv/SBB Historic
  3. Märklin Krokodil by H.S. Stammer, by Gebr. Märklin & Cie., 1984 (seems difficult to get hold of)
  4. Eisenbahn-Romantik YouTube channel, see by VGB
  5. Eisenbahn-Romatik RioGrande, see by VGB
  6. SBB Historic. Ce 6/8 III, #14305, in Olten, Switzerland, see
  7. Unboxing/Review Märklin-Krokodil 55681 – Ce 6/8 III – SBB 14305 – 1:32/Spur 1 – Lokmodell für 3500 €, by Peter Pernsteiner, see (in German)
  8. märklin 1 – Modell der Elektrolokomotive Ce 6/8 III 14305 SBB Historic 55681, see This comes in the box
  9. Gauge 1 – Article No. 55681 Class Ce 6/8 III Electric Locomotive, see
  10. mDecoderTool mDT3, see – It’s Windows only, not MacOS
  11. märklin digital. Additional information about the 1 Gauge decoder with up to 32 functions, for the 27-pin interface connector. 295735/0918/Sm2Kb (not on the web?)
  12. Krokodil: Königin der Elektrolokomotiven by Christian Zellweger (ISBN-13: 978-3909111190). AS Verlag (1. Oktober 2005). 160 pages. In German. He also did book [18]. I assume that this is the ultimate KROKODIL book! I guess that if I had had it before I started this note, this note would have appeared different, wenn ich fließend Deutsch gelesen hätte (thanks, google). And the pictures are of super quality. I received mine 9Jul2020, and I will update here, page by page..
  13. Die ersten RhB-Elektrolokomotiven by Geni Rohner, in Die Bündner Kulturbahn (RhB Historic, 10. JAHRGANG 2013, see
  14. Electric Traction – Motive Power and Energy Supply: Basics and Practical Experience by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Andreas Steimel. (2008). Oldenburg Industrieverlag München. ISBN 978-3-8356-3132-8. Read the book (but without some of the figures, which is rather bad) here
  15. SBB Historic. Be 6/8 III, #13302, in Rapperswil, Switzerland, see
  16. SBB Historic. Ce 6/8 II, #14253, in Depot Erstfeld, Switzerland, see
  17. Die Krokodile: Elektroloks der SBB, ÖBB, RhB und DB (Lok-Legenden) by Hans-Bernhard Schönborn, on transpress (2014) 128 pages. In German. ISBN-13: 978-3613714823
  18. FASZINATION KROKODIL by Christian Zellweger. 140 pages. In German. AS Verlag (2013) ISBN: 978-3-906055-15-2. He also did book [12]
  19. Märklin Neuheit Ce 6/8 III, 14305 at MoBa forum. (Jan2019). Seeärklin-neuheit-ce-6-8-iii-14305/ (translated – but not for pictures). Very nice pictures at the Longimanus comments (Jul2019), but the pictures have a text www.natursicht Hermann Ostermayer
  20. Märklin Product database, see…
  21. Marklin Crocodiles: Genealogy Of The Swiss CCS 800 Locomotives, by Paul at, ee A replica Märklin scale 1 crocodile by Francesco Biaggi is also shown
  22. Start Of The Crocodile Legend, see This article originally appeared in the European Train Enthusiasts (ETE) journal EXPRESS, Issue 119
  23. Das Reptil aus der Urzeit der Elektrotechnik lebt (The reptile from the prehistory of electrical engineering is alive) by Neue Zürcher Zeitung AG (29.4.2020). Their case is the SBB Ce 6/8 II, road number 14253 at Erstfeld and the team around it, including some very relevant pictures. Like a picture of the “Speedometer with 24-hour dial. In 1947 the locomotive stationed in Erstfeld was given stronger traction motors and could be operated at 75 km/h for three decades”. See (translated, but no pictures) (Thnaks to [JC] for telling about this article)
  24. SBB Historic Führerstandsfahrten, see, select Faszination Lokführer: Führerstandsfahrten mit dem Krokodil Ce 6/8 III in den Jura. I am on the list for 2021! About this, and a little button I made, more in note 207 (here)
  25. Schweizer Krokodile, EK-Themen 58, 3Q 2019, by Eisenbahn Kurier, see 98 pages.
    This magazine has some interesting tables, like the different type of stufenschalter on the locos; load in tonnes per ‰ elevation; per year curve of changed rod bearings and a good description of where the nine remaining Krokodiles are located (see above).
    In the intro Victor Francescon and Bernhard Studer make a pun out of the fact that the Krokodil and the “Roten Pfeil” were both immensely popular in Switzerland (Roter Pfeil, Rote PfeileRed Arrow). See Wiki-refs (above)

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