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About LGB

Lehmann-Gross-Bahn is a German company that makes model trains. Ernst Paul Lehmann founded a small toy company in Brandenburg in 1881. In the early 1920s, Ernst's cousin joined the company and started inventing popular toys. The model trains that are so popular were first conceived of and built in 1968. They are of a larger scale, being about 1:22.5. The company calls them Garden or G scale trains. They are quite a bit larger then the 1:87 scale HO trains which are also popular. My childhood was spent fiddling with these marvels of German engineering.

They now make some of the highest quality model trains available. They use CNC milling and computer designed parts in the trains. The factory is in Nürnberg. All parts are made in Germany at the factory, except bulk electronics like resistors. The rails are machined from raw brass. The motors are wrapped with copper and use good magnets. All moving metal parts are carefully polished to prevent wear.


They make a full line of model train equipment. They make track, locomotives, many types of train cars and all sorts of other goodies. LGB makes model people, trees, station platforms, and even gondola cars; you could almost make a little world out of it all, as some people have done.

Their rails are crafted from brass. The 'ties' are molded plastic that is very weather resistant. All of the rails are standard like Lego blocks, so they all fit together. LGB sells kits to make your own rails as well.

The electronics are robust and capable. For streetcars, to scale overhead wires are available. All switches can be manually controlled as well. There are even Macintosh and Dos serial control kits available. The DC current is moved to the engines by overhead wires or through the track. The wheels act as pickups on small engines and cars that have lighting. On larger engines, metal shoes contact the track.

The various cars and engines are true works of art. The engines are all quite finely crafted. The get their power from the rails or overhead wires. The motors and various components have a very very low failure rate. The cars are all molded plastic. I have yet to see a faded car though. There are collectors in California who never bring their layout inside, and those cars look worn, but the plastic is still in good condition. There are two standard couplings that LGB trains use. Most trains come with the easier to use loop and hook type coupling. Conversion kits are available to change everything to the more authentic knuckle coupler seen on real trains. Cars come in many shapes and forms. There are passenger cars, freight cars in all sorts of designs, an almost any other car you would find on a railroad. They even sell realistic reproductions of specialty cars. The venerable Union Pacific Railroad caboose is accurately reproduced, complete with a smoking chimney and lights. They have yet to start doing reproductions of modern, high speed trains, like the German ICE or the Japanese Bullet trains.

Lehmann Gross Bahn did an experiment with the trains. They set up an oval track in a large Plexiglas enclosure. They put a garden sprinkler in the middle of the oval and turned it on. The train ran for six days in this simulated rain before finally stopping.

I got the info from the LGB website and from "Model Railroading with LGB" by Robert Schleicher

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