Marc Chagall: The Story of a TWE 700 Marklin
(Written by P.G.)
I believe that objects can have a soul … and stories to tell ….
Only that today, maybe sometimes, we are not able to listen, we do not have the patience to figure out what they want to tell us ….
This is my TWE 700 Maerklin and this is his story.
In 1935 the house Göppingen decided to follow the example of Bing and Bub and, almost at the same time of’ then Trix competitor, he offered the market a range of toy trains in scale 00, calling it then “Tischbahn” (railway board) … .
… Or Miniaturbahn …
Back in 1936 it was on sale in France, England and even in the United States
Undoubtedly one of the first to arrive in Italy Tischbahn was that of small Johst, the son of whom was then called the “Delegate Reichbahn in Italy” stationed with his family in Verona,
a city that traditionally has hosted since the mid-nineteenth century, a delegation station across the Alps.
In 1936 Johst was seven when his father brought him a gift, from Frankfurt, a train consisting of a locomotive and some wagons R 700, then its range of rail vehicles expanded and, in 1937, came back on track even the TWE 700 .
In the apartment below to Johst lived another boy, Caesar, his close friend, a contemporary and classmate, the son of an official of the FS, and later I knew well.
The passion of the small Caesar were the new rail vehicles recently arrived on the tracks of Verona, the so-called Littorine.
They represented the future, innovation, progress: built by FIAT ….
… Or Breda, as this specimen of FTV ….
… They took charge of both local trains on secondary lines, which express trains on main lines.
When playing with Johst and its miniature railway ….
…. he was fascinated especially by modern railcar red and yellow running on the tracks of his friend ….
Then came the war and in the 1945 Johst and his family had to leave Verona in a hurry to return home.
The farewell between the two boys, then sixteen, was heartbreaking
and Johst, before leaving gave her TWE 700 to Caesar as a goodbye’s gift.
For some years the railcar remained hidden in wardrobe of the boy in the years of the immediate post-war which was preferable, in the climate certainly not pro-German at the time, that no one could see and no one knew who had received a gift a German toy by a German boy.
In 1947, for his eighteen years, Caesar asked as a gift to his father a Aln 772 Conti red and blue with its rails and transformer … ..
I wonder why in those years all railcars in OO scale were freelancers: the 772 Conti stemmed from electromotive then and had little to do with the Aln 772 FS ….
Nevertheless, in the eyes of Caesar, and compared to contemporary AN 1 … Rivarossi.
…. that resembled a little more to Aln 56 Breda, it was metal, with the windows pierced and had a more solid and massive air.
It was not until five years later that, he became independent with an accommodation of his own and he decided to pull out the small Maerklin that went then to achieve the Aln 772 Conti back on track ….
… Although the inability to operate simultaneously given the different feeding techniques ….
Since then the two railcars have lived together, first at the home of Caesar,
then, after his untimely death many years ago, at my home …
… Silent witnesses of a story of friendship between two boys and complex relationships between two people of Europe.
Johst, who for years are no longer interested in railroads, but that since the late 50s had resumed contact with Caesar, still lives near Frankfurt and is happy that the TWE 700 that possessed as a child is now in my hands .
The TWE 700 models are freelance,
as all the 700 series, apart from the HR 700 (BR 01) and strangely, as the corresponding scale version About the same manufacturer, will not play any German railcar of the era,
while the vague similarities can be found with railcars Renault of the 30s …
… And maybe a little with the front of certain Americans aerodynamic trains …
They are made entirely of tin, apart from the body of the carriage motor in zamak.
Were painted with the use of masks and written are obtained by decals.
Only some of the last pieces, assembled in 1945 with parts produced before the war, were painted in a more coarse
and were written, for lack of decals, hand-made and not printed, as erroneously says Koll’s.
The drive wheels, perforated ray, are almost always red, except for a few models sold in France that have black wheels.
The wheels of the bogies are typically turned steel unpainted, it seems that some have wheels in zamak, but, personally, I have never seen.
The best-known version is red / yellow-cream produced from 1937 to 1940 … ..
… Except for a few specimens assembled in 1945 …
More rare is the blue version,
announced in 1937, but actually put on sale in 1938 and sold until the 40’s … ..
… .as well as the red “electric” version
adopting the pantograph of the locomotive RS 700 …
In the images that follow
the small TWE 700 hero of our story
is resumed in the company of her two sisters.
They have in common the same truck engine, anchored to the roof by means of a threaded pin and a nut dome.
Note the two interior lighting bulbs.
Are still the original, with carbon filament and screw to nine coils, mounted here on holders to seven turns (the holders of other specimens are nine turns).
The power supply from the rail station is through the “spoon” sliding contacts typical of 700 series.
Reversing gear is manual, by means of a lever protruding from a slit on the roof, which acts on a base in bakelite jointed with a connector at three poles at the terminals of the two windings of the inductor coils.
However, already in the 1937 is proposed (here in a brochure in the French language) “a reversing automatic”, by insertion a selenium rectifier on the base itself, in place of the manual switch ….
… Accessory and indispensable complement to it is a rectifier / inverter
to be connected to the transformer output.
In this way rail vehicles are practically converted to DC operation and the reverse speed is by changing polarity.
This system allows the simple and smart simultaneous use on the same track of locos inversion manual and “automatic”, but not the subsequent locomotives 800 series equipped with overvoltage relay.
In the two photos concluding “our” TWE 700 Maerklin and Aln 772 Conti
are in good company of two other veterans: a AN1 Rivarossi in blue livery of the 50’s and a 20/58 Trix of 1937.
(@ December 8, 2015)