I have owned many original LGB locomotives, both steam and electric over several decades, but until more recently never an American diesel. Several of these locos had digital sound systems that were very impressive and reliable. Some months ago I acquired the limited edition (500) 30th Anniversary Baltimore and Ohio A-B-A F-7 diesel set in like new, unrun condition for a reasonable price ($1200). These engines include digital sounds of actual engines and two Buehler motors in each A unit. The B unit has twin amplifiers which are cable connected to each speaker equipped A unit for a stereo effect. Each A cab has interior details, lighting, and one engineer figure in the lead unit. There are numerous brass hand rails plus lighted number boards and class lights. Beautiful and accurate B&O livery and lettering. I am really not a diesel fan but these classic F style diesels are very pleasing. They run smooth and sound great!
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FYI: The production number of this limited edition set I quoted (500) was obtained from the official two-volume hardbound LGB Kompendium, the ultimate LGB reference guide.
LGB stands for Lehmann's large railroad. 1998 was their 30th Anniversary.
Wolfgang Richter, together with his brother, Eberhard, set out to develop a durable indoor and outdoor model railway, and they succeeded!
I have several Lehman Gross Bahn products that I purchased when they were introduced. All of these are the German models, and have always run flawlessly. I always found it to be quite interesting that the women in our family seemed to prefer these colorful trains to my Lionel trains in another room. Occasionally, we would make a large LGB layout outdoors in good weather, and that was always a lot of fun, particularly for the children. Several hobbyists in our area had (have?) giant outdoor LGB layouts that they operated (operate?) year round.
One of my favorite color print ads of all time was the elephant stepping on the LGB track and not damaging the track. (I think a current O Gauge ad has a woman standing on 3-rail track, if I remember correctly!)
The LGB catalogues were also exquisite, although not free as I recall.
There are two stores near me. One has an LGB running around the ceiling and the other has an LGB running on the floor. I used to see these when I was a kit (20+ years ago). Those same trains are still running!
LGB makes a heck of a product.
As a former LGB service tech, I can assure you that in prolonged commercial use, motor replacement was necessary only after a considerable period of operation. But the overall robustness of the engines and rolling stock was always evident.
The famous photo of "Uncle Otto", the elephant from a zoo in Germany, standing on the LGB track was a brilliant bit of advertising. I also once demonstrated the durability of a section of LGB track by running over a section several times with a station wagon with no adverse effects.
To be fair, Marklin is continuing the tradition of LGB excellence with their production in Gyor, Hungary. But there is no substitute for the original German production at Saganer Strasse under the guidance of the Richter family, Wolfgang, Eberhard, and Rolf, all now deceased, except for Johannes. All of my small collection are original LGB. made in Germany, and I am fine with those!
Art, I'll copy a post I just made on your PIKO topic.
I got my feet wet in G gauge last fall with a used LGB Christmas set. My wife really loves it. We don't have much room as my O gauge layout is confined to an 11x11 room. Before acquiring the room from one of our now married daughters, I did put up shelves for a small ceiling level train to run in the 12x12 family room. I have had thoughts of converting that to G gauge.
Our son received an LGB starter set back in the 90s from his grandparents, when he was 5. He ran it occasionally over the years. Then being stuck at home more during COVID and working from home, he pulled it back out for some entertainment. It triggered something and the search was on for more German made LGB locomotives. A couple of decent auctions later, he has a small collection of a few steam and a cog engine from the 80s. They all run as good as new. Even gave his grandfather for his birthday in May a steam locomotive with a decoder installed. I think it was as a thank you for that set he received all those years ago.
THANKS for sharing! Looks like loads of FUN! :-)
My experience with LGB table layouts is that the trains tend to run flawlessly without a derailment. After enjoying straw 124's family story, with the excellent pictures, I duly noted that each of the layouts were essentially LGB "floor layouts".
LGB is great for floor layouts, and a layout can be set up in very little time -- unlike Lionel standard gauge, which may require some significant track "mating rituals". (In this regard, Art has a proven technique for assembling standard gauge track.)
Of course, having proven on many occasions that gravity works, I did make a mistake one day in leaving my LGB trains running to go retrieve something upstairs. As it turns out, my second mistake was relying solely on the proven tracking prowess of the LGB trains, and, not installing a side rail on my LGB layout to protect the trains in the event of a derailment.
Upon my return to the basement, I found that my largest German made LGB engine had derailed, and had crashed to the floor. Upon examination, the pilot and front end of the locomotive was damaged. Since I liked the look of the layout without sides, I decided that in the future I would stay near the layout while the LGB trains were running.
Dennis: SORRY about your mishap. If my pristine 2085D ever took a dive off my train table, I would be devastated!
All of us, at some point in time, have probably left a train unattended for a few minutes even while it was running at a moderate speed on a closed loop. But it is generally ill advised to do so, as unforseen events can and will occur resulting in damage to engines and rolling stock.