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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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Track FAQs

10340 Automatic Reversing Unit Power Supply Problems?
The 10340 Automatic Reversing Unit may be particularly affected by the electrical waveforms of non-LGB power supplies, even those supplies advertised as offering "pure" or "filtered" DC output.
If you are experiencing difficulties with the 10340, recheck it using an LGB power supply.

Faq No: 1022
10340 Automatic Reversing Unit-Identification?
There were two different versions of the 10340 Automatic Reversing Unit. The second version began has two adjustment knobs (potentiometers). The first version has one adjustment knob.
The instructions for each version are quite different. Use the instructions that were included with the version you are using.

Faq No: 1023
Can I put the track on my carpet?
Yes, but after extended operation, the train may leave carbon dust or other debris around the track. This dust and debris can stain carpet and other materials. Consider this when setting up your layout.

Faq No: 1043
Does LGB offer flex track?
Yes, but since flex track is intended for custom installations, the components are offered separately, so you can buy as many or as few as you need. The components are:

10001 Metal Rail Joiners, 10 pieces
10003 Tie Sections, 300 mm
10005 Rail Sections, 1.5 m

For example, to make one 1.5 meter (59 inch) flex track section, use five 10003 tie sections with two 10005 rails and two 10001 joiners. To make a 15 meter (49 foot) flex track section, use fifty 10003 tie sections with twenty 10005 rail sections and twenty 10001 rail joiners. (The actual number of tie sections and rail joiners needed depends on your installation. It is useful to keep a few extra ties sections and rail joiners on hand.)

You can use flex track to make straight sections, or by bending the rails, you can use flex track to make all kinds of curved sections. For more information on rail benders, see Knowledge Database FAQ 1050.

Faq No: 1225
How can I build an LGB layout on a shelf in my home?
There are several pre-fabricated shelving and hanging systems for LGB trains on the market, for example:

Loco-Boose Hobbies www.locoboose.com
R&G Railroad Co. www.randgrailroad.com
Wall-Track Systems www.walltrak.com

Also, consider visiting a local cabinetmaker and interest him or her in your project. It`s such a unique idea that they often do become very interested. (These products have not been reviewed or approved by Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk or LGB of America.)

Faq No: 1126
How can I find the correct instructions for my 10340 Automatic Reversing Unit?
We recommend that you use the instructions that came with your 10340.

Faq No: 1175
How do I convert a manual switch to an electric switch?
To convert the switch itself, remove the manual drive by removing two screws from the plastic ties. Then install a 12010 EPL Switch Drive. (You'll use the same two screws, but in different holes in the ties.)

For information on wiring electric switches, see Knowledge Database 1066.

Faq No: 1210
How do I make a figure-eight layout?
To make a figure-eight layout, you need one LGB number 13000 crossing and 22 LGB number 11000 curved track sections. (Most LGB starter sets include 12 LGB number 11000 curved track sections.)

Using 11 curved sections, assemble one partial circle. Then assemble another partial circle using the remaining 11 curved sections. Bring the openings of the circles close to each other, and join the circle openings with the crossing

You`ll find this and many other basic LGB layouts in the LGB "Next Step" brochure.

Faq No: 1194
How do you bend flex track?
You can bend the rails by hand. However, a rail bending tool is helpful. Make sure you get one for "Code 332" rails. We carry a few different styles. 1.800.789.5738

Faq No: 1050
How do you use the 10151 Reverse Loop Track Set?
The 10151 set makes it possible to set up a simple reversing loop on an analog layout without any wire at all. The set includes two 150 mm straight sections, commonly known as the "1015T" and the "1015K."

The 1015T is a standard 10152 Insulated Track Section. The 1015K, however, is special. Under the center cover of the 1015K, you will find four diodes on a circuit board. These diodes ensure that the track polarity between the 1015T and 1015K is always the same, no matter what the polarity is outside the T/K section.

Because of this, trains can only travel in one direction between the 1015T and 1015K, that is, from the "T" to the "K." That direction is indicated by a large arrow on the cover of the 1015K. Typically, the 1015T is installed just beyond the entrance of a reversing loop. The 1015K is installed near the exit of the loop, with the arrow pointed toward the exit.

A train enters the loop and passes over the 1015T. Before the train reaches the 1015K, you manually reverse the throttle. The track power polarity outside of the reversing loop will change, but because of the diodes in the 1015K, the track power polarity inside the loop will not change. The train will continue traveling in the same direction through the loop, over the 1015K and onto the rest of the layout.

See also No. 1069.

Faq No: 1217
How do you wire a reversing loop?
Reversing loops are a problem for electric model railroads, because they create short circuits. However, LGB offers a simple way to "wire" a basic reversing loop on an analog layout without any wiring at all. Just use an LGB 10151 Reverse Loop Set. It requires some manual throttle operation, but it works well in basic applications.
If you want a reversing loop that works automatically on an analog layout, read the EPL Techiques Brochure (00724). On Multi-Train System digital layouts, you can use the 55080 MTS Reversing Loop Module.

See also No. 1104.

Faq No: 1069
How steep can I make the hills on my layout?
Generally, grades steeper than 5% should be avoided. ("5%" means that the track climbs 5 cm over a horizontal distance of 100 cm.) For better operations on grades, also consider:

- Make transitions between flat and steep sections gradual. Use a few short track sections to make a smooth transition.
- Keep the grade even on steep sections, with no dips and rises.
- Rolling resistance increases in curves. On real railroads, the grades are less steep in curves to compensate.
- The number of cars your locomotive can pull depends on many factors (ball bearing wheelsets have lower resistance than standard wheelsets with carbon brushes, traction is reduced on dirty and/or wet tracks, etc.)
- On steep grades, your locomotives will pull much shorter trains than on level track. On prototype mountain railroads, one locomotive often pulls just three or four cars.
- Try doubleheading (two or more locomotives) to haul longer trains. (See KD 1177)

Finally, if your conditions call for sections steeper than 5%, use the LGB rack system. Rack locomotives can haul trains on grades of up to 25%.

Faq No: 1187
I bought a manual LGB switch when I started my layout. Can I convert a manual switch to electric?
Yes. Just remove the old manual switch box and replace it with a 12010 EPL Switch Drive. You can do it with one screwdriver in less than a minute. (See "00624" in the Downloads section for wiring information.)

Faq No: 1055
I want to start simple. How do you control an electric switch?
You can manually control an electric switch with an 51750 Momentary Switch Control Box. The box has four buttons for manually controlling up to four EPL switches, signals or other devices independently.

The wiring is easy. Just connect the orange and white terminals on the EPL switch drive to the orange and white terminals on the box. Then connect the black and white power terminals on the box (numbered "3" and "4") to your LGB AC transformer. The same instructions apply to LGB electric signals.



Faq No: 1066
Is it possible to solder jumper wires between track sections?
Yes. However, this old model railroading technique can be difficult with LGB track because of the size and hardness of LGB rails. Use an acid-based flux to prepare the rails for soldering, and use a 300 watt soldering iron.

Faq No: 1052
Is there track planning software for G-scale?
Yes. Many track layout programs include G-scale libraries, for example:

CADrail www.sandiasoftware.com
PCRail www.busch-model.com
RR-Track www.rrtrack.com
WinRail www.winrail.com

There are others. So check your favorite model railroad publication or web site. (These products have not been reviewed or approved by Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk or LGB of America.)

Faq No: 1124
The rails on my track are dirty, and my locos are running poorly. How should I clean the rails?
The ultimate solution is 20670 Track Cleaning Loco. It automatically cleans the rails without damaging them. Just put it on the track, start it up and watch it work.
If you want a bit more exercise, use the hand-held 50040 Track Cleaning Block.
For regular maintenance, use the 50050 Track Cleaning Attachment. It will not remove a heavy accumulation of grime, but it will help keep clean track clean. It fits on the bottom of many LGB two-axle cars, like the "4040" series tank cars. All of the LGB track cleaning products use synthetic cleaning materials that "erase" dirt without damaging the rails.

Attention! Do not use strong abrasives, like sandpaper or emery cloth, to clean the track. They will grind away the rails and leave scratches that attract more dirt. Also, do not use steel wool. The metal pieces can damage your trains. Do not use brass cleaning compounds to clean the track. They use chemicals that may damage the wheels of your trains.

Faq No: 1048
What are the radii of the different LGB curved track sections?
The LGB program includes curved sections with four different radii, called R1, R2, R3 and R5. These sections form circles of the following diameters:

DIAMETER MEASURED CENTER OF TRACK-TO-CENTER OF TRACK
R1 = 1200 mm
R2 = 1560 mm
R3 = 2390 mm
R5 = 4640 mm

DIAMETER MEASURED OUTER EDGE-TO-OUTER EDGE
R1 = 1286 mm
R2 = 1646 mm
R3 = 2476 mm
R5 = 4726 mm

Of course, divide the diameters by two to find the radii.

Hint: To create custom curves, use the LGB flex track. See No.
1050.

Faq No: 1140
What should I do to make a good electrical connection between track sections?
The best solution, especially for outdoor layouts, is 51010 Graphite Lubricant. Just put a small amount of this conductive paste in each rail joiner when you assemble your track. It keeps water out of the joint and conducts electricity very efficiently.
Do not use screws, "rail clamps" or other mechanical devices to rigidly join track sections together. The track must be free to expand and contract as the temperature changes.

Faq No: 1051
Where can I find a 17000 track contact?
The 17000 has been replaced by the 17100 Track Contact. The two look different but function in exactly the same way. However, the 17100 is smaller and more reliable.

Faq No: 1088
Why doesn't my track switch work since I installed a 12040 lantern on it?
The lantern is turned by the same EPL drive that moves the turnout points, and the drive may not be getting enough electrical power to do both jobs. The 52750 EPL Booster will provide that additional power, and we strongly recommend it for reliable drive operation. The 52750 connects easily to your 51750 EPL Control Box and will improve the performance of all your switch and signal drives. A dedicated AC power source for your accessories is also helpful. (The 50110/50111 AC Transformer is an excellent choice.)
Finally, make sure that your wiring can transmit the power your drives need. All connections should be clean and secure, and for wiring EPL drives, we recommend a minimum wire size of 0.5 mm2 (20 AWG).

Faq No: 1030
Why is the LGB Roadbed System a good value?
PLEASE NOTE: THIS PRODUCT IS NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE.
- LGB roadbed is very easy to install. There is a custom-fitted roadbed section for virtually every section in the LGB track program. At the same time, it is flexible enough, vertically and horizontally, to accommodate a wide variety of layout surfaces.

- LGB roadbed is very attractive. Unlike others, LGB roadbed has a realistic ballast surface, and it doesn't require painting. (However, it has been formulated so you can paint it if you wish.)

- LGB roadbed is very rugged. The India rubber material has been proven on the treads of tracked vehicles, like bulldozers, for years. (Indeed, the material is actually more expensive per section for us to purchase than the materials in our track sections.)

- LGB roadbed will give you years of trouble-free use, outdoors and indoors. Like our LGB trains and track, our roadbed is formulated to survive the extremes of temperature and UV exposure. Under normal circumstances, LGB roadbed should require no maintenance, which makes it quite different than traditional gravel ballast.

(The closest other commercial product is also custom fitted, but uses a different material and requires painting for a realistic appearance. Still, that roadbed is priced at $7.00 for one basic 300 mm straight section, considerably more than the typical selling price of our equivalent section. Prices as of May 20, 2005.)

So, when you consider the initial cost of LGB roadbed, also consider the reduced preparation, installation, repair and maintenance costs. Taken together, the LGB Roadbed System is a very good value.

Faq No: 1235

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