LGB 21671 (and 21672), new track cleaning loco in 2021

Markku

Registered
19 Jul 2020
23
5
Finland
LGB just recently announced their 2021 new products, and new track cleaning locos are there: 21671, and 21672 for UP fans.


I have to say I'm interested, even though I don't have a layout yet :D (And if I had, it would be covered with 40-70 cm of snow at the very moment! How many Stainzes would be needed to push the snow plow that could handle that...?)

I presume the new models drive very much like the previous 21670. How practical is a track cleaning loco without using the cleaning motor, I mean, is it suitable for also used as a normal loco when not cleaning? It has the couplers sure, but from the pictures it looks like the cleaning wheels are down on the tracks all the time.
 

LGeoB

Registered
12 Dec 2017
139
29
Perth, Western Australia
LGB just recently announced their 2021 new products, and new track cleaning locos are there: 21671, and 21672 for UP fans.


I have to say I'm interested, even though I don't have a layout yet :D (And if I had, it would be covered with 40-70 cm of snow at the very moment! How many Stainzes would be needed to push the snow plow that could handle that...?)

I presume the new models drive very much like the previous 21670. How practical is a track cleaning loco without using the cleaning motor, I mean, is it suitable for also used as a normal loco when not cleaning? It has the couplers sure, but from the pictures it looks like the cleaning wheels are down on the tracks all the time.
I've used my track cleaning loco as an ordinary one. The cleaning wheels just freewheel when the motor for them is not activated.

Geoff
 

LGB333

Active Member
When the Track Cleaning Loco is in cleaning mode, it makes such a loud racket it will muffle the sound system. So I don't know why the expended additional manufacturing costs to install the onboard sound decoder into this unit...........I believe only a few hobbyists use them for pulling rolling stock. So expect to pay more for these two new models than the prior versions. And the track cleaning function causes a lot of heat on the circuit boards which makes them more prone to failing anyway...........so more expensive to replace the boards when these units fail and need repair. Anyway, my opinion it's not a good technical approach to add the sound feature to these new models.

I'm an LGB Dealer and Authorized LGB Service Center if any USA hobbyists want to order one of these two new Track Cleaner Locos: LGB 21671 and LGB 21672 (Union Pacific Roadname). Marklin hasn't released the pricing yet but I'm attending a Marklin USA Webinar for LGB Dealers next Thursday which will discuss the 2021 Production Releases and I'll then post the MSRP and my price for the two new Track Cleaners. I've also loaded the LGB 2021 New Items Catalog PDF onto my Website you can download.

Thomas White
Old Dominion Railways - LGB Trains
LGB Trains | Old Dominion Railways | Repairs & DCC Installs | United States
 

ntpntpntp

Registered
24 Oct 2009
7,361
262
58
UK
I agree, sound will be a complete waste of time on one of these when it's actually cleaning ! Additional expense for little benefit.
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
27,663
2,858
Tamworth, Staffs.
Could it be Marklin is going for a 'one size fits all' decoder solution?

It may make financial sense, for them to reduce the variety of decoders offered.
More economical to make a greater number of one decoder, perhaps?

PhilP
 

LGB333

Active Member
Could it be Marklin is going for a 'one size fits all' decoder solution?

It may make financial sense, for them to reduce the variety of decoders offered.
More economical to make a greater number of one decoder, perhaps?

PhilP
PhiP - Good point. I thumbed through the LGB 2020 General Catalog and every locomotive listed has sound except the Stainz starter sets and LGB 27631 Coca-Cola shunting diesel ( (With DCC Decoder Interface Socket) and LGB 200064 Coca-Cola Crew Car (No DCC Decoder Interface). So your theory may be right on the money!
 

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
19,061
3,856
72
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Could it be Marklin is going for a 'one size fits all' decoder solution?

It may make financial sense, for them to reduce the variety of decoders offered.
More economical to make a greater number of one decoder, perhaps?

PhilP
Yes remember the days when LGB were fitting a non-sound MTS decoder as a standard board to many of their traction pieces. Got so many moans from numpties that did not want or need decoder fitted machines that LGB stopped doing it. This of course upped the price considerably for those that wanted MTS and now had to pay higher prices for one, even more if you could not or did not want to fit it yourself. It has been said by many that a decoder fitted loco runs better than a non fitted one on analogue as well! Hm numpties.....
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
27,663
2,858
Tamworth, Staffs.
Knowing the abuse, and what the cleaning loco is meant for... I think this is not the most intelligent of decisions?

Get plenty of these machines where the standard electronics has failed, due to spike's, dropouts, etc.
Personally, I always put an XL in the loco, and a bridge rectifier and relay for the cleaning motor..

Will be interesting to see how they fair in the real world?

PhilP
 

Dan

Registered
28 Jan 2010
382
34
Eastern MA
On a side note, I recently fixed an old LGB digital track cleaner with the MD board. Only issue is lights are way to bright and will burn out quickly. I looked at the manual and found I could change the dimming on each function key for the dimming (had to reference the function key and appendix 2). Original value was 15 and for my Zimo system I had to change it to 10. This needed change for each function key. Forward, reverse, cabin, both flashing lights.
 
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eatrains

Registered
14 Jan 2014
7
0
Couldn't help but notice the front half of the loco doesn't sit level. Was it always like that?
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
27,663
2,858
Tamworth, Staffs.
How high the front sits will depend on how worn the cleaning wheels are..

New, out of the box, it will sit high.

PhilP
 

phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
830
352
Ann Arbor, Michigan
I have to agree that sound doesn't add much but I doubt it adds much to the cost either. We're used to paying retail for replacement decoders. Take a look at what sound decoders for the smaller gauges cost these days. What we're really paying for is the power handling ability in large scale decoders. My guess is that the production cost for Märklin is less than $25, including the cost of the speaker, to add sound. And, as Phil P. said, it does not make sense for Märklin to stock more than 1 or, at most 2 large scale decoders for use in both LGB and Märklin 1 gauge locos. In the long run, it might even lower overall production costs.

As, Jon D alluded too, it's getting to the point where it might cost more to leave the decoder out!
 

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
4,820
698
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
The costs in the decoders are:

output transistors (cheap)
dram (fairly cheap), a lot more used in a sound decoder
microprocessor (the most expensive component), and while they are getting cheaper, the market is driving to 16 and even 32 bit processors, and more speed.

Actually, the most important scaling factor for a company is often trying to support multiple models, often making one device, and selling 2 versions (same hardware, software turns off features) is CHEAPER than manufacturing 2 completely different models.

Also, remember that the actual manufacturing quantities are small, so small manufacturing runs drive up the per unit price... i.e. make 1000 of one hardware design less money than 500 each of 2 different types.

Greg
 

LGB333

Active Member
Here are the USA prices for the new LGB Track Cleaning Locomotives:
1. LGB 21671 - mfx/dcc/dc sound & lights: MSRP $709.99; Tentative Retail Price $700;
2. LGB 21672 Union Pacific Markings - mfx/dcc/dc sound & lights: MSRP $709.99; Tentative Retail Price $700.

Estimated delivery from Marklin's factory 2nd Quarter 2021. I've found during 2020 that Marklin's estimated delivery dates have mostly slipped due to factory production challenges probably from Covid-19 impacts worldwide. I might have additional status after I attend the LGB Dealers teleconference with Marklin USA this Thursday.