LGB Motive Power

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The legendary LGB, ahh what a story. Now in the middle of it's second or third bankruptcy in 2012, latest owner Marklin, who knows what will happen.

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.

The first and last digit on the gold sticker is the year, 4th and 5th digit are the month and the day is always 01 (2nd/3rd digit).

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.

Link to adding decoder to track cleaning loco:



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



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"



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       
Weather Underground PWS KCACARLS78