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LGB Passenger Cars
Module 17A

 Please read the introduction in Module 17 if you have not already done so.



As the major influence on garden railways in the early 1960's LGB  Passenger Coach/Car is, as its name suggests, designed for the transport of passengers and can be open seating with central aisle. or have individual compartments (often with a side corridor for access).


For whatever reason most manufacturers tend to focus on passenger cars from earlier eras (reflecting the nostalgia for steam transport) especially those with shorter wheelbases.  This is especially true where carriages from the turn of the last century (late 1890’s to early 1990’s) are noticeably prevalent.


The earliest LGB passenger cars, released from about 1968 onwards, were the short wheel-based two axle designs in the 3000-series. These 300mm long bodies, representing actual prototypes approximately 22' feet in length, came in a number of variants according to the number of windows, door arrangement and style of cladding - the latter usually being simulated vertical wood slats or metal.

The first cars in this series represented the second or third class coach of the Lower Austrian Railway (Product Nos. 3000-5 and 3000-6)and painted brown or red although other colours exist. These were regularly revised and updated in subsequent years with models bearing the names of popular European narrow gauge lines such as the Zillertalbahn, Bundesgartenschau Express" and even non-existent USA railroads such as the "Dodge City & Great Western Railroad". All of these retained the diminutive shape and class designations.

Here are just a few of the many models manufactured up until the present day including a few of the many Special Anniversary and Christmas cars:

LGB 3000 Brown
LGB Green 3rd Class Passenger Car 3010
LGB 3008 Passenger Car Cream / Green
LGB 3000 3rd Class passenger Car
LGB 3000 3rd Class Cream / Red
33074 Christmas Passenger Car, 2000, LGB
33077 Christmas Passenger Car, 2003.jpg
33071 Christmas Seasons Passenger
LGB 3013 Dining Car Blue
LGB 36019 Christmas Passenger Car

The 2-axle wheelbase was also used to create other forms of narrow gauge coach such as the ex-Prussian 3rd Class Compartment Coach (3050) of the North German Island Railway in 1971 illustrated here. There is no corridor so so the conductor and any intrepid passengers who wished to move compartments in transit had to negotiate their way via the flat full-length steps provided on each side of the car.













LGB's aspirations in the field of passenger cars certainly did not end there. From the 1970's onwards LGB began introducing a whole range of different passenger rolling stock representing both European and USA prototype practice. Wheelbases were expanded to include 3-axle and two double-bogie axles in order to represent the longer cars in use as railways expanded. One of the first of these was the rather picturesque 4-axle 2nd/3rd Class Clerestory "Barmer" passenger coach in green /yellow 3060 (and later dark olive brown 3061) supposedly to be found operating on the mountain railway (Bergbahn) of the same name but I have been unable to find any evidence of this and the line appears to have been a cog tram railway.

LGB 3050 North German Island Railway
LGB 3061  Barmer Bergbahn Brown.jpg

2nd/3rd Class Barmer Coach in Olive Brown

This release was followed in 1974 with reproductions of the 8-wheel through train coach of the Austrian Federal Railways based on the version in service on the Pinzgauer Local Railway (similar to the type used on the Murtal, Zillertal, Steyrtal and Maria-Zeller railways and other feeder lines). Examples of the Austrian and Swiss versions are shown in the gallery below:

By the late 1970's and early 1980's (Era IV) LGB continued to refine their range of European styled coaches to embrace detailed restaurant cars with busy waiters, cooks in the kitchens and dining club passengers and this has continued to the present day. Click the buttons below to visit LGB's Current Official Website Page featuring Passenger Cars (both those discontinued and currently available):

In more recent years the emphasis has tended to be on Swiss Rhaetian Railway (RhB) passenger cars which is understandable given that railway company's extensive narrow gauge network. LGB also feature passenger cars to be found on other European narrow gauge lines such as the Rugen Railway, Saxon State Railway, Harz Railway, and more recently the Schoenheide Railway. It would take too long to list all their recent production but I will include images of just a few of the models below.  For more up-to-date information it is always best to go direct to LGB's Product catalogue using the buttons above.

33660 RhB-MGB 1st Class Panorama Car, GE
30650 RhB Salon Car, Cream-Red.jpg
31510 RhB Bernina Express 2nd Class Pass
36653 RhB 75 Years Glacier Express Salon
34690 RhB Velo Baggage Car, D 4216.jpg
30523 RhB Dining Car, Car Number WR 3810
31680 RhB Gourmino Dining Car, Limited E
30673 RhB 1st Class Passenger Car, A1227
35650 RhB Salon Car, AS 1144.jpg
37673 RhB Chur-Arosa Passenger Car, Coll
38670 RhB Salon Car, AS 1171.jpg
35640 Zillertal Kristall Car, B4 47.jpg
31520 RhB 2nd Class Passenger Car ERA IV


LGB were keen to establish a presence in the USA to take advantage of the rekindled interest in large-scale model trains and in 1981 produced a range of  longer wheel-based passenger clerestory coaches based on the Jackson & Sharp Co. based in Wilmington, Delaware. At one time they were said to be the largest rolling-stock plant in the entire USA and by 1880 were producing around one-hundred cars a year for standard gauge and narrow gauge use. The company's first narrow gauge "Jackson-Sharp" cars were supplied to the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad (D&RG) in August 1871, and it was to be over 100 years before LGB commenced production on their familiar bright yellow cars of that period.

In 1981 LGB released the first two versions of what was to be one of their most popular models: 3080 Passenger Coach and 3081 Combine (half coach and half baggage car). In later years these were to be joined by a number of other styles and liveries, some of which are featured in the gallery below:

I must confess that these are my favourite passenger car and I have lots of them in D&RGW and Durango & Silverton livery reflecting my passion for steam hauled heritage railroads in Colorado, USA. I have had the fortune to travel on a number of these lines including the Cumbres & Toltec and the Silverton section and these experiences are epitomised in this YouTube video posted in 2015 entitled "The Day After Christmas - Winter Steam on the Durango & Silverton" which says it all. The full version is available for SteamTrainVideos.Com



In 2000 the LGB catalogue announced the release of the Union Pacific F7 Diesel Passenger Set which departed from the usual muted colour schemes by featuring striking yellow livery. The range comprised an F7A Diesel locomotive  (23570), matching F8 Diesel Unit (23582), and three brightly coloured streamline cars - a Passenger Car (31570), an Video Dome Passenger Car (31580) and a an End-Observation Passenger Car (31590) - all with detailed lighted interiors. These cars are designed for standard gauge operations but still run on 45mm Gauge track.

Official LGB Union Pacific Streamliner P
Official LGB Union Pacific Streamliner P
Official LGB Union Pacific Streamliner P

You can view the actual train in action in the following youtube clip courtesy of

This style of streamline passenger car has subsequently been re-issued in a wide range of liveries which vary from time to time including, Santa Fe (32050, 36570, 36571, 36580); Denver & Rio Grande (30805, 30815, 30845,36572, 36574, 36575, 36576, 36580, 36590); Pennsylvania RR (32570, 32580, 32590, 32805, 32843); New York Central (33573); Southern Pacific (34570, 34580, 34590); and the Baltimore & Ohio (35570, 35580, 35590). Examples are shown below:

36580 Santa Fe Streamliner Vist Dome Pas
36574 D&RGW Streamliner Vist Dome Passen
35590 B&O Streamline Observation Car.jpg
32590 PRR Observation Car.jpg
34580 Southern Pacific Vista Dome Passen
33573 NYC Streamline Passenger Car.jpg
36576 LGB Streamline Baggage Car.jpg
33573 NYC Streamline Passenger Car.jpg

2006 saw the first release of the LGB Amtrak Passenger Cars in Phase III livery. "Amtrak" is the name of the passenger railroad service operated by The National Railroad Passenger Corporation which provides medium and long-distance intercity service throughout the United States and to nine Canadian cities.


These are accurate replicas of the Amfleet rolling stock in 1:29 Scale, are 800mm in length, and were closely followed by Amtrak Phase IV and V versions  (see list below):

30220   Amtrak Amfleet Passenger Car #21161 Phase III (2006-7)

30223   Amtrak Amfleet Passenger Car #21285 Phase III (2006-7)

31220   Amtrak Amfleet Cafe Car  #43104 Phase III (2006-7)

32220   Amtrak Amfleet Passenger Car #21004 Phase IV (2006-7)

32223   Amtrak Amfleet Passenger Car #21089 Phase IV (2006-7)

32224   Amtrak Amfleet Cafe Car #20038 Phase IV (2006-7)

33220   Amtrak Amfleet Passenger Car #21161 Phase V (2006-7)

33223   Amtrak Amfleet Passenger Car #21169 Phase V (2006-7)

33224   Amtrak Amfleet Cafe Car #20035 Phase V (2006-7)

This YouTube video from garden Trains shows an early Amtrak Express in operation. The cars seem to travel very smoothly on metal wheels. Pity they don't include them as standard on their other rolling stock.

In 2018 LGB announced a completely new train set inspired by the Napa Valley Wine Region to celebrate the company's 50th Anniversary. This impressive train comprises an EMD F7A Diesel Unit, Box Car, fully detailed Streamliner Passenger Observation Car, Passenger Car and Vista Dome Car. Everything is supplied in an elegant livery and replicates the wine train as it runs today. You will need deep pockets for this one!

36591 napa Valley Wine Train Passenger O
36593 Napa Valley Wine Train Vista Dome

NAPA Valley Observation (36591), Passenger (36592) & Vista-Dome (36593) Passenger Cars

The above cars are suitable for standard gauge operations but still run on 45mm gauge track as do these "Streamliner" Passenger Cars in ATSF ("Santa FE") and D&RGW (Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad liveries. They are no longer in production but frequently crop up on online auction sites.

36571 Santa Fe Streamliner Passenger Car

Santa Fe Streamliner Passenger Car

36571 Santa Fe Streamliner Passenger Car

Santa Fe Streamliner Passenger Car

36590 Santa Fe Streamliner Passenger Obs

Santa Fe Streamliner Observation Passenger Car 36590

36572 D&RGW Streamliner Passenger Car.JP

Flying Rio Grande Streamliner Passenger Car 36572

36580 Santa Fe Streamliner Vist Dome Pas

Santa Fe Streamliner Vista Dome Passenger Car 36580

36576 D&RGW Dining Car.JPG

Flying Rio Grande Streamliner Dining Car 36575

36576 D&RGW Baggage Car.JPG

Flying Rio Grande Streamliner Baggage Car 36576

36574 D&RGW Streamliner Vist Dome Passen

Flying Rio Grande Streamliner Passenger Vista Dome Car 36574

That just about covers the LGB passenger car range without going into great detail. For a more in depth summary I would urge you to research several sources which I will list in my preferred order of the "usefulness and coverage". Most are free to use and especially informative as regards passenger cars in general which do not receive the same coverage as other railroading topics:

Greenberg's Guide to LGB Trains by John R.Otley (ISBN 0-89778-091-4) Second Edition 1989

I have found this guide to be one of the most informative publications in my library. Somewhat bizarrely, perhaps, it was compiled in the USA and has contributions from several knowledgeable sources. Unfortunately the guide is no longer published although you may be able to obtain a second-hand copy as I did. Although primarily intended as a reference price guide to buyers and sellers it has much wider applications. I understand  this to be the latest hardback version so trains produced by LGB after the late 1970's are not covered although I believe that there may have been a pocket digest version subsequently.


Champex-Linden LGB Databank


This English Language LGB product database published by Champex-Linden in Germany and identifies most of the LGB production from around 2000 - 2006 and is available for non-commercial use.

LGB Product Archive

Since 2009 Maerklin (the new owners of LGB) have maintained a product archive which goes some way to maintaining an up-to-date product database although the layout and search facility is possibly not as good as it could be. We must be grateful for small mercies and the archive is free to use.

Kompendium (ISBN 978-3-9804083-7-0)

This ambitious publication was first published in 2012 and covers every product every article ever produced by LGB and its associates (Primus, Toytrains, etc.) and provides estimates of value although how accurate these are is open to doubt. It is quite an expensive tome but if you want to research the subject this is a must. Unfortunately, it has still not yet been translated into English which is a pity as it would attract much more international attention if it were. A 2nd Edition was released in 2015 with even more pages and photographs.

LGB Catalogues, Brochures, leaflets, etc.

Lastly, but by no means least, there is the literature issued by the company itself over the years. Fortunately, someone has brought all these together on a website which is simplicity itself. All the publications are identified in "date-bands" with a colourful image and many are freely downloadable in high quality providing ample research material from around 1968 to 2019.

The next few Modules will cover passenger cars from other major producers.


Copyright © John Prescott 2014 and respective copyright holders

All rights reserved

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