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When Eberhard and Wolfgang Richter decided to make their Lehmann Grosse Bahn or big train, they chose a diminutive 760mm narrow gauge Austrian prototype called the Stainz. The cab was the largest part of this little 0-4-0 steam locomotive. This loco became the symbol of the LGB line of trains and remains so today. I presently have two models of the Stainz: the black and gray version that powered the limited edition Dortmunder Pilsner beer set (1000 produced). My second engine is the 30th Anniversary (1998) red, green and black edition initially only available to attendees at the factory celebration. The Dortmunder set Stainz has no smoke unit, and the running gear has metal rods. It also has the older split style motor block. The Anniversary Stainz has the drop-in motor block, a smoke unit and plastic running gear. It also has a more detailed cab with a light and gold bezels on the head and backup lights. Both locos have the same standing engineer figure. Both are robust pullers and are among my favorite LGB locos!

Last edited by Tinplate Art
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@Ted S posted:

I know the Stainz has come to symbolize LGB.  But do you think they would have achieved greater market penetration in the US if they had standardized on the all-black and more modern 2076D, or even an American prototype?  They certainly sold a lot of Moguls!

Seems to me LGB had pretty good market penetration in the US.  I picked up my first catalog at La Grange Hobbies (IL) in 1977 or 1978.

Besides, the 2015D wasn't all that hard to "Americanize."

LGB 2015D 062815 001rLGB 2015D 062815 004r

Rusty

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The Marshall Field's passenger set from 1984 and the Christmas train my Dad left for me. I remember going to Marshall Field's in Chicago many times in the late 1970s to early 1980s with my dad when he got started with the LGB trains. I think they were the first place in the Chicago area that sold them.

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Many of the original LGB starter sets first imported into the US came without a power supply, and the buyer had to purchase an MRC power pack to run their train. Later MRC power packs had a pulse feature which was anathema to LGB Buehler motors! Fortunately, most of the MRC packs had a switchable pulse function, and they were safe to use with the LGB motors.

Last edited by Tinplate Art

LGB was always a quality product made of high-grade polymers like BASF Luran-S and Vestilene. Paints used were Mercedes Benz quality. Propulsion was by high quality Buehler 7-pole DC motors in sealed gearboxes. Back in the 1980's, I did service work on LGB locos which ran on commercial layouts in restaurants and a museum, and can testify to their ability to operate reliably under punishing conditions.

The early variations of the Stainz locos like the 2015D and the 2017D were interesting because they were the first engines to include a motorized tender, thus considerably increasing the pulling power of these locos.  There is a two wire polarity-observed connection between the engine and tender to insure good electrical conductivity. I am currently enjoying my 2015D!

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Last edited by Tinplate Art

LGB was responsible for the surge in interest in garden railroading that occurred in the 1980's, especially after the release of the LGB Mogul. Being somewhat afflicted with OCD, I never ran most of my LGB outdoors save some rolling stock I ran behind my LGB live steam "Frank S" and my Roundhouse SR&RL live steam #24. LGB did produce some Sandy River coaches and a combine.

Last edited by Tinplate Art

There have been numerous iterations of the humble Stainz loco over the decades and many design changes to improve detailing as well as servicing accessability. The early two-halves gearbox was a bit of a bear to service. The later design had a top access gearbox, where the old motor could easily be removed. Improved cab detailing, constant low voltage (5 V) circuitry for lighting and smoke units, front and rear light bezels, detailed plastic running gear and even a rudimentary chugging sound were just a few of the many improvements made over the decades of production of the ubiquitous Stainz.

 

 

Last edited by Tinplate Art

Marklin LGB is continuing the tradition of producing the Stainz in starter sets. These locos have a rudimentary chugging sound and smoke. They are continuing the manufacture of the matching motorized tenders, though the engineer/fireman on the Stainz has NO access to the coal supply! Tank engines like the Stainz usually ONLY had small bunkers for their coal supply and NO tender! The original LGB got it right with both their 2015D and the 2017D with open cab backs and deck plates connected to the tender.

My initial exposure and start with LGB/G scale was with a Stainz powered passenger set that my aunt and uncle got for me when they visited his family that actually lived near Nuremburg, Germany.   It came without a power pack as it would have had the 220vt Euro pack when they bought it.  I received a power 120vt power pack in the mail from LGB of America shortly after I got the set gifted to me.  I still have the power pack but not the set anymore.  One day I will get another set to run under our tree each year.   I moved on to live steam and outdoor operation in G scale.    AD

Like you, I evolved from LGB into live steam starting with an RC controlled Roundhouse Engineering SR&RL #24. Handmade by a small husband and wife company located in Doncaster, UK. Engine came with two microservos to control speed and direction. Butane fired with pressure gauge, sight glass and blow down valve. The #24 was a classic performer. My next engine was the LGB/Aster "Frank S", a very nice 1:22.5 scale butane fired loco that was easy to operate and maintain. My third live steamer was a Geoffbilt (Canadian) two truck Shay, also butane fired. When I tired of all the "muss and fuss" of live steam, I sold them off and went back to indoor LGB.

Last edited by Tinplate Art

I attended the "York" of gauge one live steam held annually at Diamondhead, MS on two occasions in 1996 and 1997. LOTS of engines from a coal-fired Aster Big Boy to propane-fired stainless steel custom-builds! Multiple operating layouts and many dealers from across the US and some from abroad. Truly sensory overload! Also nearby New Orleans for fine dining and entertainment!

Last edited by Tinplate Art

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