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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Only Trains / LGB Knowledge Database, your online source for answers to your questions about using LGB, LGB TOYTRAIN and Lehmann Toy products. There are two easy ways to find what you want. Search by category or term.

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Locomotive FAQs

Can I adjust the speed of my powered tender to match the speed of my starter set loco?
Some LGB powered tenders, like the 69572, are equipped with a starting delay circuit to synchronize the speed of the tender with the speed of the loco. The delay can be adjusted, within a small range, by setting DIP switches located inside the tender. For more information, see the tender instructions.

Also see Knowledge Database 1136 for more information.

Faq No: 1198
Can I change the number of steam chuffs per wheel revolution on my LGB sound loco?
On sound-equipped LGB steam locos with onboard decoders, you can program the decoder to output a prototypical four chuffs instead of the factory-preset two chuffs per wheel revolution. This is especially useful if you run your locomotive at low speeds.

To program the sound to 4 chuffs, add 64 to the function value in CV54. The factory preset value for CV54 usually is 2, so program CV54 to 66 in that case.

This setting is effective both with analog and MTS operation. The setting remains active even after the power is switched off, so it needs to be programmed only once.

Refer to the loco`s instructions for more information on programming the onboard decoder.

Hints:
- At high speeds, two chuffs per wheel revolution sound better than four chuffs.
- This programming does not work for LGB locomotives without onboard decoders, even if these locos are equipped with MTS decoders.

Faq No: 1228
Can I doublehead two LGB locomotives?
Yes. Doubleheading two LGB locomotives is possible under certain conditions:
Make sure your locos have similar gearing. Check whether both locos run at the same speed in the various throttle settings by running them behind each other. If one is significantly faster than the other, don't use them on the same train.
Also make sure both locos start at the same throttle settings.
On an analog layout, simply couple both locos together and run them as one unit.

With the Multi-Train System, you can use the 55015 Universal Remote to program up to 10 loco combinations with 2 loco addresses each. Then you can control both locos of a loco combination together. Light and functions are triggered for both locos as well. The programming even allows for double-heading locos facing in different directions. With other MTS throttles, you can program both locos to the same address to control them together.
Hint: With the Multi-Train System, you can program the starting settings of your loco to ensure they all start at the same throttle setting (see No. 1111).

Faq No: 1110
Can I doublehead two LGB locomotives?
Yes, but to avoid gearbox damage, the starting and speed characteristics of locos that are doubleheading must be well-matched. You can test this by running the locomotives about 3 feet apart at various speeds. If the distance between the locos does not change, or changes only insignificantly, the locos are well-matched.

With the Multi-Train System, you can program starting voltage, acceleration, braking and maximum speed of the loco decoder to match the speed characteristics of all your locos. You can even program the motor voltage for each speed step individually. If you match all locos on your layout, you can doublehead any combination you like. This is easiest if you use your slowest locomotive as a benchmark and match every other locomotive to this "benchmark" loco. It takes a little time, but the result is very satisfying.

Also, with the MTS, you can use the 55015 Universal Remote to program up to 10 loco combinations with 2 loco addresses each. Then you can control both locos of a loco combination together. Light and functions are triggered for both locos as well. The programming even allows for double-heading locos facing in different directions. With other MTS throttles, you can program both locos to the same address to control them together.

Hint: If you want to couple more than two locomotives, you have to program several locomotives to the same address.

For more information, see Number 1111.

Faq No: 1177
Can I switch off the sound of the screeching brakes on my locomotive?
On many LGB sound locos with onboard MTS decoders, you can switch off the automatic brake sound or other "automatic sound features." These features include:

- for most steam locomotives, the automatic triggering of the brake sound when slowing down.
- for some diesel locomotives, the pressure relief valve sound.
- for some other locomotives, this setting has no effect.

To switch off these features, you must reprogram CV54 by adding 128 to the function value. The factory preset value for CV54 usually is 2, so program CV54 to 130 to turn off the "automatic sound features." You still can trigger these sounds with the function buttons of the MTS remotes.

This setting is effective both with analog and MTS operation. The setting remains active even after the power is switched off, so it needs to be programmed only once.

Refer to the loco`s instructions for more information on programming the onboard decoder.

Hint: This programming only works for LGB locos equipped with onboard MTS decoders. It does not work with other MTS decoders.

Faq No: 1229
Does the Back-EMF feature work with two-motor locomotives?
The Back-EMF feature, which holds the loco`s speed constant, works without problems in two-motor locomotives. However, make sure you install two decoders of the same type in two-motor locomotives.

If you use several locomotives in the same train, make sure they all either have Back-EMF or they all don`t. Do not mix locos with and without Back-EMF, because otherwise, the wheels of the loco with Back-EMF will spin when going uphill. (The decoder tries to keep the loco`s speed constant.)

Hint: Older decoders (type 55020) do not have the Back-EMF feature.

Faq No: 1158
How do I connect combinations of F7 "A" and "B" units?
LGB F7 locos use two-wire "track power" cables and four-wire "electronic" cables to connect the locos electrically:
1. Two-wire "track power" cable:
In all arrangements of multiple units (for example, A-A, A-B, A-B-A, A-B-B-A), connect all units with two-wire track power cables.

2. Four-wire "electronics" cable for sound and Multi-Train System electronics:
Use the four-wire electronics cable ONLY to connect B-units to A-units. Never use the four-wire electronics cable to connect two B-units or two A-units.

CAUTION! Connecting two B-units with the four-wire electronics cable can damage the sound amplifiers in the B-units.

Examples:
"-" locos ONLY connected with track power cable.
"=" locos connected with BOTH track power and electronics cables.

A-A
A=B (Set sound control switch of B unit to 2)
A=B=A (Set sound control switch of B unit to 1)
A=B-B=A (Set sound control switch of B units to 2)

Attention! When operating an A-B-A or A-B-B-A combination with the Multi-Train-System, the rearward-facing A-Unit must be programmed to run in the opposite direction. See No. 1128.

Faq No: 1218
I have an LGB motorized tender. Does it have to be electrically connected to the loco?
The tender has its own power pick-ups -- through the wheels and pick-up shoes -- and so it is not necessary to use the connecting cable included with the tender.

But we do recommend using the cable. The connection between the loco and tender will feed track power from one unit to the other for better operation over dirty track, switches and so on.

However, the connection does not synchronize the speed of the tender and the loco. See Knowledge Database 1198 for more information.

Faq No: 1136
My loco doesn't run. What's should I check first?
Many LGB locos are equipped with a power control switch that allows you to "park" your loco. This switch usually has three positions: all power off, power to the lights only or power to the lights and motor. This switch is usually in the cab of the loco. Just set the switch to the position you want. Also, some locos have additional switches to control special functions, like sound. For more information, see the loco instruction sheet.

Faq No: 1073
The Smoke Generator on my Starter Set Loco Doesn't Work, What Should I Do?
Don't run ot and buy a new generator (right away). In many cases, the generator itself is fine, but something else is wrong...

First, turn the loco upside down and dump some of the smoke fluid out of the generator.
If there is too much fluid in the generator, the heating element in the generator can't raise the temperature of the fluid enough to turn it into a gas...that is, smoke.

Second, make sure the smoke generator is turned on.
Current starter set locos have a switch in the cab of the engine, it should be on the middle or far right position. Older locos have a metal lever on the bottom of the loco near the front. The lever is a switch that turns the generator on and off. If you have an older loco and want to turn the generator on, rotate the bottom lever so that the tip touches the brass contact in the center of the nut. Make sure the lever is touching ONLY the brass contact.

Third, loosen the smoke stack by unscrewing it a turn or two. Then, re-tighten it.
If you use your loco both indoors and outdoors, oxidation occasionally clogs the connections. This should clean things up.

Still doesn't work? Try running the loco at a higher speed.
LGB starter set smoke units are designed to withstand hgher voltage, so they may not work as well at very low voltage.

Still not smoking? Well, now it's time to replace the generator.
Older starter set locos use a screw-in generator with a long metal shaft attached to that nut on the bottom of the loco. Just hold the nut in place with your finger and unscrew the stack. Once the stack is free of the nut, pull the stack out through the boiler and headlight mount. Older starter set locos will either use the diamond shaped 65154 stack or the funnel shaped 65203 stack. Screw it back in and turn it on!
Newer LGB locos will take either the 65103 or 65203. Please refer to your manual for the correct part number.

Repair parts can be found on the "Parts" tab on our site.


Faq No: 1247
The sound from my new sound loco is bad (scratchy, irregular). Why?
Most LGB sound locos have internal capacitors to provide smooth power to the sound system. When the loco is new -- or if the loco hasn`t been used for a long time -- the capacitors need to be charged. Just run the loco at a brisk speed for a few minutes to charge the capacitors.
Some LGB sound locos and sound cars use a battery instead of capacitors. Replace the battery if the sound is bad.

Faq No: 1047
The vial of smoke fluid that came with my loco is empty. What should I use now?
Use 50010 Smoke and Cleaning Fluid. ( 8412501 Smoke and Cleaning Fluid same as LGB 50010 ) It's designed for LGB smoke generators, and it's harmless to you and your trains when used properly. D

See also No. 1112.

Faq No: 1041
What are "standing sounds"?
Many LGB locomotives with sound also feature "standing sounds." These are the sounds the locomotive makes while it is standing. For steam locomotives, these may include the "whooshing" of the boiler, the sounds of air pump and coal shoveling, and more. For diesel locos, you hear the idling diesel engine. Electric locomotives have fans and other equipment that operate while the loco is standing.

To create these sounds, a certain voltage needs to be maintained on the tracks. In the past, many LGB locomotives with sound were equipped with capacitors that powered the standing sounds for up to 30 seconds even if there was no power on the tracks.

With the digital LGB Multi-Train System, the tracks are powered at all times during operation (except when the Emergency Stop button has been pressed). Thus, the capacitors are not necessary with the MTS.

And since a rapidly growing number of LGB owners are converting to the MTS, we have begun equipping many newer locos, like the Mikados, with all-new electronics including "onboard" MTS decoders. To the surprise of many, we have done this without increasing the price. On the other hand, due to cost constraints, it is not possible to install the capacitors in these models.

Analog users still can enjoy the standing sounds by turning up the throttle slightly, so that the loco does not yet move, but the sounds are played. Most analog users have found this to be an acceptable substitute, but we know that others may disagree, which is why we have offered a solution in the form of the add-on 65011 Sound Unit Power Storage. The 65011 is a set of capacitors equipped with a standard connector to allow relatively simple installation in newer locos with onboard decoders.

Faq No: 1174
What does the switch in the cab of my loco do?
Many LGB locos have a multi-position switch inside the cab. If there is a three-position switch, the typical functions are:
Position 0: All power off
Position 1: Power to lights and smoke generator (if equipped)
Position 2: Power to motor(s), lights and smoke generator (if equipped)

If there is a four-position switch, the typical functions are:
Position 0: All power off
Position 1: Power to lights and smoke generator (if equipped)
Position 2: Power to motor(s), lights and smoke generator (if equipped)
Position 3: Power to motor(s), lights, smoke generator (if equipped) and sound (if equipped)

However, please refer to the loco instructions for specific information. Instructions for many LGB locos are available online in the "Products" section of www.lgb.com

Faq No: 1193
What is the difference between the Sumpter Valley Mallets?
In real life, the twin Sumpter Valley Mallet locos originally ran on the Uintah Railway, a mining line in northeastern Utah. On the Uintah, the Mallets had distinctive side mounted water tanks instead of tenders. The LGB program first offered models the Uintah locos:

20882 Uintah Mallet Steam Loco
Loco number "51" with sound

21881 Uintah Mallet Seam Loco
Loco number "50" without sound

Again, in real life, the Uintah was closed down, and the Mallets were sold to the Sumpter Valley line. There, the side tanks were removed, and traditional tenders were added. In the LGB program, the same modifications were made, but starting in 1998, Lehmann offered _four_ LGB models of the _two_ Sumpter Valley locos:

20892 Sumpter Valley Mallet Steam Loco
Loco number "251" with sound. This was the first in the series and was produced in 1998.

20892.120 Sumpter Valley Mallet Steam Loco
Loco number "250" with sound. This was a special model made in limited quantities in 2001 for the 120th anniversary of Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk. This was the second in the series.
The suffix ".120" on the model number is widely used, but it does not appear on the model or package. Instead, look for a 120th anniversary sticker on the on the label end of the package.

21892 Sumpter Valley Mallet Steam Loco
Loco number "251" with sound. This was the third in the series and was produced in 2002.

22892 Sumpter Valley Mallet Steam Loco, 250, Sound
Loco number "250" with sound with a graphite-color smoke box and red window frames. This was produced in 2005.

All of the Sumpter Valley Mallet models are now "out of production". None are available from Lehmann or LGB of America, but a very few may be available at retailers. There are few mechanical differences between the Sumpter Valley Mallet models.

Faq No: 1221
What kit should I use to upgrade my Lehmann/Amtrak express train?
The 66095 and 96095 upgrade kits are the same. (One is numbered for the regular LGB program, and one is numbered for the LEHMANN/LGB TOYTRAIN program.)

Both kits include one motor block and two lights. (One light for each end of the train.)

Faq No: 1156
What maintenance does an LGB loco require?
Very little. The motors in all LGB locos are encased in enclosed gearboxes. Under normal use, the gearboxes require almost no maintenance or lubrication.
You can use LGB 50019 Maintenance Oil on any external bearings, like the ends of the connecting rods found on LGB steam locos. However, only a small amount of lubricant is needed. Too much lubricant attracts dirt and can cause damage.

Faq No: 1044
Where can I find information about my Stainz locomotive?
The Stainz is the original LGB locomotive. (In fact, it`s the loco in the LGB logo.) The Stainz has been in production for more than thirty years, and over those years, there have been many, many variations of this extremely successful model.

This can make it difficult to find the exact information for your particular variation of the Stainz.
The Stainz is an unusually complex model to assemble ... and reassemble. We recommend factory service and factory installation of MTS decoders. See Number 1014 for more information.

Faq No: 1166
Why do the wheels on my loco spin and slip?
LGB locos, like real locomotives, depend on traction between the wheels and the rails to propel the train. The wheels spin when there isn`t enough traction.
Sometimes there isn`t enough traction because the track is dirty or greasy (see TRACK). Sometimes, the weight of the cars you`re pulling is greater than the available traction.
The traction problem is magnified if you try to pull a train up a steep grade. In most cases, the grades on your layout should not exceed 4% (that is, a 4 inch rise over 100 inches of track). However, LGB "rack" locos can climb grades up to 25%.

Faq No: 1045
Why does black material build up on the wheels of my loco?
If the black material ("gunk") is building up on the wheels of ALL your locos, then the material is probably from an outside source, like sap from a nearby plant or tree. The solution is to remove the source or to clean your track frequently (see No. 1048).
If the black material is building up on the wheels of just ONE of your locos, then the material is probably from one of the brushes behind the wheels of that loco. These carbon brushes rub against the back of the wheels and pick up power from the track. If the brushes are soft or damaged, they will shed large amounts of carbon. The carbon will then build up on the wheel.
The solution is to clean the wheels. Use 50010 LGB Smoke & Cleaning Fluid or a rubber eraser. Do not use an abrasive. Be sure to clean the "tire" on the bottom of the wheel and the back of the wheel where the brush contacts the wheel.
If the problem returns in a short time, replace the brushes. Check the instructions for your loco to find the part number for the brushes.

Faq No: 1084
Why does my White Pass Mikado run so slowly?
This realistic model is designed to run slowly, just like the real White Pass Mikado locomotive. That loco also runs quite slowly. It rarely exceeds a speed of 25 mph.

Faq No: 1197
Why does the cleaning part of my 20670 Track Cleaning Loco jump up and down?
If the cleaning part of the LGB 20670 Track Cleaning Loco jumps while cleaning the tracks, the cleaning rings may not be held tightly enough between the outer and inner discs. Despite the pegs on the discs, the cleaning ring can deform between the discs while cleaning. The cleaning material is elastic (which is necessary for good cleaning), and acts like a rubber ball. It jumps! If this happens, you should glue the cleaning rings to the discs, especially at the outer margin. Use Uhu Greenit or Pattex, both included with LGB boxcars for gluing the handrails to the car bodies. Because you have to replace the discs when replacing the cleaning wheels, you don`t have to worry about prying the cleaning rings off the discs. The 67267 Track Cleaning Wheels come with new discs.

See also No. 1165.

Faq No: 1164
Why doesn`t my sound loco always whistle when it starts?
Many LGB sound locos feature a starting signal: usually the horn or whistle sounds when the loco begins to move. However, to avoid hearing the signal all the time when switching cars, the signal will play only after the loco has been stopped for at least 15 seconds. If the stop is shorter, the starting signal will not sound.

Faq No: 1195

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