02 October 2010

The real Stainz - the LGB icon

The LGB logo display a white profile of a “Stainz” on a red background, the first model locomotive manufactured by the German company in 1968;  since then LGB has never stopped producing this model, in hundreds of different versions. This is short post describing the prototype history.

The Stainz at the origin (image from wikipedia)

The LGB model is inspired by the famous four narrow-gauge locomotives (760 mm) built for Steiermärkischen Landesbahnen (StLB) in 1892 by Krauss of Linz. The four locomotives StLB were numbered from 1 to 4 and named 1 "Meran", 2 "Stainz", 3 "Gobonitz", 4 “Heiligengeist”. Unit 1 and 2 served the Preding-Stainz local line, unit 3 e 4 served on Pöltschach-Gonobitz local line.
The “Stainz 2” in 1969 was transferred on  Murtalbahn (after repairing and few important modifications in 1967) for rail enthusiast train until 2000. The “3 Gobonitz” unit is preserved at the Railroad Museum of Ljubljana.

Two locomotives of the same type were built in 1890 for the Salzkammergut-Lokalbahn (SKGLB) for service on the Bad Ischl-Strobl line. The two units of the SKGLB have been demolished.
Stainz 2 in 1958 (foto A.Luft)

Stainz 2 in 1992

The “3 Gobonitz” - the Railroad Museum of Ljubljana


  1. I have been a LGB operator and collector since the early days. My first starter set had to be purchased at a toy store because model railroad shops had not yet heard of LGB. Over the many years I have always wondered about certain inconsistencies regarding LGB trains. The two most significant in my mind are the fact that LGB never made a Stainz 2 locomotive. This may be a shock to many but it is true. All of the 2010, 2020, and short lived original 2040** are nicely accurate models of a Krauss K-3, a 12 Ton 0-4-0T "Contractors Locomotive" which was a highly successful stock "off the shelf" design created by Orenstein & Koppel and licensed for manufacture to Krauss and a number of other companies as well. The Stainz 2 however was NOT a K-3. The locomotive (Krauss Werks No.2774) is a 13.5 Ton 0-4-0T with BOTH the standard Well Tank and 2 Side Tanks for additional water capacity. The extended side tanks are the easiest differences to spot and the longer tanks eliminate the single water funnel and pipe for filling the well tank on a K-3. Both side tanks have hinged covers so water can be refilled from either side. The 2 side tanks are cross piped to balance the tanks and this cross piping connects to the well tank. This allows all three water tanks to be filled at the same time from either of the two water fill points. Less immediately obvious but still noticable differences such as the elimination of the external steam feed pipes to the cylinders to reduce heat loss during the extreme cold of winter, the addition of a steam powered electrical generator, and the addition of a second boiler pressure relief valve for added safety if one fails.
    The second great mystery is the fact that Lehmann specifically explains that the 22.5 Scale was chosen to replicate 1000mm aka Meter Gauge track but then Lehmann proceeded to release only models of 760mm gauge locomotives and rolling stock for the first 10 years. If 760mm was the desired track gauge then traditional 32mm gauge O scale two rail track would have been a better choice since it misses being spot on 760mm by less then a scale 1.5 inches. Plus the reduced cost of O gauge track would be favorable as well. The mysteries are many but the answers are few. I've spent years tracking down the elusive prototype for the 2016-2017 Old West locomotive. Lehmann firmly stated the 2016-2017 were replicas of an actual locomotive and they were correct, a locomotive does exist, but it's quite a surprise.
    It's summer, time to go run the garden railway,
    Jim Favre

    **(the number was reused for the RhB Krocodile)

  2. The World of LGB15 June 2011 at 09:44

    Hello Jim, your comment is very interesting. As you know LGB philosophy has always been different from that of the houses and modeling fidelity of a model has never been the main purpose. LGB Trains should operate continuously and in any weather condition. I use them at 40 C in summer and winter, below zero: they always work ...
    I bought some Stainz with over 40 years of life, from starter sets: put on the track, they start, always!
    But this-was-LGB, unfortunately no longer exists: the models are made in China and the new "red boxes" are bad corrugated cardboard ...

    But we continue to love trains LGB, forever!

  3. Check The number on the 1990 Christmas set it's a #1