Märklin CS3 Digital System

Last Updated: 30 August 2021

System Overview

Märklin’s “Central Station” digital system was originally designed for use with their H0 and 1 scale products. After Märklin’s acquisition of LGB, the – then called “CS2” – digital system basically replaced the legacy LGB “MTS” (DE: “MZS”) digital system. The current generation Märklin digital system is called “Central Station 3” (“CS3”), which is an evolution of the previous system.

The Märklin CS3 is your digital central station and controller at the same time, and requires the purchase of a separate power supply to complete your setup. Trains are controlled by either the two red throttle knobs or the large touchscreen display. The advantage of this design is that it’s very easy to control two locomotives at the same time. The overall design is similar to ESU’s “ECoS” system, although the CS3 relies more heavily on touchscreen input compared to ESU’s ECoS system.

Märklin 60226 Central Station 3 Large Scale

There are two CS3 flavors: a standard CS3 version, and the “CS3 plus”. The CS3+ contains an RJ45 bus for S88 connections, and that seems to be the only difference compared to the standard version (to my knowledge).

The CS3 is a multi-protocol command station, it supports: DCC, Märklin Motorola, Märklin mfx and Märklin mfx+. For large scale, DCC is of course the most important as it’s the standard. For LGB and Märklin locomotives equipped with an mfx decoder, I assume the CS3 will prioritize the mfx protocol over DCC in operation. The CS3 features a network port for connection with a computer, thus you can update the software or use a computer (program) for operation of your trains.

Power output is limited to 5 Amps, a booster might be required for larger railways.

Available Components (EU)

  • Märklin 60216 Central Station 3 plus – € 799,00 (MSRP 2021)
  • Märklin 60226 Central Station 3 – € 649,00 (MSRP 2021)
  • Märklin 60101 Power Supply 1 Scale – € 129,00 (MSRP 2021)
  • LGB 51095 Power Supply – € 139,00 (MSRP 2021)

Technical Specifications (EU)

  • Central Station 3
    • Output voltage: 19 V
    • Output power: 5 A
    • Dimensions: 320 x 195 x 80 mm
  • Power Supply 1 Scale
    • Output: 19 V / 100 VA DC
    • Input voltage: 220 – 240 V
    • Weatherproof: No
  • LGB Power Supply
    • Output: 19 V / 100 VA DC
    • Weatherproof: Yes, IP 67

Pros & Cons

+ Large colour display
+ Easy operation of two locomotives at the same time
+ PC connection
+ Factory mobile app for wireless operation
– Base unit not portable
– Limited output power, booster required for larger railways

Links & Downloads

Source: Märklin