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!