LGB Motive Power

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The legendary LGB, ahh what a story. Now after of it's second or third bankruptcy in 2012, latest owner Marklin, focus is more and more on European stuff.

Legendary quality (at least the stuff made in Germany), and workmanship.

They built stuff in China for a while, most has issues with the plastic quality. Now some is made in Hungary, seems ok.

Unfortunately you won't find a lot of depth on my site on LGB, since I don't want my trains to look toylike, and most are scaled 1:26 or larger. Also many are foreshortened and modified to operate on R1 curves, ruining the look.





When built, what clues on options:

Part number:

A "D" in the part number means smoke (Dampf in German)

A "S" in the part number is sound.

Manufacture date sticker:

If you have a gold stick on the bottom, there are 6 digits:

The first and last digist on the gold sticker are the year

The 2nd and 3rd digits are the day, always 01 (why bother?)

The 4th and 5th digits are the month.

Example 901045 is year 95 (1995), 01 Day, 04 Month

Motor block / DCC related markings:

There are various clues to how the motor block is wired, if you have a DCC capable loco, etc.

See this page: LGB DCC for more information

Removing brushes from motor

link to a great article with pictures https://www.gscalecentral.net/threads/lgb-motor-service.163076/

Link to adding decoder to track cleaning loco:


Nice page on pulling apart a Stainz and putting in other decoders


Tips on torn up gears on 26194 2-6-0 from Dan Pierce:

The Mogul motor drives an idler gear and the idler drives the axle gear.
The idler gear can shift a little but the wear on the motor end shaft will cause it to move a lot and catch the side of the idler.
Also the front axle has a lot of side play and can catch on the side of the idler. Sound moguls do not have this issue in the rear axle due to the added parts for chuff sensing, very limited side play, but non sound moguls will have rear axle side play.
So, it is very important to have Mogul axle gears centered, and I add a washer to the idler shaft to limit side play on it.

Finding documentation: a tip from Wendell Hanks:

On the Big Train World Netherlands website at www.bigtrainworld.eu, click "LGB onderdelen Database" (left side on home page) listed are over 100 LGB loco exploded parts diagrams listed by LGB locomotive numbers.


Another database I found:



Champex-Linden:  http://www.champex-linden.de/  select "Sortimentsinfo LGB" on the menu on the left side.

You can eventually get to the LGB databank: http://www.champex-linden.de/lgb_produktdatenbank_d-e/produkt.nsf/bede3443927b513dc125691c0045fb8718dd.html?OpenView


Another is "GBDB" http://www.gbdb.info/index.php?l=english

yet another: http://bigtrainworld.eu/lgb-database/


Youtube site with lots of videos showing LGB sound systems and decoders


LGB Light bulbs

You can usually determine the voltage of an LGB bulb by the base:

  • screw threaded base - 18 volts
  • twin leads & a flat top - 5 volts
  • twin leads & a rounded top - 24 volts

LGB smoke units

LGB had 3 different smoke units voltage wise for the engines that were wired and removable from the top.
5 volt units have white/black wires These engines also had 5 volt bulbs (bulbs have a flat top)
18 volt units have yellow/brown wires The lights were yellow and screwed into sockets
24 volt units have 2 white wires. These are for conversions to MTS (or DCC) for conversions.

The stacks that screw in with a nut on the bottom of the engine (2010/2020/2015) are older versions which were always 18 volts and ran directly from track power.

(courtesy Dan Pierce)

DCC for LGB locos

Many people have questions about converting these locos to DCC or other systems.

Many of the latest locos will have a DCC decoder in them, but it's usually the crippled LGB system, 14 speed steps only, and limited capability.

The newer units that are "DCC ready" often have a 10 pin header on the "main board" that interconnects lights, motors, etc.

You can buy a 10 pin connector from All Electronics, CON-2410:


From the top:

  • Black - PWR - (outside black 1st location on connector)
  • Black - GND - (inside black 2nd location on connector)
  • Purple- Front light (other connectors have had a white wire here)
  • Gray - Motor +
  • Brown - Track +
  • Blue - Track -
  • Green - Motor -
  • Yellow - Rear light
  • Orange - F2 - (not used for QSI)
  • Red - F1 -  (not used for QSI)

Typical connections to LGB tender:


Some earlier locos have a motor block with 4 pins, so you can split up the track from the motor, see the LGB Acela.

Even earlier, it's often that the motor block only has 3 pins. Internally, one motor lead is connected to a track pickup. These have to be pulled apart, and the connection between the motor and the track separated, and a wire attached to that lead.


Quick notes in disassembling an LGB 2-6-0 Mogul:

The cab roof comes off with 3 screws, 2 in front, one in back.

The boiler section that is inside the cab comes of with 4 screws from underneath. The air cylinders underneath may have to be pulled off, normally the glue just gives way.

You should able to slide the cab back away from the rest of the boiler.

Remove the 2 brass handrails on either side of the boiler. There are two small screws underneath to remove the boiler.

I believe you pull the boiler forward to clear the circuit board.


Notes on the Unitah Mallet:

Per Kevin Strong, the "scale" of this loco as compared to the prototype is:

"around 1:24 in terms of length, 1:23 in terms of height, and 1:30 in terms of width"

marklin bananna plugs: there's a guy on ebay selling all different colors, search for " Marklin Banana Plugs"


Replacement motors:

I intend to make this more substantial, just some notes now

Older LGB motors often had ball bearings at the ends of the shaft to control the motor thrust. Without these, the natural force of the worm gears forces the motor shaft out of the "can" and will damage the brushes/commutator. Newer replacement motors often have the "thrust bearings" internal.

short (62201) and long (62204) shaft motors are all 7 segment.  It is the smaller motors (Gustav hand car, pantograph) motors that are 3 or 5 segment.

 Notes on mogul (from Dan Pierce):

All the LGB moguls I have taken apart need the following done: I see you were successful and I hope you remember the screw lengths for reassembly. instructions below are for anyone needing info on taking the mogul apart.
The 2 brass rods on the front need to be removed.
The screw in the center near the pony truck needs to be removed (it is in line vertically with the smoke stack).
2 rear vertical screws under the cabin (these hold both the frame and the firebox together).
2 horizontal screws near the rear axle (one on each side).
To remove the board inside the firebox I remove the cab roof, and then the front window. Now 2 more screws on the bottom need removal and then have fun getting the firebox past the engineer. This allows you to get to the screws holding the board in place if needed.


Click the links below to go "deeper" into details on individual LGB motive power

  Wiring LGB for DCC     0-4-4 Forney   EMD F7   Acela 
  Track Cleaning Loco    
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