Monday, July 8, 2019

Installing the new ESU XL 5.0 sound decoder

Live From The Workshop - Part 1

Reporting live from   "Famous Klaus Workshop" : preparing and installing the XL 5.0 ESU sound decoder into ( today) the LGB# 4067 cleaning loco.

Installing a digital ESU sound decoder into an LGB loco in 5 steps steps:

  • check and prepare for loudspeaker mounting and installation
  • check and prepare for decoder board mounting and installation
  • programming and editing of ESU XL 5.0 sound decoder
  • installation of decoder, hall sensor set (when needed), and connecting loudspeakers
  • re-assembly of loco parts and test driving the new decoder w/fine tuning
Please note that these steps are in Klaus' procedure no matter what type of digital decoder he installs. Can you do it any other way? YES -- which in Klaus' view  means mangling an otherwise very fine engine of  very fine provenance... Therefore:

ventilation grille painted on loco housing
Check and prepare for loudspeaker mounting:
It's hard to say what takes the longest in prepping an LGB engine for sound decoder installation. Klaus being Klaus he stands for Old Original LGB standards where a loco is the better the more she looks like her Original.
Installing sound therefore means to provide space for the loudspeakers and create openings for the sound not by merely drilling holes somewhere ( urrrghh--- you can hear Klaus say, even from your spot!) But to provide meaningful openings where the sound would come from in reality. In the case of the 2067 Cleaning engine this is clearly the front side of the engine where the
ventilation grille cut out
grills are painted with black lines to visualize the ventilation grille for the diesel engine(s). On the pics to the right: the upper engine shows the painted ventilation grilles where the lower pic shows cutouts have been made. Note: the LGB 2060 and 2067 share these same housing parts.

Klaus starts by dismantling the 2067 engine housing to extract the housing part. Klaus uses his 3-D milling machine - programmed accordingly- to cut out the "ventilation grille" part of the housing.
3-D milling in action

Detail cleaning the new opening by hand  is the next step.

Klaus will need mounting support for the loudspeakers so he cuts supporting blocks from hard-PVC plate (1/2 " thick). They guarantee non-deforming support in hot and cold environments. The loudspeaker mounting gets glued into place  in the respective housing part.
Klaus uses a specialty glue that slightly 'melts' the surface of the engine housing so the hard PVC piece will 'combine' with the housing plastic. Then the loudspeaker is wired and mounted. In the photo left notice the little piece of rectangular plastic below Klaus' wrist; that is the first mounting piece. He will need two in this case.

 Trying to mount the loudspeaker Klaus notices a need for space currently held by the lead weight. Each LGB engine sports a lead weight to ensure optimum driving characteristics. In the case of the LGB 2067 the lead weight is elongated and needs to be adjusted to give Klaus enough room to install the loudspeaker. Klaus utilizes his 3-D mill again, programmed, to refit the lead weight.

Now the loudspeaker is connected to the deoder board and mounted into the engine housing.

And the cutouts made previously are getting a mesh for looks

Follow Klaus in his workshop with the next steps, programming, editing and installing the sound decoder.++++ to be continued

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

LGB 2040 -- The Crocodile

The first LGB crocodile electric locomotive Ge 6/6 I was presented by LGB in 1978. It was modeled after the Electric locomotive Ge 6/6 I of the RhB (Swiss Rhaetian Railway). The 6-axle loco has 2 powered pivoted bogies with a C'C' wheel arrangement. C'C' wheel arrangement is (standard European code)  for  the number of coupled  or jointly powered axles in a truck, following the alphabet (A=1,B=2,C=3) with the ' standing for pivoted axles. Quoting Wikipedia:"The class is so named because it was the first class of locomotives of the Swiss locomotive and railcar classification type Ge 6/6 to be acquired by the Rhaetian Railway. According to that classification system, Ge 6/6 denotes a narrow gauge electric adhesion locomotive with a total of six axles, all of which are drive axles." Quote end.

Your Famous Klaus has had quite a few LGB crocodiles in his workshop over the years. Their owners love their engines wanting to have high quality sound and a good digital system in their Crocodiles.

The first LGB crocodile had the number 2040 which was earlier used by LGB for a 2-axle tender locomotive (see future LGB Yarner blog for more details). Details for the LGB 2040-1 are:
This 2040 hand model is from the 1979/80 catalog, page 32
The LGB 2040 Crocodile chassis (body), rail-guard, headlights, handrails are in black. Locomotive body in medium brown. Roof and running board in medium grey, wheels red  (Y.T. The Kompendium might err here, YT never saw a Crocodile with red wheels anywhere in any publishing. Then again, some dealers got hold of early hand models in 1980 and it is not known what they might have had). Multi purpose pantographs (LGB# 2030/3, later 2040/3) nickel plated with one contact strip. (Pantographs came also silver colored).Insulators  in brown color. Labeled "413" and "RhB" elevated and golden colored. (The Kompendium lists an "LGB" plate which is incorrect since already the hand models show the RhB letters). 2 motors.  With Swiss headlight change as in the original. Mode switch for track power to overhead power. Connecting rods in chromed/black. Jack shaft with grey background color. Loco wheels (full, no spokes) in black.

This very first LGB crocodile # 2040 was announced as new item late 1978. But Gunter Ruhland, head mold master at LGB had his problems with the molds. To make a hand model for the catalog is one thing. To get the molds ready for serial production quite another.  Mr. Ruhland had to figure out how to built the front and rear end hood mold without showing any division lines in the manufactured product. The finished mold was a masterpiece in molding technology in those days. It took about a year to come up with a satisfying solution that Wolfgang and Eberhard Richter found acceptable. Therefor the LGB fan and customer saw 1979 approaching and ending with just another announcement in the 1979/80 catalog for the  LGB Crocodile to come into dealers stores. Then eventually in 1980 the wait was over and the new LGB crocodile was delivered to dealers and costumers alike.

It will be hard to find a 1978 LGB crocodile here in the USA. The US market was not exactly established yet and only very few German LGB locos made the transatlantic trip. Most crocodiles came over after 1989 when the San Diego LGB office was fully established and a growing number of USA LGB clubs began operating promoting the product with the hobby. By then, even in (Western) Germany the 1978 model was mostly not available anymore.

Color changes for the next 'models' were plenty and in short order. Starting with # 2040-2 Running rails changed to grey, isolators came in red, then grey or red and later, after 1993 in green, the jack shafts got stickers, the locomotive body was medium brown , then brown, then darker brown. handrails turned to yellow and head lights got golden rings.The numbers indicated color changes in these details, from 2040-2 to 2040-5 and then from 1993 on 20400-1, -2 and 20400-8 in 2001 with digital decoder. According to the Kompendium the first sales price was in Deutsche Mark 495.00 (in 1980) and the LGB Kompendium lists the 20400-2 for Euro 450.00 (US$ 500.00 in 1994). However Klaus got his first Crocodile in mid 1980 and paid DM 740.00 for her. The equivalent in todays $-value being a stunning  $ 3500.00.

In 1990 LGB edited a specialty series crocodile in green, LGB # 2140, for DM 895.00 (US$ equivalent in 1990 was $ 300.00 or US$ 585.00 today).

In 1993/94 a red crocodile followed with LGB# 22400 and a rather small edition of 2500.

LGB # 24402 was a blue crocodile offered in the 2001/2002 catalog as a specialty limited edition series of  1,000 titled 'collectors edition'. The price had been upped to DM 1695.00 or roughly US$ 850.00.  LGB 24402.8 had the added digital decoder.

In 2003-2004 a dark brown Crocodile followed with # LGB 25402 with yellow handrails and silver colored pantographs and green isolators. It was offered under the eXtra program which offered dealers a somewhat clumsy alternative to the regular ordering with a pretty high price range for actually not-so-special LGB stock. List price was Euro 999.00 or US$ 1,250.00.

The last crocodile - again in blue - under the old original LGB was the LGB# 27402 "Glacier express/ 75/ 1930-2005/ St.Moritz/Davos-Zermatt" from 2005 to 2007. The price was a dizzying Euro 1,034.00 or US$ 1,350.00 ( today about $1,700.00)) with the closing of the LGB factory right around the corner.

In 1999/2000 LGB issued the  # 70640 ; the collector's edition set "Alpine Classic RhB" with a classic brown loco and 2 long passenger cars # 34650 in a pretty blue - beige coloring. The edition was limited at 1,500 for a price of  DM 2,698.00 or about US$ 1450.00 (present day $ 2,220). A value that the current market does not accept. The pre-owned market of Spring 2019 ranges from $ 750.00 to $ 1,700.00 for the set with little demand for it on the eBay platform. However, pre-owned LGB stock dealers show their crocodiles moving fast,

The new LGB under Maerklin issued two more crocodiles until 2010 (YT didn't follow the  product lineage of new LGB after 2009) with #s: 20405 and 22405.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Permanent Operation Management with POM

Klaus' Plea: I want to keep you informed and entertained with our blogs without ads or the need for subscription.It takes great effort and time  to entertain the blog sites. Please support us in our endeavor of keeping the blogs ads-free, the LGB history alive and promoting this delightful avocation by donating any amount you feel comfortable with. Send me a check or go to our Go-Fund-Me page at .
THANK YOU for keeping the LGB hobby alive!! And God Bless!
Your donation will help in our efforts to have a new blog at least every week!

Permanent Operation
LGB Trains were designed to run in outdoor garden layouts. Turns out, the plastic chosen by the Richter brothers Wolfgang and Eberhard for their engines, cars and tracks has shown  to be holding out pretty well under straining  operating conditions. BUT--- when you are running your train almost 24/7 then you reach the limit even of an LGB train. And there are quite a few non-stop operation train layouts out there. From Botanical Gardens to Dental Practices, Restaurants, to Furniture Stores, Hospitals and Exhibitions, to name a few.
The wear and tear these trains endure is enormous. Even more so when those trains are operated at high or highest speed. A 'need' that is often highlighted by Klaus' customers when their customer base includes a lot of children like Botanical Gardens, family restaurants etc.

What happens under 24/7 running conditions is this:
over time the axles work themselves into the side walls of the motor block which are functioning as axle bearings. Once this happens, the wheel axle starts to wobble. Eventually this is going to damage the gear wheels and the loco tends to derail. The extreme wobbling of the axle is increasing the load on the motor ever more with the peril of the motor eventually starting to burn out or burn up in a worst case scenario.
The motor experiences the biggest strain while the train operates through curves. And the narrower the curve the more vigorous the impact on the interaction between axle and its bearing. Playing into this is the fact that almost no layout has an even number of left and right turn curves thus exerting a one-sided uber-workload to the motor block. Hence the fact of bearings being worn out unevenly.

Ball bearings and pin bearings stand the test only if and when they are sealed. Then they need no greasing. Unsealed bearings will not do the job since they collect dirt which leads to their demise.

This is Klaus' solution: As a bearing POM proves to be very succesful. POM is Polyoxymethylene (POM), also known as acetalpolyacetal, and polyformaldehyde, is an engineering thermoplastic used in precision parts requiring high stiffness, low friction, and excellent dimensional stability (quoted from Wikipedia). POM plastic doesn't require greasing and hence has stood the test of time as a bearing. Klaus' bearing inserts are installed into the motor block and are about 4 times the thickness of the motor block wall. This reduces the pressure on the POM plastic bearing massively. Also, the contact area of the axle bearing has increased by 4 fold as well. Because of these POM bearing inserts the axle guidance is more precise and can much better withstand strains from bigger loads in curves.

Klaus utilizes his precision CNC mill to create these bearing inserts as well as the cutouts for the inserts in the motor blocks. Once the new bearings are inserted, you can still pull out the axle from underneath the motor block because the new bearing inserts are U-shaped.

Another problem from permanent operation is the huge wear and tear on the chrome-plated loco wheels. The chrome plating wears off. This leads to the rash consumption of the wheel(s). A beneficial solution to this is the replacement with stainless steel loco wheels which have an enormous durability. They just need some cleaning from time to time. Klaus sources these stainless steel loco wheels from Germany.

So, go call Klaus and make an appointment for your overhaul of your 24/7 operated LGB trains. You will be merrily surprised how much money you can save with the POM procedure. And ask him about the many happy commercial customers he has. He will gladly give you their contacts for your own inquiries.

Klaus' Plea: I want to keep you informed and entertained with our blogs without ads or the need for subscription.It takes great effort and time  to entertain the blog sites. Please support us in our endeavor of keeping the blogs ads-free, the LGB history alive and promoting this delightful avocation by donating any amount you feel comfortable with. Send me a check or go to our Go-Fund-Me page at .
THANK YOU for keeping the LGB hobby alive!! And God Bless!
Your donation will help in our efforts to have a new blog at least every week!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Breaking News --- KLAUS is OPEN for BUSINESS !!

YES - that's right. Klaus, your Famous Klaus is open for business - again - to restore and install LGB trains, engines, cars and LGB antiques. Life happens. Sometimes  decisions need to be made.  And the  winner is : YOU!

This mid-March Klaus is again open for  LGB model train  installations, restorations and repair. Klaus will try to fulfill parts needs but may refer you  when appropriate.

You will see this blog as well as our other blogs regularly with information about old and sometimes new LGB matters. This blog will showcase  LGB restoration projects, and general old generation (1968-2006) LGB train,engine, and car history and new developments in ESU decoders. On LGB Yarner you will - again - find biographical stories  about LGB 'players, gamers and owners'. And the rather new blog Traincraft Trove  will furthermore contain offers from Klaus' personal collection.

Your Famous Klaus has installed ESU sound decoder (generation) V 4.0 since 2012. To quote him:" driving characteristics in speed steps 1-3 are unsurpassed by any other sound decoder out there" (YT: see You Tube ESU in F 7 video slowest F 7   which at one time was the least watched video on You Tube). But there is more: the enormous amount of light functions like Mars light, firebox light, dimmable headlights with fade-in/fade-out function and many more. All in all 18 light functions are available.

Klaus also really likes the fact that ESU has the biggest library of loco sounds. Just look at the
extreme variety of locos Klaus installed the ESU decoder in: ( all LGB) Mogul, Crocodile, F7, Streetcar, 2055, 2056, 2043, 2020, 2021, 2070, Forney, Mallet, Mikado, Uintah, 2099, 2095, Glacier Express, Ruegen, Ballenberg-- and also, into Shay, USA GP, USA S4, Aristocraft, Aster, MTH GG (YT: A non-LGB loco might require extra work and higher installation costs). And since Klaus is also a knowledgeable sound mixer he custom-designs sounds from that library as well.

Klaus utilizes the ESU decoder for digital operation but it can also be operated in analogue mode. However in analogue mode there is no power buffer once the loco is parked. To solve this special problem Klaus installs the Phoenix sound decoder which also operates digitally but has no driving functions ( sound decoder only ) whereas the ESU V 4.0 and V 50 are a combined sound and driving decoder.

At this year's International Toy Fair ESU introduced their new next generation ESU V 5.0 sound decoders.
As before the programming is an easy task via the Lok Programmer. A wide variety of pre-programmed motor settings is again supporting the smooth functioning of the loco in drive and sound move. The unique auto-tune function allows the automatic decompression of the decoder to the motor. New design contents are: it can play up to 10 sounds simultaneously without them interfering each other. So i.e. whistle, bell, braking noise, air pump and more are played at the same time clearly. Each channel can be resolved with up to 16 bit forward/31250kHz and by that finally offers hi-fi quality for your engine. There is virtually no difference to the original. A dual class D amplifier with up to 2-times 6 Watt output powers the speakers. It is equipped with 12 amplified function outputs which thereby allows you to control lights, servos, smokers etc - up to 12 of them.

The new V 5.0 generation sound decoder will be available by April.

Klaus contact data is the same --- call or email. Thank You for Your Support!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

LGB Uintah - Sumpter Valley

LGB announced the first Uintah Ry in 1994 and started delivery in 1995. It was the LGB # 20882  6-axle, 2-6-6-2  locomotive with leading truck and trailing truck. Chassis and body were in black. It was the engine "51" of the Uintah railway. Front boiler in silver. The loco had steam and  digital sound.  It is a 2-motor engine (Buehler) without the tender. The sales price was US$ 1,899.00. That translates to roughly US$ 3,000.00 in today's money. It was a heavy engine weighing in at 4,4 kg or almost 10 lbs. with an overall length of 620 mm or 24.4 inches. Today's value should be around US$ 1,600.00 to $1,900.00 for mint condition but you find offers ranging from $ 700.00 to 1,100.00
LGB # 20882 Uintah 51
Also in 1995 LGB sold exclusively to the US market the Uintah # 21881 with steam only- no sound. Same coloring as above. Worldwide sales started in 1996. Price was around US$ 1,600.00. Today's value should be around $ 1,200.00 but- again you can find offers starting at around $500.00 (used condition). The Uintah does not have any longtime problems. It runs properly- period. Extended long-term use will result in worn out  motor blocks which can be 'fixed' by Klaus.
In 1999 the Uintah 21881 was released in a digital version, smoke only- no sound : LGB # 21881.8. Same color scheme as above.
In 2009, after the bankruptcy of the old LGB, the new owners announced the LGB 23881, a green Uintah with steam only and a DCC interface, but no decoder. It didn't come onto the market until 2011, only 354 were made. A sign of times to come??? In addition the sales price was not in range with earlier versions, official price was Euro 529.00 or US$ 750.00.

In 1998 LGB announced and presented the Uintah Sumpter-Valley LGB# 20892. The Sumpter Valley locomotive was similar but not identical to the Uintah loco (no water tanks, cab vent open, no coal bunker) and featured a tender. Labeled "251" on front head light and cab. An 'special version' was offered in 2001 with the labeling "250" on front head light and cab. And a version with digital decoder was offered in 2001 with the LGB# 20892.8. Prices for the Sumpter Valley were $ 2,200.00 - $2,400.00.
LGB Sumpter Valley 20892/ 22892/23892 - difference by labeling door and front with "250" or "251"

Somewhere between 2004 and 2006 the LGB # 22892 was offered through the eXtra program. Obviously, some engines hadn't sold very well and leftovers were going 'on sale' - yes it had the "250" labeling and was the same color scheme as the 20892. One last attempt to sell Sumpter Valley engines came in 2011 with the LGB# 23892 (labeling "251"), this time all were sold. Now the market wants them, but they are not coming onto the market very often, so expect to pay anywhere from $1,800 - $ 2,400.00 (condition) or more if quality decoders were added.
Both, the Uintah and the Sumpter Valley are fine examples of LGB craftsmanship. They are durable engines and fun to watch in operation. When installing decoders be careful to open the loco correctly and with caution. Screws that are torn out or forcibly reinserted damage the housing and will  fail in doing their job. Consequences will be a loose or open housing and thus impacting operation of the loco. Some screws are hidden and will defer opening the engine body. Do check the blowup drawing before laying hands on your LGB engine. Or simply call Klaus and have him do the job for you!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

LGB Mallet

LGB manufactured their first Mallet in 1982. The archetype was built in 1929 by Hanomag, a then famous German machine and steam engine manufacturer. The Mallet was built to especially operate on steeply inclined stretches of track with numerous bends. That made her a great choice for German Big Train model railroading. With what little space Germans had to lay their layouts, either in their small gardens or in their even smaller basements or apartments, the LGB Mallet was the one to conquer even narrow curves. With her boiler and cab finished in dull black paint and dark green saddle tanks she looked elegant and massive at the same time. Greenberg's Guide to LGB says about her: "Articulated steam locomotive with their double drive mechanisms, known as Mallets after their inventor, are a visual joy in operation. Note the large front cylinders, operating in the prototype (preserved in the Blonay-Chamby Museum Railway in Switzerland) from partially expanded steam that has already been through the rear cylinders of this compound engine. The model hinges both mechanism to accommodate the radically tight 1100 curves, whose 600 mm radius barely exceeds the 520 mm length of the locomotive."

LGB 2085 D -2
Presented in the 1983/84 catalog the LGB 2085D came with a smoker and her initial price was DEM 975.00 which was pretty steep. The average German worker made about DEM 940.00 a month. The next years saw two more Mallets (a) the LGB 2085 D-2 with high voltage signs on the steam dome, cabin and steam tank door and (b) the 2085 D-3 with chassis and steam tanks in gleaming black. Today's value should be around US$ 1,500.00 but you will find offers starting at US$ 500.00-$600.00 in probably not mint condition. Due to the design the front motor tends to overheat easily since it lacks ventilation under some circumstances like outdoor heat, extended operation and such. Be prepared to exchange the motor(s).
LGB 70685 with a 21852 Mallet and two Pullman cars 

Then in 1997 - and at the height of the US LGB market and fan craze LGB issued the special Limited Edition Orient Express, featuring a LGB 21852 Mallet locomotive with a blue and black color scheme and two Pullman club cars (type # 31685) with car # "31650" and "31653" in the traditional beige / blue color scheme. The set was LGB # 70685 and was first presented in the 1997 catalog. It sold anywhere from US$ 2,700.00 to US$ 3,500.00 and sometimes more. Today prices range from US$ 1,800.00  to $2,500.00 depending on condition and aftermarket installations.
LGB 22852

In 1998 the LGB 22852 was released, another all black model with red chassis and labeled " Deutsche Reichsbahn / 99 201 / 133 München". It had sound. It sold for US$ 1,400.00 in the US until 2000. Today's value in mint condition should be around US$ 1,200.00 but again, you can find offers starting around US$ 800.00. Same motor issues should be expected.

LGB 23851

In 2000 LGB issued the Brohltal Mallet (Ex OEG Mallet) # 23851 which also came in a digital version (digital decoder) as the 23851.8 It was another black model with the sticker/plate reading: "II / BEG" and golden bell, tank door lock and hand rails. Prices in USA were US$ 900.00 without the decoder and US$ 1,200.00 for the decoder version.
in 2001 LGB offered the LGB # 24852  CFV - ONLY for the French market. Only 200 were made. The cabin, saddle tanks and cylinder (blocks) were in red and she had a  loco plate"413" and a plant plate. Wheels in black. It is currently available in Europe for Euro 1,399.00 or US$ 1,960.00 plus shipping.
LGB 24852 CFV Mallet with digital decoder and sound
LGB 26851
From 2002 to 2006 the LGB# 25851 was sold and presented in the 2003-05 catalog. It was the same engine as the  22852 but had no sound. You would find offers starting at $700.00 which is still roughly their selling price in 2003. You will also find LGB 25851's digitalized with aftermarket products, ranging between US$ 1,100.00 and 1,500.00.00- but mostly on the European market.
The year 2005 saw the last Mallet by the old LGB owners, the LGB 26851 Mallet CFV in all black with red plates and digital decoder. It was made for the French market and specified as an Export Model by LGB.  Expect to see price request around $ 700.00.

The new LGB Owners issued another Mallet sometime after 2009 and it is now available under LGB# 26850. It is another all black model of the "DR 99.20" class. It sells for roughly US$ 900.00.

The Mallet never found the same audience in the USA as did the Uintah and/or the Sumpter Valley. Only the Orient Express edition of the Mallet was a great hit with the US LGB fans and the limited edition of 2,200 went almost solely onto the US market. Klaus doesn't see a lot of Mallets in his workshop. Not many of them were sold here to begin with and second, it is a sturdy engine with good operating characteristics. In case you are operating a Mallet and need spare parts- please contact Klaus.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

LGB Mikado

A loyal reader asked Yours Truly recently to talk about the Mikado and other Biggies from LGB. So, in the midst of one of the coldest winters on record in the USA here is some Winter Reading:

The Mikado was designed by LGB in 1999 and it took until 2002 to bring it onto the market. From the start it was meant to be an offer for the US market though it was sold in Germany and Europe as well. As with all big locomotives by LGB with the exception of the Mogul, the Mikado was made in small numbers. That said there were still   5,210   engines manufactured over the years. All engines until 2006 were manufactured in Nuremberg , Germany even though all other locos and stock was manufactured mostly in China from 2000 on. Today under Märklin,  most engines and stock is manufactured in Hungary. The Mikado suffered from some 'early childhood'- malfunction due to a design flaw in the body construction which was then redesigned in 2002. Please read our blog "Mikado 1,2,3" published on 11/6/12 for further detail on the subject.
The Mikado LGB numbers are LGB 20872 for the first engine type in 2001 to LGB# 22871 for the last engine in 2004. The numbers in-between are LGB# 21872, 22872,23872, 24872,25872. The numbers do NOT represent a continuous time frame when issued or offered.
LGB 212872
In addition to the pure LGB Mikado made in Germany there is a LGB authorized LGB Aster G 21832 Mikado White Pass in metal.

Value wise the Mikado has lost a bit of her steam in the last two years. You see offers anywhere between US$ 1,200 to $ 2,400.00 for the LGB versions and from US$ 1,800.00 to $ 4,000.00 for the Aster Mikado. That said, if you buy a Mikado that has had some run time at all you might need to take into consideration that a few parts need attention and might add to your 'final' purchasing costs. Gear wheels are at the core front as are motors. Operation of the earlier Mikados leads to developing play on the first drive shaft in the motor block which should NOT have play And since all Mikados came with sound except the SNCF (green French) Mikado 22871, the sound boards wont keep another 10 years either. Unfortunately, the Mikado was made under Rolf Richter's regime and there were no upgrades made to an already very outdated sound module used in the Mikado. On the other hand, with fantastic sounds available from either Phoenix or ESU you might just have saved enough on your purchase price to spend a little on a really great sound that is modern, update-able, and top-of-the-line.
The very rare LGB 22871 French Mikado
Repairs: For working on or replacing motors, checking the drive shaft, greasing the drive shaft connections or check for play on the first drive shaft  work on the motor blocks is required. It is best to separate the drive train from the loco body. To do this the generator should be removed first so you can place the Mikado on its back without damaging the generator (highly recommended from Yours Truly, too because due to a sparse spare parts situation, generators go for US$ 38.00 currently with a trend to increase in price). The drive train is attached to the locomotive with 3 screws only. Two in the rear on the left and right hand side of the motor and 1 screw all the way in the front, hidden behind the pilot. It is strongly recommended to use the correct screw driver ( for small screws) so you can re-attach the screws again and not damaging them or their thread for good with a wrong tool.
With these screws removed the drive train comes off the body in one piece. Watch for the cables: one red, one black to quick-disconnect cables for the chuff, bell+whistle; and one set of cables, black and brown, connecting the motor to the electronics inside the body. Please make notes which wire or connector goes where and make sure that the quick dis-connectors will be re-connected in the same direction - otherwise your sound will not work.
Sounds complicated? Yes, it can be. That's why you have Klaus. And Klaus can actually repair play on the drive train which is a complicated matter and needs parts made on his 3-D mill.
Parts: as for parts, Klaus carries the Mikado gear wheels, motors, generators, wheels, traction tires, push rods, and hand rails. Just call with your needs- he will find what you're looking for.