LGB 20283 Mogul Steam Locomotive - Underweight

LGB333

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Hello Fellow LGB Trains Hobbyists - If you're thinking of buying the newly produced and beautiful LGB 20283 Mogul Steamer, you'll probably need to add some weights to the engine to improve its traction/pulling power. See my email to Marklin/LGB Service Department below.

"Hello Marklin/LGB Customer Service – A long-standing customer of mine who recently bought from me an LGB 20283 Mogul says that the locomotive has poor traction/pulling power with 4-axle LGB passenger train cars using metal wheels……..the locomotive’s wheels spin in-place when starting to move, and sometimes the locomotive derails on track curves.

The approximate weight of all LGB Mogul locomotives produced since 1985, such as the LGB 29182 Mogul locomotive, is 7 pounds My customer weighed the LGB 20283 locomotive and it’s only 5 pounds. So it’s highly likely the LGB 20283 is seriously unweight and that’s causing the poor traction and pulling power of the locomotive. The metal weight in the LGB 20283 locomotive’s front smokebox/boiler has been reduced to make space for the installed pulsed smoker, but that removed material has not been repositioned within the smokebox/boiler. Additionally, the metal material now used in all LGB locomotives weighs less than lead material previously used. As a result, the LGB 20283 locomotive weighs 2 pounds less than older LGB Moguls, and this weight loss is causing the traction/pulling power problem.

Recommendation: The metal weight in the LGB 20283 and future LGB Mogul products needs to be redesigned to increase the weight back to 7 pounds so the locomotive will have adequate traction/pulling power. And the redesigned Mogul weight should be produced ASAP and placed into Marklin’s LGB Parts Inventory System so that LGB Service Centers and LGB hobbyists can order replacement weights for correcting the LGB 20283 Mogul locomotive’s traction/pulling power deficiency. This is an important quality improvement action required to ensure LGB locomotives will continue their high reliability reputation and purchase and use by large G scale trains hobbyists."

Thomas White
Old Dominion Railways - LGB Trains
McLean VA USA
 

artfull dodger

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I doubt Marklin/LGB gives two craps about making a replacement weight to bring the Mogul back up to 7lbs. I dare them to prove me wrong. New M-LGB, in my opinion, lacks the quality and durablity of the original Lehman built LGB.
 

artfull dodger

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Doubt it Greg, mother M has always thought they know better than the customer..been that way for years. Many loathed the fact that they ended up with LGB after the whole banking mess the original company ended up in. They have turned LGB into just another high priced facet of their gauge 1 line. I always recommend to beginners to stay with the older Lehman produced locomotives when getting started. They have a known track record and we know the weak points, like idler gears in the Moguls if they are run with very heavy trains or around tight curves. The added load shortens the gears life span. Drive shaft joints in the Mikados ect. Stuff like the Stainz and engines based off its motor block, the White Pass Alcos and engines that share those motor blocks are near bulletproof, even with commerical usage. I am not supprised they went away from the heavier weights that used to be used, just a shame they could not add it back in elsewhere to make up for what was lost for the fancy new smoke unit. If I want smoke, I will run my live steamers.
 

LGB333

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Doubt it Greg, mother M has always thought they know better than the customer..been that way for years. Many loathed the fact that they ended up with LGB after the whole banking mess the original company ended up in. They have turned LGB into just another high priced facet of their gauge 1 line. I always recommend to beginners to stay with the older Lehman produced locomotives when getting started. They have a known track record and we know the weak points, like idler gears in the Moguls if they are run with very heavy trains or around tight curves. The added load shortens the gears life span. Drive shaft joints in the Mikados ect. Stuff like the Stainz and engines based off its motor block, the White Pass Alcos and engines that share those motor blocks are near bulletproof, even with commerical usage. I am not supprised they went away from the heavier weights that used to be used, just a shame they could not add it back in elsewhere to make up for what was lost for the fancy new smoke unit. If I want smoke, I will run my live steamers.
Dodger - I agree, the former LGB company, Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk, did have excellent engineering design and quality control processes in place for their product line. The Marklin LGB factory in Hungry, there's definitely something lacking. An LGB expert who used to work for Lehmann in Germany thinks the quality control with current products is about 60-40, meaning 40% of the items produced have some type of issue.....not good! I've seen some of these issues first hand, e.g., two years ago when I unpacked a brand new LGB Track Cleaning Locomotive there was something loose in the red LGB box. I removed the locomotive and opened up the rear motor compartment and found all six screws holding the weight and circuit board totally unscrewed.....a very basic quality control failure! Using double-sided tape to hold the engineer figures in place inside LGB locomotive cabs is another problem........last year I unpacked a brand new LGB F7A Santa Fe diesel with the engineer figure loose inside and the only way to reattach it to the seat was to disassemble the locomotive......a poor design decision. I sent an email to Marklin Customer Service on this last example and never heard a response.

I'm definitely pleased that someone bought the LGB company in 2007 to continue the life of the product line, but Marklin definitely needs to put leadership attention on: 1. Product engineering to prevent future Mogul-type problems, and 2. Perform a major overhaul of the LGB factory's quality management program.
 
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artfull dodger

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And stop trying to add all the bells and whistles so they can charge gauge 1 prices for them. LGB was designed as a rock solid railway for ground level use outdoors, with deep flanges, robust track and robust drive trains. Yes there were a few issues in the last few years but overall, it was the best G scale for outdoor or commerical use bar none. I always look for older Lehmann built trains vs the new stuff. I am glad the line was picked up, I will be buying the new R5 curves in the next year or so to open up the diameter of my line from 10 foot to 15.5 foot and back to 100% LGB track. Using Piko curves right now, but the rest of the layout is LGB track with 15+ years of outdoor use with no issues
 

dunnyrail

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Had my hands on a small newish 0-4-0 Maerklin LGB loco yesterday and the weight was certainly well below that of the LGB days. My concern may be that the gearing could be built down to a price, so adding excessive weight could be counter productive.
 

LGB333

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Had my hands on a small newish 0-4-0 Maerklin LGB loco yesterday and the weight was certainly well below that of the LGB days. My concern may be that the gearing could be built down to a price, so adding excessive weight could be counter productive.
Dunnyrail - I also sold one of the newly produced LGB 20753 0-4-0 DR Steamers to the same customer who bought the Mogul from me. He has an older LGB 0-4-0 produced by the former LGB company and also confirms the new model is significantly less weight than the older model and thus less traction and pulling power. My customer also clarified for me that on LGB R1 30 track curves the Mogul will stall with the wheels spinning in place when pulling three LGB 4 axles LGB passenger cars with metal wheels. So, the missing 2 pounds of weight is definitely the problem.

I also don't believe you need to be concerned about the extra weight causing idler gears to be stripped. I've repaired many LGB Moguls during the last three years and have found the current LGB idler gears to be of the same quality as those made by the former LGB company. Remember that Marklin bought all the rights to the LGB product and received the design drawings and plastic molds from LGB for use in their Marklin production.

Marklin responded to my email complaint about the Mogul's traction and pulling power issue and they replied: "After consultation with our quality assurance department, the locomotive can pull up to 2,900 g at a maximum gradient of 5%. If this does not work with your model, we assume it is an individual case and you must send us the locomotive with a good description of the error." I provided this Marklin response to a person who was a technical consultant for the former LGB company in Germany who now lives in the USA and repairs LGB locomotives. He states: "I have found an article of Garden Railways and a guy named Bill Zuback measured the pulling power of 16oz on a level track. That is quite a different story to that what Maerklin told! I think 2.9 kg is more than wishful thinking. Or their measuring procedure is different. Maybe they mean that the engine can pull a weight of 2.9 kg on a 5% grade and this weight is easily reached with 3 cars. But I still doubt that. The fact that the engine derails in curves points to a center of gravity that is way to far in the rear (because the weight was removed from the front). Maybe I will call the [Marklin Customer Service] lady on Monday."

I also contacted my Massoth supplier in Germany about the unweight problem with the new Mogul and he was already aware of it, and advises the fix is to add 2 pounds of weight back into the Mogul. So, that's the solution for hobbyists who own one of these new Moguls, but Marklin needs to recognize they've seriously unweighted the Mogul and needs to fix it for their future productions. It also seems to be a systemic issue for some of the other LGB locomotives they're producing except for the ones constructed of metal.
 

beavercreek

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I have the pre Marklin locos, moguls, Sumpter and Uintah mallets, Mikados, F7s and Genesis diesels.
I have looked closely and investigated any of the Marklin replacements for the above locos.
Besides the huge hikes in price, I cannot find any successful improvements to the original design besides perhaps some of the electronics ( time will attest to their robustness).
The weight issue with the Moguls is a real faux pas as we all know that loco driver traction is important in our hobby, especially if you have a more non-flat layout!
The mallets are a bit lighter and the plastic seems to be slightly more hard and less able to take adverse handling..how it stands up to UV will be seen. The predecessors were very able to stand the onslaught of summer sun.
I was at a show today and nearly everyone I talked to, including traders, said that Marklin is pricing the hobby beyond many and that with economy as it is, there will have to be a retrenchment by the company as they make even less sales.
Just as well that there is so much second hand LGB kit available!
 
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Dan

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Here in the USA I feel that the newer Marklin pricing has enabled sellers to up their prices on the older stock. On the bay, you have a higher shipping rate, higher rate asked for the models, and now pay tax on goods that were originally taxed when first sold with money that you earned that is also taxed. Not double taxation, triple taxation now.
 

dunnyrail

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Here in the USA I feel that the newer Marklin pricing has enabled sellers to up their prices on the older stock. On the bay, you have a higher shipping rate, higher rate asked for the models, and now pay tax on goods that were originally taxed when first sold with money that you earned that is also taxed. Not double taxation, triple taxation now.
On the basis that the LGB build appears to have been better German quality, I can understand how LGB EB prices have risen. There are likely to be many red box items in pristine condition never having been run. Finding them will be the tricky part.
 

Ralphmp

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I bought a GE 4/4 III direct from Marklin a couple of years ago and it weighs a ton. Nicely finished and nothing’s dropped off yet. These days I can barely manage to carry it outside on my own without risk of dropping.

No issues with traction - it hauls ridiculously long trains with ease - and it ploughs serenely through the leaves and other crud that collects on the track.

Maybe the shape and the lack of gizmos like smoke units allows for fitting of more weight?
 

Greg Elmassian

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Yes, although I don't think it that way, old school without large smoke untis allowed more weight, and the new ones are so big, some weight must go.

A fine distinction, you don't have more weight, he has less weight than before.

Addition of gizmos to make the loco "fancier" should hot detract from basics like pulling power.

Greg
 

Ralphmp

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A fine distinction, you don't have more weight, he has less weight than before.
Good point - it just seems to me as if the locos get heavier as I get older when clearly they don’t.
 

phils2um

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Maybe the shape and the lack of gizmos like smoke units allows for fitting of more weight?
I agree. My most recent purchases from the "standard line" of MLGB, the RhB Ge 4/4I and RhB 6/6 II are also great pullers. But again, plenty of room for weight in these locos.