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.
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General Product Questions FAQs
Are Playmobil trains compatible with LGB trains?
It depends on the age of the Playmobil trains. Older Playmobil trains were made for use with LGB track. (In fact, for many years, Playmobil purchased LGB track for Playmobil train sets.)
But several years ago, Playmobil completely changed its trains and adopted an all-plastic track system. These newer Playmobil trains cannot be used with LGB.
Faq No: 1035
Can I use third-party metal wheels for LGB cars?
For reliable operation, we strongly recommend using only LGB wheelsets for your LGB rolling stock. The profiles and flange depth of LGB wheels have been designed specifically for compatibility with all LGB tracks, including switches and crossings.
Faq No: 1192
eBay: Buyer Beware?
eBay has become a wonderful place for individual LGB enthusiasts to buy and sell out-of-production LGB models. Unfortunately, unscrupulous eBay sellers sometimes take advantage of those enthusiasts and our reputation. For example:
- Some sellers deceptively use our "LGB" trademark in their auctions when they are not selling LGB products. Phony products are unlikely to meet our quality standards, and they are likely to disappoint our customers. Such products also damage the LGB name, which we have worked hard to establish as both an innovative, quality brand and as an internationally registered trademark.
- Some sellers pretend to be authorized LGB retailers when they are not. Phony retailers are unlikely to meet our quality standards, and the "new" products some sellers offer may not really be new. That`s important because the warranty coverage on LGB products only applies to new products legally sold by authorized LGB retailers.
- Some sellers illegally offer LGB products to buyers in countries where the products cannot legally be sold. For example, some LGB products bearing licensed trademarks may only be legally sold in certain countries, and we are contractually liable for damages if those products are sold in other countries. Also, customs officials have also seized and destroyed LGB products when they were illegally imported.
- Some sellers illegally offer LGB products without the consumer protections required by many countries. For example, German law requires retailers on eBay to offer full, unconditional refunds ("Widerrufsrecht" or "right of return") for most eBay purchases. However, unscrupulous eBay sellers neither offer or honor that legal obligation.
- Some sellers ignore their legal obligations to us and their ethical obligations to our customers. For example, our agreements with retailers sometimes require them to inspect special LGB products upon delivery to our customers. If a seller ships one of these products by mail, it cannot be inspected as upon delivery, and the customer can - and sometimes does - receive damaged goods.
In these cases and others, we have used and will use all appropriate legal tools to protect our customers and our reputation. Similarly, if you are an LGB customer, we encourage you to report possible fraud related to LGB products offered on eBay. To make a report, please contact us at email@example.com
Faq No: 1231
How do you decode LGB product numbers?
Since 1994, most Lehmann products -- including LGB, LGB TOYTRAIN, LGB GNOMY and LGB RIGI products -- have had five-digit product numbers. Although the numbering system is not completely consistent, you can use these numbers to help identify LGB products. Take a look at these product numbers:
20872 and 72302
- The first digit identifies the general product class:
0 = Publications (catalogs, DVDs and CDs) and promotional materials
1 = Track and track accessories
2 = Locomotives and other powered models
3 = Passenger cars
4 = Freight cars
5 = Accessories, including transformers, MTS and figures
6 = Accessories, including replacement parts
7 = Starter sets
8 = LGB RIGI and LGB GNOMY
9 = LGB TOYTRAIN
20872 is a locomotive or other powered model.
72302 is a starter set.
- The third and fourth digits identify a series of mechanically similar products within a class. There are many of these series. For example:
"2x38x" series = Perley-Thomas streetcars
"2x41x" series = RhB "Traktor" locomotives
"2x87x" series = Mikado locomotives
"3x66x" series = European "Panorama" passenger cars
"4x87x" series = American "Modern Tank" cars
"7x30x" series = Stainz passenger starter sets
20872 is a Mikado locomotive.
72302 is a Stainz passenger starter set.
- The second digit has multiple meanings, depending on the product class. For locomotives, passenger cars and freight cars, the second digit usually identifies the order in the series, starting with "0". Later products in the same series typically have different road names and colors.
For starter sets, the second digit usually identifies the input voltage of the power pack included with the set. For example:
0 = 230 volt power pack
2 = 120 volt power pack
20872 was the first model in the Mikado locomotive series.
72302 is a Stainz passenger starter set with a 120 volt power pack.
- The fifth digit can have very many meanings, depending on the product class. For locomotives and starter sets, the fifth digit usually identifies a major feature. For example:
1 = smoke generator
2 = sound
20872 was the first model in the Mikado locomotive series and has sound.
72302 is a Stainz passenger starter set with a 120 volt power pack and sound.
Please remember that this numbering system is not completely consistent. For positive identification, use the latest available materials, including the latest available catalogs and the Product Library at www.lgb.com
Faq No: 1224
I just bought some LGB smoke fluid. It is blue. Is it OK to use?
Yes. Both the older clear and the new blue fluid have the same properties and work in all LGB locomotives.
The blue coloring in the new fluid has been added for safety reasons. The new fluid has been tested on cloth samples, and it did not leave a permanent stain on those samples.
Faq No: 1102
Questions About the LGB Roadbed System
PLEASE NOTE, This product is currently not available.
Can LGB roadbed sections be used outdoors?
Yes. The roadbed sections are made from UV-resistant, natural rubber. It is the same material used in the treads of tracked vehicles and has been proven in years of rugged, industrial use.
How do I select LGB roadbed sections?
Each of the 25 roadbed sections is made to match a specific LGB track section. For example, the "61100" roadbed section matches the "11000" R1 curved section. The "61200" roadbed section matches the "12000" and "12050" switches.
See the latest LGB catalog, the LGB Roadbed System Applications Brochure or the "Products" section at www.lgb.com for more information on specific roadbed sections.
Can LGB roadbed sections be painted?
LGB roadbed sections are molded in a realistic grey color, but they can be painted with acrylic (latex) paints. If the sections will be used outdoors, choose an outdoor paint. In all cases, we suggest testing the paint on the underside of a roadbed section.
Do LGB roadbed sections need to be cut or fitted?
In most cases, no. However, some special track pieces and configurations do require some cutting and fitting. For this, we recommend the 61750 Roadbed Installation Kit, which includes two knives, glue, cutting patterns and instructions. You may also need a metal ruler and a ball-point pen or a fine-tipped marker.
I'm installing LGB roadbed outdoors. Should I cut drainage holes in the roadbed sections?
It's not necessary, but you can. We've designed the roadbed sections with a thin "skin" under the track ties that can be easily removed to allow drainage. (A punch for creating drainage holes is included with the 61750 Roadbed Installation Kit.)
However, that skin also serves as a very useful barrier to prevent grasses and weeds from growing up through the track. (On indoor layouts, the skin protects your floors by preventing dirt from going down through the roadbed.)
Also, the roadbed sections fit very closely to the track ties, and in our testing, we found no problems caused the very small amount of water that might accumulate in between.
Will water on LGB roadbed cause short circuits between the rails?
No. Water is a conductor, but in most cases, not a very good one. At the power levels provided by LGB power supplies, there should not be short circuits.
Can you use LGB 11500 Track Clips with the LGB roadbed sections?
Yes. However, when you use the roadbed sections, the clips join the roadbed sections not the track sections. Also, two clips, instead of one, are used at each joint.
Can you route wires under the LGB roadbed sections?
Yes. The sections have a wide channel on the underside for concealing wiring.
Do LGB roadbed sections require maintenance?
No. LGB roadbed sections eliminate most of the maintenance needs of traditional "ballasted" layouts. (On indoor layouts, LGB roadbed sections also eliminate much of the noise.)
However, LGB roadbed sections can be cleaned with a broom, detergent and water, depending on what is appropriate for the rest of your layout.
Faq No: 1234
What are "Special Edition" LGB products?
Special Edition LGB products are specially made on request for a selected retailer, group or particular market, usually in small quantities.
Faq No: 1123
What are my older LGB trains worth?
Call Only Trains 1.800.789.5738 to discuss. We purchase LGB trains and will work with you regardless of your location.
Faq No: 1081
What is the difference between scale and gauge?
"Gauge" is simply the distance between the rails of the track. For example, LGB track has a gauge of 45 millimeters.
"Scale" is the mathematical ratio between the size of the model train and the size of the real train represented by the model. For example, if the model train is 1 meter long and the real train is 10 meters long, the scale is 1:10.
Letters are often used to represent the common model railroad scales:
Letter Scale (typical)
LGB is G scale (generally 1:22.5). Of course, all model train scales are approximate. Why? The real trains people want to model come in vastly varying sizes and operate on vastly varying track gauges. However, for aesthetic reasons, most modelers want their trains to share a common "visual mass" or overall size, and for practical reasons, they need their trains to run on the same gauge track. So model makers vary from the exact scale proportions to satisfy the wants and needs of their customers.
Faq No: 1127
What is the warranty on LGB products?
This precision product is made using quality designs and technology. Like a fine timepiece, it has been crafted by hand. Constant monitoring of materials and assembly, together with final testing, ensure a consistent level of high quality. To get the most enjoyment from this product, we encourage you to read the instructions and this warranty
LGB warrants this product worldwide for two years from the date of original consumer purchase against defects in materials and workmanship.
If you have a valid warranty claim, including proof of purchase, we will repair or replace the product at our discretion. If it is impossible to repair or replace the product, we will refund all or a reasonable portion of the purchase price at our discretion.
- This warranty does not cover damage caused by improper use or unauthorized modifications/repairs. This warranty does not cover normal wear and tear.
- Transformers and controls are subject to strict CE and UL regulations and may only be opened and repaired by the manufacturer. Any violations automatically void this warranty and prevent any repair by us.
- U.S. only: This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from State to State.
We are very proud of our products, and all of us sincerely hope they give you many years of enjoyment!
Faq No: 1169
Why did Lehmann make "LGBoA Exclusive" products?
Some LGB trains were "LGBoA Exclusive" products, that is, they were distributed exclusively through LGB of America, the North American subsidiary of Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk. Also, a number of other LGB trains are "exclusive" to other LGB representatives around the world.
Why? There are a number of typical reasons:
- For trademarked items, like Coke cars, the licensing agreement may only allow distribution in certain countries, especially in the first year. Negotiating broader agreements can take some time, as you can imagine. But it does happen, and trademarked items that begin life as exclusives often become available worldwide later.
- To support our local representatives, we create exclusives for them, like the 25510 RhB Diesel Loco created for our Swiss rep. In the Internet age, such support is critical to the local reps, upon whom we rely to deliver LGB quality service.
- There are some trains, like the French Mallet, that are of little or no interest to consumers outside of a particular country. Those items often become exclusives by default.
- Sometimes, an item will sell out in Europe before it sells out in North America. Those items often become exclusives by circumstance. (Indeed, the "exclusive" status of an item can change in either direction.)
Faq No: 1176
Why did you change your knuckle couplers?
Our new knuckle couplers (64193) were modified for even better operation with LGB uncoupling devices. Also, the new couplers come in a pack of two couplers.
The new knuckle couplers are fully compatible with the original knuckle couplers (64192).
Faq No: 1151