Sign my


German BR 44/043

December 2016

I have a quickly growing friend, Geert. He is "into trains"and I have grown into the habit of raising his supply up his rolling stock on the occasion of his birthday. Previous projects comprise


When I gave him the Ae 3/6 some years ago he dreamed away about getting a "really large steam locomotive". Ever since I have been on the lookout for a good restoration job on a Märklin steam locomotive that in terms of price and time invested would fit the frame of a birthday present. On Eurospoor 2016 I stumbled upon a trader who a bin full of locomotives of unclear status and my eye was caught by a Roco BR 44 for Märklin at the price of just €35. Boxed, complete with manual. I carefully examined the loco but could find not fault. No evident damage, some dirt had accumulated over time, but hardly any tread wear. I was puzzled why the engine was so cheap. I asked the man in the stand if it would run. "Sir, sorry but I really don't know, we haven't checked and that is why it is in the bin. Your chances." I was in for the challenge and bought the loco. Worst case I could not get it running and then it would be a nice weathering project.


I called Geert's father and made him accomplice. We tested the loco. It ran hesitatingly and it rattled. We saw the body of the tender move up and down. We took the tender apart and found that one of the two bolts to hold body and frame together was missing. Looking at the construction of the tender drive the missing bolt was the cause of its erratic behaviour. When the motor started turning, it would push the body up and skip the gear it was supposed to drive. That was a problem that could be solved if only we had a replacement bolt.


Having the tender drive open anyway we cleaned it, re-oiled it, and did some minor repairs. The tender body got a good scrub to remove the dirt that had accumulated over the years and after drying it looked as new. We did the same with locomotive body.

Then we started to assemble the tender again. In a hunch I had a close look in the box and behold: there was the missing tender body bolt! We assembled the loco and guess what. It ran flawlessly!


It will later be converted to DCC by Geert's father and the wiper under the tender needs replacement but there nothing about this loco beyond normal spare replacement.

It sat proudly in my display cabinet for a few weeks

Ready for transport in the early hours of Geert's birthday