Wednesday, May 5, 2021

LGB STAINZ - The Engine That Made LGB - LGB 2040

The LGB 2040 Stainz was the engine with the shortest lifespan. Basically it was the 2010 without the head light operating. Manufactured from 1968 to 1975 (roughly).

LGB 2040 - Courtesy of worthpoint

That of course changed soon. All in all the 2040 was manufactured in high volume but did not come in different versions. Many engines went into sets.

The 2040 came with slight differences over the years:

2040-1: the original first engine came with a red chassis, body and slim smoke stack in black/matte. Round roof grill, raised "4" and "LGB" on engine cab in either gold or silver. Motor: a Buehler motor with straight toothed gearwheels. In operation they made a wailing sound, hence the name "Heulermotor" in German meaning wailing/houling. Only a few years later came a new Buehler motor with worm gear avoiding the wailing sound in operation. All LGB engines from 1968 had Heuler motors in them making their operation VERY characteristic upon their first market appearance.

2040-2:  as -1 but with operating lights
2040-3:  as -2 but  with pick-up shoes and Buehler motor with worm gear, plus traction tire
2040-4:  as -3 but golden whistle, square roof grille, engine cab labeling in gold color
2040-5:  as -4 but cab window frame in gold color

With all those technical changes in the 2040 and the other engines as well, LGB started to meld the 2040 into the 2010 and then into the 2021 (see future blog).

Here are some of the  LGB 2040 "STAINZ" (they all MUST have the slim smoke stack to be a real 2040 stainz):
LGB 2040 - Courtesy of

LGB 2040 w/original 1968 engineer - Courtesy of

 Timeworn or forgotten? LGB 2040 - Courtesy of

Price wise they started out at DM 98.00 in 1968 or roughly US$ 25.00 back then. In today's value that would be US$ 180.00. It is very rare to find one these days. Aged or not. To the die-hard LGB fan it would be worth almost everything to own something from the very start of the Original LGB. Sometimes this engine comes on the market for about US$ 270.00 depending on condition. Which is still a very decent price. After all it was made more than 70 years ago!

++++++++++++++++++to be continued...

Monday, April 12, 2021

LGB STAINZ - The Engine That Made LGB - 2020 series

The funnel smoke stack is the characteristic feature of the 2nd "First-Ever" LGB engine, the LGB 2020

LGB 2020 - Courtesy of Watts Train Shop

From day one in 1968 LGB utilized the LGB 2020 in sets:
First LGB catalog 1968, page 8
The first-ever set featuring the LGB 2020 was the passenger train set. LGB was so young the set didn't have an order number. The set contained the 2020 and passenger car Nos 3000 and 3010; plus track, power-cable,4 figurines and track clamps. It all came in a grey paper box as shown above. (Further details on this set see future blog)

Even though the future would be in sets for the LGB 2020 she had some versions of her own through the years, quite in contrast to the "single-version" LGB 2010:

LGB #       Year
2020           1968
2020D        1991
2120D        1992 (21201 from 1993 on)
23201         1996
25201         1996/97

Because the 2020 was mainly used in sets it took until 1991 to offer a single 2020 smoke version, the LGB 2020D:
LGB 2020D - Courtesy of Only Trains
By 1991 the LGB 2020D had a price tag of DM 320.-- up from DM 98.-- when she started in 1968 (no smoke, though). That is roughly 3 times higher in 23 years. In that time frame weekly salaries  went from about DM 600.-- to DM 4,000.00 which is about 4.5 times as much. If we count in inflation and other time related circumstances, prices were roughly the same and translate to about US$ 75.00 to $ 100.00 for 1991.

LGB offered the LGB 2120D in 1992 on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Steirmark RR and the oldest still operating steam loco Stainz. This event gave the LGB engine her final name:"STAINZ", no matter if and what type or RR she formerly was based on:

LGB 2120D - the STAINZ - Courtesy of

The original Stainz loco in Murau/Austria

In 1993 LGB was featuring yet another Museum engine, the LGB 23201, based on the "K3" of the Llubljana/Slowenia loco:
Prototype: K 3 Stainz - Courtesy of the Ljubljana RR Museum

LGB 23201 - Courtesy of BigTrainWorld
The current price by Bigtrainworld is EU 299.00 or roughly US$ 300.00 (VAT excl)). The LGB 23201 was not especially advertised in the USA and only few engines found their way to the American customer. 

The last version to be offered as single engine was the LGB 25201. This engine was advertised in the "New Item/Neuheiten" flyer in 1996 and was promoted at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. The engine honored the German equivalent to the American "Sesame Street", the "Augsburg Puppet Box" or in German the "Augsburger Puppenkiste". There wasn't a child or child-at-heart grown-up in Germany who didn't love and had seen the Augsburger Puppenkiste (at least on TV) and their famous characters; including the famous loco "Emma" and "Luke" (Lukas in German) the locomotive engineer. (click on video below to see a clip from "Emma")

The LGB 25201:

LGB 25201 - Courtesy of Only Trains
This engine is currently available at Only Trains for  US$ 385.00

All 2020 versions utilized in sets will be featured in a separate blog in the near future.

++++++++++++++++ to be continued...

Saturday, April 3, 2021

LGB STAINZ - The Engine That Made LGB - 2010 series

The very "First-Ever" LGB 2010 engine featured the -meanwhile famous - red chassis, black boiler, steam-chest, smoke stack and a green cabin. From 1968 to 1974 it appeared in black and white LGB catalogs that were published annually. They ran between 8 and 12 pages. In 1969 LGB knew they had struck gold and offered the 2010 with a smoke generator, the LGB 2010 D. The "D" model had a darker green hue in its cab as can be seen below.

LGB 2010-1

page 2 of the 1971 LGB catalog

LGB 2010 D - Courtesy of Only Trains


There was only one LGB 2010 in various editions but the color scheme mostly stayed green. The 2010 was used quite often in train sets. There will be a separate blog about that.
By 1974  LGB published their first colored catalog and had stopped advertising the 2010. Instead promoted the LGB 2010D, the smoke version:

LGB catalog 1974 , page 2

The 2010 was eventually offered in 8 different versions. They differed only slightly:
LGB 2010-2: like 2010 but featuring headlight plus  "1" and  whistle in gold color
LGB 2010-3: like 2010 but featuring "1" and "LGB" logo in silver color
LGB 2010-4: like 2010 but featuring "1" and "LGB" logo in gold, pick-up shoes, big headlight, square roof vent.
LGB 2010-5: like 2010 but featuring golden window frame
LGB 2010-6: like 2010 but featuring dark brown cabin
LGB 2010-7: like 2010 but featuring chassis labeled white "Letzte HU 26.6.79" (meaning: Last main check-up on 6/26/1979)
LGB 2010-8: like 2010 but featuring cabin in dark green and chassis labeled white "Letzte HU 22.6.64" (meaning : Last main check-up on 6/22/1964).

The LGB 2010/ 2010D was used in sets as in the 1988 BTO set. However, the most used "Stainz" loco in sets was the LGB 2020 (for "Stainz"-sets see future blog).

Sometime in the late 1980 manufacturing of the LGB 2010 ceased. By that time LGB had pooled various characteristics of the "Stainz" 2040, the original 2010 and the 2010D into engines in various sets and eventually sold this 'mix' as the 2121/21210 and similar. (see future blog about the 2121/21210 etc).

However, in 1979 the "STAINZ" had brought so much -financial- success to LGB that not only had they built themselves a beautiful factory but had found and installed an original  'STAINZ" version in front of their building. The typical LGB red would adorn the factory buildings only by the 1990's.
1979 LGB catalog cover 

++++++++++++++++++++ to be continued...............

Friday, March 19, 2021

LGB "STAINZ" - The Engine That Made LGB - Prototypes

The LGB 2010, LGB 2020 and LGB 2040 were the very first LGB engines EVER. The Richter brothers presented them in their very first ever 'catalog' (7 pages) in 1968. These engines were based on a number of prototype locomotives that all had one thing in common:

They were made by Krauss Locomotive Works, an Imperial German company. Since  1867 Krauss manufactured locos especially for narrow gauge. The growing industrial needs in mining, metal production and lumber industry among others demanded transport in impassible, rough terrain. And Krauss' little tender field loco Bn2t (or 0-4-0) delivered. She became the Beetle car in locos across Europe from 1870's on. Did they all look alike? Yes, but bespoke locos could be ordered and were made.

We do not know what made the  Richter brothers decide to choose the little Krauss engine as prototype for their new venture. For sure they needed to improve their earnings from toy manufacturing. And boy - what did they achieve with that decision!

Here are the three prototypes of the "First-Ever" LGB locomotives:

The LGB 2010 was based on the KL 1994/1889 Bn2T No. 1 which was used on the Salzkammergut Lokalbahn, the SKG local RR in Austria (Quote from Wikipedia:"The name Salzkammergut translates to 'salt demesne', Kammergut being a German word for territories held by princes of the Holy Roman Empire, in early modern Austria specifically territories of the Habsburg Monarchy...Parts of the region were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997."). The SKG RR does not exist anymore but thanks to wikipedia/wikiwand we found this photo material:

prototype of the LGB 2010 - Courtesy of

The LGB 2020 was the No. 2 engine to be "First-Ever" offered by LGB and was based on the 2774/1892 Bn2t of the Steirmaerkische Landesbahnen, another Austrian RR. The Steirmaerkische RR had built a RR in Stainz, a small village in their county.  In 1892 Steirmark RR had ordered 4 identical locos from Krauss loco works. To seperate the locos delivered  this one was named "STAINZ No 2". Stainz village is located in Mur valley and served as the loco's depot. The Murtal RR (or Mur Valley RR) is a narrow gauge RR with a 760mm gauge. The RR is still in operation today. The 2774 No.2 is currently on display at Murau/Austria:
No 2774 Stainz No 2 Original - Courtesy of Herbert Ortner,Vienna and Wikipedia

This very same type Krauss Bn2t from 1894 exemplifies the basics of the Stainz No. 2 very well:

Krauss prototype for LGB 2020 - Courtesy of

The LGB 2040 - which was later renamed into the 2021-series since the number 2040 would become the Crocodile in LGB's numbering system - was based on another Krauss locomotive. The Krauss XXXII 2700 was built in 1923, No. 4 for the Siegerland Huettenwerke (Siegerland Mine Works)/ German Republic.

Prototype of the LGB 2040 No 4 - The Krauss No 2700/ 1923 - Courtesy of

Another shot shows this engine in her historic environment:

The original LGB 2040 No 4 built for the Siegerland Mineworks in 1923
 Courtesy of Bahnfreunde MK

All three LGB engines based on these prototypes would  become so famous that the name STAINZ would become the synonym for all LGB fans for this loco type. By 1980 LGB introduced a new company logo featuring the STAINZ silhouette.

+++++++++++++++++++to be continued...

Monday, March 8, 2021

LGB 2010, 2020 and 2021 - STAINZ - The Engine That Made LGB

There is simply no other engine among the LGB roster that is as characteristic and as memorable as the first LGB engine ever: the LGB 2010. When the Richter brothers opened LGB in 1968 the 2010 built the flagship:

Page 2 of 4 from the very first LGB catalog 

Black-and-white photography was the standard, in printing as well as on television. Color was only just around the corner... but the customer saw this astounding loco upon window-shopping:

LGB 2010 No 1- courtesy of Catawiki

This little pretty old engine is not only dirty it also misses the original engineer. But back then it was never-been-seen-before. The size (scale 1:22.5), the colors, the quality and last but not least the price (DeutschMark 98.00 or about  US$ 25.00 in 1968, or in today's world $ 189.00).

LGB's Wolfgang Richter had a fabulous idea: offer three locos using just one mold and tell them they are based on three different prototypes. Why could he pull that off? Well the 2020 and the 2040 that he offered together with the 2010 did have different prototypes BUT - they were all derived, if not originally built for the Army field railroad of either Imperial Germany or Imperial Austria. The boiler in the original engines was on average much longer and some locos were built as 0-6-0 or 2-4-2 wheel arrangement. So there was some "tweaking". Just as it would happen for the LGB 2015 and the 2017 (see previous blogs). But the tweaking was very becoming and would make the three little engines into one of the most built LGB engines ever.

The LGB 2020 was going to find fame and fortune in LGB sets:

LGB 2020-1, Courtesy of Watts Train Shop (blog)

Above you see the first LGB 2020 in its original coloring. All in all LGB would publish 11 color versions and a HUGE number of sets with the LGB 2020 as front engine. The above image is remarkable for two reasons: to find a 2020 (image) in its very first original coloring with engineer is rare enough. To have this photo taken by Watts Train shop is even rarer. Watts Train Shop went out of business in 2012. Watts  was one of the big-name LGB dealers in the Midwest (Zionsville/IN), very influential and active. It had been in business for 50 years before it closed its doors 6 years after LGB went bankrupt.
The 2020 would later turn into the 2021-series and thus cause a lot of irritation and puzzle customers a bit. More so since the  2021- series eventually actually carried the name "STAINZ" on the engines.

The LGB 2040 had somewhat of a short life span being manufactured from 1968 to 1975.

LGB2040 - Courtesy of

LGB had already figured out that the "Stainz" was a golden goose and could retire the number 2040 easily - to be used for the Crocodile engine No. 2040 starting in 1978. 

These three engines became the cornerstone of LGB's success. Their prototypes set the stage for a variety of color schemes and (train)set possibilities. In model trains nobody had offered that before - not in that size, not in that quality and certainly and foremost not in that huge variety! Exactly what the Richter brothers used in their very first slogan: "Never Seen Before!"

This series will explore the prototypes for these 3 engines, will cover all LGB numbers chronologically and will - probably for the first time ever -  list and describe all LGB sets ever made by the old LGB featuring a "STAINZ" engine. 

So, join the adventure and come on board exploring the LGB STAINZ...

+++++++++++++++to be continued............

Monday, February 8, 2021

Winter Fun - Videos

 Bob McDonald from New Hampshire has kindly provided some footage of engines Klaus has worked on (decoder/main board repairs and/or decoder installations). We thought this a fun idea to share:

You will need to click on " go arrow" again after you clicked on the link below 

The song used on the  above video is free to use on YouTube. The song is called “Holiday” by Triple scoop music.

The one below is in stylish black-and-white:

Since this one was posted on YouTube by Bob already, the YouTube software will lead you automatically into another video that has nothing to do with Bob or any of his trains. 

Thanks for watching. We welcome all videos from your layouts, Klaus will do editing where required. Thanks, guys!!

Friday, January 29, 2021

LGB 2017 series - Part 6

 The year 1996 brought another 2017 train set, the LGB 70314. The Lake George & Boulder train consisted of a 2017 loco , no tender, and  two passenger cars. In the USA it would carry the LGB # 72314. That year LGBoA had a whole bunch of  2017 starter sets  launched for their big sales year. They were flying high and sold whatever they could get their hands on. Even if it meant to sell old for new or repainted for 'brand new'. 

The  "LGB 1996 NEWS" brochure made that clear on page 6:

From set # LGB 72311 to set # LGB 72910 they all featured the 2017 loco without the motorized tender, in different paint scheme and passenger or freight cars from the existing stock. With some cars in new paint scheme as well. 

Typical for all these sets is the fact that they were sold in huge numbers as the current internet platforms have all of them still for sale (used/almost new) with prices ranging from US$ 250.00 to $ 500.00. A lot of people don't know what they have and their description of the engine/set does not always correlate with the true product. Be careful if you like to purchase a set and make sure you get what you are looking for. This blog should be a help, hopefully.

1997 showed more of the same and for reasons unbeknownst LGBoA offered the very same series  from above again - BUT - you guessed it, changed item numbers for the very same product, i.e. from 72910 to 73910. And since they were already at it they pulled the wool over their customers eyes by claiming the 73910 had an 1 Amp throttle when actually all starter sets came with a 1 Amp throttle...- as American as apple pie... (see right lower corner of image below)

clip from the LGB NEWS 1997 brochure, page 2

Also offered where a number of motorized tenders for all those who wanted to 'complete' the 2017 engine set.

Before the 2017 set series would run out there were 3 more sets to be published. 

In 1997 the Looney Toones Express LGB # 72997 made its American debut. Another USA-only product it also came as a limited edition. Only 1500 were made:

LGB 72997 incomplete - Courtesy of
Please look closely and you will see that the transformer is missing, also one figurine and the part were the track should be is covered by a catalog. Asking price was still around US$ 500.
The complete set looked like this:
LGB 72997 complete - Courtesy of

Value today runs anywhere from US$ 500.00 to $ 700.00.

In 2000 the last two 2017 series sets came on the market. The LGB # 72534 and # 72554.
LGB 72534 - Courtesy of Only Trains

LGB 72554 - Courtesy of Only Trains

Both sets came as a limited edition the passenger car set limited to 2000 sets and the freight car set to 1,500. Both were meant to be USA-only sets. Alas, that didn't last, by 2002 they were sold everywhere.
Prices today range around $ 500.00 and higher if the set is complete.

The complete # 72345 came in a box with this content:
Courtesy of

LGB original box label

The freight train set had this content:
Courtesy of

and runs about US$ 400.00 (incomplete) to over $ 500.00 if complete and unused.

This concludes the LGB 2017 series.