Lionel 113 Station AF 4689 Lionel Trolley Ives 1764

Tinplate Times


Commentary Mailbag Links Archives About This Site Contact Us

Modifying And Running A Biaggi Gauge 1 "Krocodil"

By Jim Kelly-Evans

The Kroc as receieved could only run in a straight line. The side rods would contact the cab steps and the two powered nose sections could not pivot sufficiently on curves.

Recently I acquired a Biaggi Maerklin replica CCS 66/12921 "Krocodil" Gauge 1 locomotive model. First made by Maerklin in the 1933, this famous model of the Swiss electric locomotive was offered in 0 gauge until 1940 and and 1 gauge until 1937. Examples of the originals are rare and pricey. Francesco Biaggi of Milan made a series of Maerklin reproductions probably ca. 1970-80. He made examples of the Krocodil in gauge 1 in two different formats, the Maerklin-sytyle with one less axle so as to be able to negotiate curves, and with all axles true to prorotype.

When I inspected my Biaggi Maerklin replica model it appeared to have been on the shelf for decades. Both motors were frozen and showed little evidence of use. Upon further inspection I discovered that the zinc casting would not allow for sufficient movement of the articulated nose sections on even the widest radius I-16 gauge 1 track curves. Since the model could not operate on curves, I decided to modify the original casting to allow for operation on I-16 curves by cutting off the four stairs and reversing the handrails re-installing the stairs further out from the cab to allow the side rods to clear on curves. I also needed to re-mount the two powered nose sections slightly further out away from the cab. These modifications took weeks of work but yielded sufficient clearance for the articulated sections on wide radius track. The model has a unique electrical directional lighting scheme using diodes at either end that feed current to the headlamps or the red reverse lamp depending on DC polarity.

Each powered nose section was re-mounted to allow for additional pivoting clearance on curves.

Each of the four cab steps were removed from the cab casting and re-installed outboard of the cab using a steel mounting plate.

The hand rails were also modified to provide clearance for the side rods.

The modified castings allow for smooth operation on curves.

Directional lighting on each end includes three forward headlamps and one reverse red lamp.

A polarity switching diode at each end of the locomotive controls the directional lighting.

© 2016 Tinplate Times - All rights reserved.