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 The Stainz locomotive

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Location : France

PostSubject: The Stainz locomotive   Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:44 pm

There always continues to be a great deal of interest in these intriguing engines.

Here is a very comprehensive and informative article written by Paul Holt.
More about his models can be found on his website. LinzGstadtBahn

The Ubiquitous LGB Stainz Loco
The start of something big
Since Lehmann made their first Stainz in 1968, over one million Stainz locos have been produced

In starter sets and as specials.

Many a garden railway has started out with a Stainz starter set - mine certainly did.

The first locos made in 1968 were the start of mass produced, ready to run stock for the garden

Running on 45mm gauge track.

Thereafter, Lehmann Gross Bahn was born, literally Lehmann Big Train and the wider market for garden railways developed.

The real loco
Before we look at the models in detail, we can consider the real locos they were based on, made in 1892 at Krauss in the town of Linz, Austria.

Krauss made a total of six locos of this particular variant, two for the SalzKammerGutLokalBahn (SKGLB) around Mondsee, and four to serve on the SteierMaerkischeLandesBahn (StLB)around Mauterndorf, Tamsweg, Stainz and Wieseldorf.

The Austrian classification of this type of 0-4-0 Well Tank loco was Bt-n2.

The names of the four locos that served on the StLB were

Meran 2. Stainz 3. Gonobitz (Now known as “K3”) 4. Heiligengeist
Stainz survives today and is preserved by “Club 760” .

The model
When LGB made the Stainz and opted for 45mm gauge, the scale of the model is approximately 1:19, However, if that were accurate, the gauge would be 40mm.

Nonetheless, LGB had a way of making all their stock look “right” even though some items are not true representations of the real thing.

If you study photos of Stainz 2 pre 1956 (When it was rebuilt with Heissdampf - superheated Boiler and extended coal bunkers) there are a number of anomalies when you compare them to the model.

Stainz 2 did not have an extended well tank filler pipe with funnel, and one coal bunker was higher than the other.

However, if you look at photos of the locos that served on the SKGLB, with the exception of the

Shaped cab back the loco was the same.

The loco that is now preserved by Club 760 has the extended bunkers and superheated boiler as previously stated, so the LGB model does not represent the present day loco either.

So, in summary, the Stainz 2 loco that is sold with the starter sets is a compromise of the two types.

The 1968 release did not have the pick up skates and traction tyre of today's model and the motor was placed behind the rear axle under the cab floor.

This early model had a characteristic sound when running and has affectionately become known as “Growler”. These first models also had smaller front and rear lamps - which further echoed the real locos that ran on the SKGLB.

A couple of years later, and the model was now equipped with pick up skates and a traction tyre to improve the running qualities.

Up until the early nineties, the models had “split gearbox” assemblies - something which made maintenance more time consuming, but since then they have been fitted with the “D” gearbox, which can be accessed from above or below.
A tough customer.

The LGB Stainz loco is fabled for its reliability.

The proprietor of a certain model shop in Shaw near Oldham had a Stainz loco running in his shop window. It ran for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 5 years before it needed a new motor.

This particular loco now has pride of place on his mantelpiece !

A Friend of mine from G Scale Mad gave me his Stainz loco. He had had it since the mid nineties and had left it outside for 2 years - forgotten.

I stripped it down to fit a decoder, plus a new smoke unit………it ran good as new, as smooth as silk.

I also understand that someone in the UK ran the loco continuously for 24 hours a day, for several weeks before the loco stopped and needed attention.

Build Quality.

I have a few of these locos, and run my garden railway on LGB Digital control (MTS).

This means, that with two exceptions, I have had to fit decoders to my Stainz locos - with the exception of the 1968 Growler - which runs on 14 volts maximum.

Anyone who has done this will know how well put together this model is - understandably, as many starter sets are used by youngsters, who perhaps aren't as careful as they might be.

The first time I “chipped” one it took me well over a hour - as a mere novice in decoder installation at the time.

Since then, I have chipped many a Stainz for myself and fellow members of G Scale Mad and can now chip one in around 12 minutes flat ready to run.

LGB have made many variants of the Stainz loco in the 40 years since the first one rolled off the production line.

The original with the straight funnel resembled the number 2 loco on the SKGLB.

Later LGB produced a replica of “Stainz 2” (pre superheating) complete with red lining on the cab.

In the early nineties LGB produced a replica of K3 which is now preserved in a museum.

The K3 replica was not entirely accurate as the driving wheels on the prototype were spoked and smaller than that of the model. The K3 was one of the first Stainz variants to have a “D” gearbox.

In the late nineties, LGB again made another replica of the “Stainz 2”, this type with the later “D” gearbox and more up to date electronics internally.

Many other variants have been made including those in association with other companies in Germany, for example, “Schweiger” , “Garpa” and “Steiff Bears”.

The later locos were available with blue or red cabs, a “Steiff” bear with decoder fitted at the factory for digital control.

Dozens of Stainz locos have been sold in starter sets, many in different liveries to the familiar green cab, black boiler and red chassis and driving wheels.

Whether LGB survive financial crisis and the current world recession is yet to be seen, but even if not one more Stainz loco is produced, it will have left an indelible mark on the garden railway world.
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