LGB Christmas Passenger Train Set
230v G (Narrow Gauge) Article-No. 70305
For many enthusiasts their first introduction to the hobby may well have been a large scale “Starter Set” put together by enterprising manufacturers’ to attract new customers. In order to have any chance of competing effectively in today’s ‘high-tech’ world these sets have to be appealing, imaginative and proffered at a keen price.
A Starter Set is how many of us got into large scale model railways in the first place and there is much to be said for purchasing one of the many “ready-to-run” entry-level sets available as they normally come with everything you need neatly boxed at an attractive discount to the total cost of their individual components.
They also provide a way of evaluating, at relatively modest outlay (typically around £300 at the time of writing) whether the hobby will prove an enjoyable pastime.
Remember, however, that you don’t necessarily have to start with a set. If you have a clear idea of your longer term aims it can be preferable to acquire items separately according to your individual tastes as this can prove far more satisfying. For example, most of the Bachmann starter sets include large oval of track but this is made from steel alloy and is unsuitable for use outdoors thus severely limiting your options.
When you come to extend your track using this proprietary 45mm gauge track you will discover that there are a very limited range of track types available and competing tracks from other manufacturers are not compatible. Probably far better to go for a set containing solid brass Code 332 track at the outset which will not only give you years of pleasure but will stand up to the rigours of being laid in the garden.
Should you find this form of leisure activity is not for you the set or individual items can be disposed of quite easily on Ebay (other auction sites are available) and you may even recover close to your original investment as prices are always rising. Frequent weakness in the sterling exchange rates has accelerated these cost increases as virtually all of them are manufactured abroad.
There are a number of well-known manufacturers who tend to specialise in Starter Sets such as LGB, Bachmann Trains, Piko, and Lionel. Märklin also used to participate in this market but seem to have curtailed their activities somewhat following the acquisition of LGB.
Typically, these boxed sets comprise a locomotive, two items of rolling stock, a circle or oval of track and all the necessary basic control equipment and power packs to get you up and running without further ado.
Invariably they also come with set-up and maintenance instructions (sometimes on a DVD) but just in case they don’t I have embedded as many downloads of the most popular ones under each manufacturer.
In this module I will endeavour to provide an overview of the sets currently or recently available from these manufacturers but you are strongly advised to carry out your own market research nearer to the time of purchase as the ranges are always changing. Please note that a mention of any particular set is not a recommendation to purchase.
In order to speed the loading of this module it has been split into a number of sections with their own suffix i.e Module 15A features train sets from LGB, Module 15B covers trains sets by Bachmann Trains, and so on. To go direct to a particular section please use the main index.
Also consult Module 14 about shopping for trains. The following section introduces trains sets produced by LGB over the years and may no longer feature in the company's catalogue but are quite likely to still be available from specialist retailers, online and from auctions sites.
LGB Starter Sets
Since 1968 LGB (the pioneer of modern garden trains) have produced an extensive variety of Starter Sets ranging from their basic Toy Trains up to sophisticated Special and Anniversary Sets many of which have become classics and attract a substantial premium if you are lucky enough to find one in good condition.
Their first offering was developed around the popular Austrian “Stainz” 0-4-0 Narrow Gauge Steam Locomotive and contained two short 4-wheel passenger cars, a circle of brass track, and all the necessary electrical control equipment to get you layout running in the shortest possible time
However, many enthusiastic youngsters (and even some not so young) become ‘hooked’ at an early age and set off on a lifetime’s search for the ultimate model railway layout with a little encouragement.
This website is in development and is designed and produced by www.gardenrailwaymanual.com.It is planned to be available later in 2020.
These pre-packaged train sets were aimed primarily at the European market and prior to 1985 many sets shipped to the USA had the transformer (DC power pack) removed as the 220V version was not compatible with the 110V American mains supply.
This colourful set gained almost iconic status and has subsequently been produced in all manner of guises and liveries – especially on company anniversaries and during the Christmas season. Many of these sets were limited production runs (sometimes as low as 250) so enjoy a rarity value.
LGB’s original “Stainz” loco has also gradually been improved over the years with new motors, new gearboxes, new electronics, enhanced digital capability, stronger body mouldings and more detailed markings.
These sets are always a great introduction to the wonderful world of garden railways and are extremely robust making them ideal for younger enthusiasts and newcomers to the hobby alike.
As with most of LGB’s product line the company’s assortment of Starter Sets changes and evolves each year although the basic concept of a boxed set containing a locomotive, two passenger cars or freight trucks, a circle of brass track and electrical transformer/controller is still generally observed.
For the serious collector the company occasionally release more detailed models with special liveries to complement the entry level sets. These encompass US and European outline models and increasingly feature digital control systems (allowing more than one locomotive to be independently controlled with on-board sound and lighting effects) as well as traditional analogue (DC) control.
Lehmann (now owned by Märklin) also now manufacture products exclusively for the U.S. market (much of which was made in China I believe) which are not widely distributed within Europe so I have attempted to provide an overview of the most popular train sets as a small amount of sets find their way back across the pond to Europe.
LGB historically manufactured their entire European product assortment in the town of Nuremberg, Germany but more recently have moved production elsewhere including Hungary and China.
I have summarised below the key sets in the firm’s current range together with some classic collectors’ sets from the past simply as an overview of what may be available but you should visit the LGB website to ascertain their latest range and availability prospects as they are likely to have changed.
LGB European Passenger Starter Set, Sound, 230 Volts G (Narrow-Gauge) - Article-No. 70302
This set includes everything you need to enter the World of LGB: You get a "Stainz" steam locomotive with a powerful motor, electronic steam sound and a smoke generator, one general-purpose socket, 2 passenger cars, figures, a full circle of track (1,290 mm / 51" diameter), a feeder cable for track connections and a safety approved- transformer and controller. Train length 84.5 cm / 33-1/4". Simply set it up and go!
Good value for a locomotive with factory fitted steam and sound features.
This YouTube video shows the train set in action
LGB Christmas Passenger Train Set 230v
G (Narrow Gauge) Article-No. 70305
This starter set contains an old-timer steam locomotive and two passenger cars in an attractive Christmas design to go with it. Both wheel sets on the locomotive are driven by a powerful Bühler motor. The front headlight on the locomotive is lit, and the locomotive has a built-in smoke unit. The set also has 12 sections of curved track, a transformer with a locomotive controller, and all of the necessary hook-up wire.
Length over the buffers 85 cm / 33-7/16".
This example is typical of the holiday and commemorative specials that LGB release annually and sometimes become collectors sets due to their limited production runs.
Superb decoration on Locomotive & Passenger Cars.
Also available with a 120v supply (72305)
LGB Christmas Building Block Freight Train Set with Sound & Smoke
230v G (Narrow Gauge) Article-No. 90463
The starter set for all sorts of fun: The set includes a freight train with a ubiquitous "Stainz" steam locomotive, a ballast car, and a loaded low-side car. The locomotive is equipped with a powerful motor, electronic steam sound, a smoke generator, and one general-purpose socket. The set also includes a full circle of track (1,290 mm / 51" diameter), as well as a power supply for 230 volts, and a controller. Train length 85 cm / 33-7/16"." diameter).
LGB Factory Train Set 230v G (Narrow Gauge) Article-No. 29050 Era IV
This is a model of the so-called "Factory Train", as it stood for many years in front of the Nürnberg LGB plant on Saganer Street in Nürnberg. The train consists of the steam locomotive, road number 99 5606, in the prototypical paint and lettering for the Seventies. Locomotive builder plates of etched metal are separately applied. The locomotive has a powerful ball bearing mounted Bühler motor and an mfx/DCC decoder with many digitally controlled functions and sounds. It also has a built-in smoke unit with steam exhaust synchronized to the motion of the wheels. Digitally controlled headlights change over with the direction of travel and are turned on in analog operation. The locomotive has digitally controlled cab lighting. The running sounds will work in analog operation. The two-axle gondola with hinged hatch covers is prototypically painted and lettered for the Seventies. The car has a separately applied brake wheel for the hand brakes. The two-axle boxcar, car number 448, is prototypically painted in white and lettered for the Seventies. The car has a separately applied brake wheel for the hand brakes and a prototypical arrangement of the brake shoes only on the inner surface of the wheels. The two-axle boxcar, car number 336, is prototypically painted in brown and lettered for the Seventies. The car has a separately applied brake wheel for the hand brakes and a prototypical arrangement of the brake shoes only on the inner surface of the wheels. Total train length 115 cm / 45-1/4".
Full DCC Digital Control
One-time series in 2018 for the 50th anniversary of LGB
Pulsed smoke generator
Collectors set for the future?
LGB Branch Line Starter Train Set 230v G Gauge (Narrow Gauge) Article-No. 29050
LGB European Freight Train Starter Set, Sound, 230 Volts G (Narrow Gauge) - Article-No. 70403
This starter set contains an old-timer train consisting of a tank locomotive, a passenger car, and a low side car. The locomotive is equipped with a powerful motor and has a lighted headlight. The set includes a complete circle of track, a power supply for 230 volts, and a locomotive controller. Train length 76 cm / 29-15/16".
The starter set for all sorts of fun: The set includes a freight train with a "Stainz" steam loco, a ballast car and a loaded low-side car. The locomotive is equipped with a powerful motor, electronic steam sound, a smoke generator and one general-purpose socket. The set also includes a full circle of track (1,290 mm / 51" diameter), a safety-approved transformer, a controller, a feeder cable for track connections, and figures. Train length 84.5 cm / 331/4".
Highlight: Lots of play potential for younger enthusiasts
LGB European DR Era III Freight Train Starter Set G (Narrow-Gauge) - Article-No. 70230
The starter set for all kinds of play: a freight train with a diesel locomotive, a low side car, and a stake car. The locomotive and cars are painted and lettered for the DR's Era III. The locomotive has a powerful Bühler motor and an interface digital connector for installation of an MTS decoder. This set also has a circle of track, a locomotive controller, a power supply, and hook-up wire. Train length over the buffers 75 cm / 29-1/2".
Era III on the DR for the first time.
LGB European Digital Starter Set, 230 Volts G (Narrow-Gauge) - Era III - Article-No. 70530
The big starter set for the perfect way to get started in the digital LGB world with its many ways to play. The set consists of a freight train with a steam locomotive, an oval of track, and the large CS2 digital central controller. The locomotive is painted and lettered for the DR in Era III. It has an mfx/DCC sound decoder with many functions, a smoke unit, and headlights that can all be controlled in digital operation. The locomotive has a powerful motor geared to both wheel sets and traction tires. The set has two stake cars painted and lettered for the DR in Era III. The set has an oval of track, the large CS2 digital central controller for mfx and DCC operation, a large 100 VA switched mode power pack, and all of the necessary hook-up wire. Train length over the buffers 71 cm / 28".
Large digital controller included.
LGB Toytrain Large Railroad Starter Set, 230 Volts G (Narrow-Gauge) - Article-No. 90450
LGB Lego Train Starter Set, 230 Volts
G (Narrow-Gauge) - Article-No. 90463
A set offering many possibilities for play in the proven LGB quality. This set includes a diesel locomotive, a passenger car, and a low side car loaded with a rescue squad equipped with a pullback motor. The rescue squad can be transported to their destination with the train. It can be removed from the low side car. The diesel locomotive has a powerful motor and has headlights. A complete circle of track (external diameter 1,290 mm / 51") is also included in the set, as well as a power pack, a locomotive controller, and feeder cable for track connections. Train length 78 cm / 30-3/4".
LGB 90463 Building Block Train Set 90463
This starter set combines LGB's delightful large scale trains with the popular Lego construction blocks to the delight of many. The set includes a steam locomotive, two flat cars with spoke wheels, a building block plate and 30 building blocks. The set also includes a complete circle of track consisting of 12 curved sections of track, a locomotive controller, a power supply, and feeder wires. Train length 77 cm / 30-5/16". The train set can be expanded using the 94063 building block car which is available separately.
This is a relatively low cost train clearly aimed at the younger generation but could well have conversion potential for many other purposes.
European Digital Starter Set, 230 Volts G (Narrow-Gauge)
Era III - Article-No. 70500
LGB European "Harlequin" Starter Set
G (Narrow-Gauge) - Article-No. 90200
LGB European Toytrain Large Railroad Starter Set. 230 Volts
G (Narrow-Gauge) - Article-No. 90470
This large starter set is the perfect way to get started in the world of digital LGB with its variety of play possibilities.
Contents: 2 complete trains.
Train 1 comes with a steam locomotive, a passenger car, and a boxcar in prototypical paint and lettering. The steam locomotive has a multi-train control system decoder, headlights that change over with the direction of travel, a smoke generator, a general-purpose electrical socket, traction tires, a voltage limiting system, and an encapsulated drive with a Bühler motor. Both axles on the locomotive are powered. The passenger car has interior details and the doors can be opened. The doors on the boxcar can be opened so that the car can be loaded with freight just like in the prototype.
Total length over the buffers 84 cm / 33-1/16".
Train 2 is also prototypical and consists of a diesel locomotive, a tank car, and a ballast car. The locomotive has a multi-train control system decoder, cab doors that can be opened, and an encapsulated drive with a Bühler motor. All of the axles on the locomotive are powered. The locomotive comes with traction tires, a voltage limiting system, headlights that change over with the direction of travel, and a general-purpose electrical socket. The tank car can be filled and emptied. The ballast car can also be filled like the prototype and emptied by means of the side unloading hatches.
Total length over the buffers 91 cm / 35-13/16".
The locomotives and cars can of course be combined any way you like.
This set includes a complete oval of track (maximum length approximately 1,890 mm / 75"), a 100-watt switched mode power pack for power, a multi-train control system central unit III, a portable locomotive controller, and all of the necessary hook-up wire.
Highlights: 2 trains with digital control - a perfect introduction to digital controlled railways but a tad expensive for most pockets.
This is a multi-coloured starter set consisting of a battery-operated tank locomotive, an open-air observation car, and a dump car in the proven LGB quality. The locomotive has three speed levels forward and reverse and 4 sound functions. A complete circle of plastic track is also included (external diameter 1,290 mm / 51"), as well as a wireless, infrared controller, and the necessary batteries (3 each size C and 2 each size AAA). Train length 57 cm / 22-7/16".
Battery with wireless infrared control clearly aimed at the younger enthusiast.
A starter set featuring many different ways to play. With the well-known, proven LGB quality, of course. This set comes with everything you need for getting started in the world of G Gauge. It has a powerful steam locomotive with a headlight and two different low side cars. Also included is a Volvo power shovel that can be loaded on a low side car. The hood for the motor can be opened on the power shovel, the operator's cab can be turned, the power shovel arm is also movable as well as the shovel, and the power shovel itself has a friction drive. The set also has a complete circle of track (outer diameter 1,290 mm / 51 inches) as well as a power supply, a controller, and hook-up wire. Train length approximately 77 cm / 30-5/16".
This starter set can of course be combined with or added to all of the other locomotives and cars from the Toytrain program.
Endless play possibilities for junior railway modellers.
LGB Freight Train Starter Set, 230 Volts Era III
G (Narrow-Gauge) - Article-No. 70580
DB "Wangerooge" freight train starter set. A starter set for the pros with a prototypically painted and lettered locomotive and cars. This set includes a four-part freight train consisting of a German Federal Railroad diesel locomotive (DB, Wangerooge Island Railroad), a boxcar, a maintenance tank car, and a four-axle flat car. The locomotive has a DCC connector for easy installation of an MTS decoder and an encapsulated drive with a powerful Bühler motor. All of the axles are powered and the locomotive has traction tires, cab doors that can be opened, and headlights that change over with the direction of travel. The doors on the boxcar can be opened so that the car can be loaded. The tank car can also be filled and emptied like the prototype. The locomotive and cars are a special edition and are not available separately. In addition, this set includes everything you need to get started in the world of LGB: a complete oval of track (maximum length approximately 1,890 mm / 75") and a power pack with a locomotive controller and feeder cable for track connections. Train length 129 cm / 50-3/4"
LGB European Large Railroad Starter Set, 230 Volts
G (Narrow-Gauge) - Article-No. 70400
The perfect way to get started in the world of LGB! This set contains a "Stainz" steam locomotive and a passenger and a freight car. This lets you replicate real railroad operations as a model. A sheet of stickers is included for custom lettering on the locomotive and cars. The layout is child’s play to set up. The set includes a circle of track, a freight load, a feeder cable for track connections, a transformer, and a controller. Train length 75.5 cm / 29-3/4".
Ideal starter set for all ages.
LGB European Passenger Starter Set, Sound, UK
G (Narrow-Gauge) - Article-No. 78302
This set includes everything you need to enter the World of LGB: You get a “Stainz” steam locomotive in red and black livery with a powerful motor, electronic steam sound and a smoke generator, one multi-purpose socket, 2 passenger coaches, figures, a full circle of track (1290 mm diameter), a quick-connect cable and a safety approved-power transformer and controller. Train length 84.5 cm. Just open the box and go!
An attractive set with the benefit of factory installed smoke generator and sound feature.
LGB European Work Train Starter Set, Sound, UK
G (Narrow-Gauge) - Article-No. 78403
Similar to the 70403 this starter set for endless fun and games: freight train with “Stainz” steam loco, a ballast car and a loaded low-side gondola. The loco is equipped with a powerful motor, electronic steam sound, a smoke generator and one multi-purpose socket. The set also includes a full circle of track (1290 mm diameter), a safety-approved power transformer and controller, quick-connect cable and crew figures. Train length 84.5 cm.
Another interesting set with the benefit of factory installed smoke generator and sound features.
LGB European Anniversary Set Celebrating 125 Years of the Rhaetian Railway
G (Narrow-Gauge) – Era VI - Article-No. 29271
Not an entry level set and incomplete as there is no track or control equipment but demonstrates the level of attention that LGB bring to the large scale model train hobby.
The image above does not really do this special anniversary set justice which exemplifies LGB’s attention to detail for the discerning G Scale modeller.
The 29271 train set is being produced in a one-time limited edition series, exclusively to commemorate the anniversary of 125 Years of the Rhaetian Railroad.
Contents of the set:
The splendid "Rhätia" steam locomotive in a green/black paint scheme has been built using new tooling. Also included are one passenger car, car number C 2012, and two type B2 observation cars. The locomotive and the cars in this set have been extensively and carefully painted and lettered. They are an exclusive special edition and are not available separately.
Rhätia steam locomotive as new tooling.
Extremely fine, prototypical paint schemes and lettering for the locomotive and cars in the set.
Sheet of stickers included with the car numbers 2003, 2006, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2021, and for custom lettering of the passenger cars.
Anniversary Set for 100 Years of the Bernina Railroad ERA I
G (Narrow-Gauge) - Article-No. 21000
Yet another Limited Edition which hardly qualifies as a starter set but well worth searching for in you are interested in Swiss narrow gauge railways.
This train set was an exclusive release to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bernina Railroad. This set consists of: 1 each RhB class BCe powered rail car, 1 each freight train baggage car, 1 each observation car and 1 each passenger car. The historic powered rail car, road number BCe 4, has the prototypically correct harp-style pantographs on the roof. It also has two powerful motors and a DCC connector, interior details, and doors that can be opened. The powered rail car has prototypical paint scheme and lettering. Length over the buffers 63.5 cm / 25". The freight train baggage car comes with a prototypical paint scheme and lettering. Length over the buffers 30 cm / 11-13/16". The observation car and the passenger car also come with the correct paint scheme and lettering. Length over the buffers for the observation car 33.5 cm / 13-3/16", for the passenger car 44.5 cm / 17-1/2". The powered rail car and the cars come in an exclusive, special edition and are not available separately.
This train set was a one-time limited production run only in the anniversary year (2010) for the Bernina Railway and while no longer produced it may still be available from retailers or auction sites.
LGB G Gauge Catalogue No.70685 "ORIENT-EXPRESS"
Limited Edition Pullman Coach Set.
This luxury train set comprises of 0-6-6-0 Mallet Steam Tank Locomotive in blue and black named "HANOMAG" No.685 for 2-rail Electric DC Analogue operation (but MTS ready) with factory fitted electronic sound, smoke generator, big headlight and rear marker lanterns. Included with this set is a pair of fully decorated Wagon-Lits Grand European Express 1st Class Salon Passenger Coaches Nos.31650 and 31653 with internal lighting, 14 first class passenger figures and metal wheels.
The original set was supplied with 16 wide-radius (R3) curved track sections and 18 straight track sections; a powerful 5-amp transformer and advanced microprocessor throttle (speed controller) complete with colour-coded quick-connect cables, complete instructions and a large custom “Orient Express” storage case.
Only 1500 sets were produced (1000 for the European market and 500 destined for the USA) and sold exclusively through LGB Authorised Distributors.
This fabulous limited-edition set is quite rare these days and sells for around £1800 even without the track and control equipment. A really good example in mint condition could well be worth £2500.
The sound is better discernible on this YouTube video kindly contributed by 6788993.
Please note that the next section featuring Bachmann Trains Starter Train Sets continues on Module 15B to improve page loading times.