Locomotive Gondola Spoltlight Crane Caboose
Locomotive Gondola Spotlight Crane Caboose

MOW Train

Made from Plastic Marx

Loco, Gondola and Crane


Here is the Marx E-8 Diesel outline Locomotive. It started life as a Santa Fe 1095 in the silver and red war bonnet paint scheme. When the engine came to me, the double reduction motor would not run and the headlight did not work.

I obtained a replacement brush plate from Robert Grossman to restore the motor. One of the videos is a demonstration of how that repair worked.

There was a socket for a lamp with an E10 base and a clear-ish lens leading from the bulb out the upper headlight hole. The lower headlight was simulated with a dome-shaped feature on the plastic shell. Changing the bulb requires opening the shell and removing the front (dummy) truck. There is a wire and a Fahnestock clip to complete the circuit. I wanted a light bulb that would not burn out and save me that replacement hassle.

The answer is to use LED lamps. The first try was to just screw in one of the E10 white LED assemblies. These devices have a built-in current-limiting resistor and work very well in toy train applications. Alas, the plastic bulb area was too large to fit using the existing socket. The next idea was to use a LED component and supply my own resistor. I figured out the resistance I need to limit the current to 20 milliamps and then had another idea. This train runs on AC. That means the LED would only be lit half of the time. It would switch on and then off 60 times each second. Our eyes would smooth that out and it would look OK. I recalled that there was a molded headlight right below the headlight hole. So, I drilled that simulated head light out and mounted a second LED in that hole. I wired this one with opposite polarity. It would be on whenever the other LED was off. Together, one or the other would always be on. I chose to use the same resistor for both and actually used 2 resistors of the resistance because I liked the way the little circuit looked that way. The photo offers a pretty good rendition of the color. The two headlights do a good job of illuminating the track ahead.

Marx E-8 1095 Santa Fe Loco Repaint

The Gondola is a standard plastic 4-wheel type. No structural mods were required. It got paint and decals. There is also a removable load that looks a little bit like a pile of ballast. It shows in the videos.

Marx SCL 131000 Gondola Repaint


This is a repaired and refurbished Marx Crane. The crane base was broken. The handle was broken. The hook was gone.
I installed a new handle and hook from Grossman's. The base required some reinforcing plastic at the front part and a floor in the cab portion. Inside, there is now an operator and some controls. Paint and the usual custom decals complete the project. Since these photos were taken, I have also added a bar that serves to bold the hook to the deck. Early video tests showed the crane rotating wildly as the train ran around looking for work. You can see that bar in the bottom picture of the Spotlight car page.

Marx Plastic Wrecker Repaint
Marx Crane Closeup
Marx Crane Boom Restraint - Front
Marx Crane Boom Restraint - Rear


Here is a brief video showing the entire train in operation.



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