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  • Topic: Incredible durability?

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    • August 2, 2014 4:18 PM EDT

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      President Jay Kelly, of the Southern California Garden RR Society, made some durability calculations on both a USA SD 40, an LGB Amtrak, and the ever-present LGB Stainz 0-4-0.  The durability assessments were made from nearly seven years of Christmas displays at two commercial centers. The layout formats are the same year-to-year and the actual track distances to an inch and the numbers of round trips were calculated by number-cruncher Jay.

      Here's the stats:

      SD 40 - The combined travel computed for all of the displays total to date: 350 actual miles
      LGB "Amtrak" - Combined display operations totaled in at 325 actual miles.
      That's 3/4 of the way from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

      I personally have done maintenance on both and there is no noticeable damage to the gearing. One note is the locomotive's speed is set for each ten hour day of running.  The start 'n stop push-button kid controllers are limited to three distinctly separate circles of track.

      Jay adds:
      "This exercise got me thinking about my 1985 Stainz. I put hundreds of hours on that loco indoors and out. Estimating run time for this loco on my 150 foot backyard layout I think it has about 1200 actual miles on it. Other than several sets of pick-up shoes and gear lubrication, nothing has been done to it. It is still used dozens of hours per year on the children's push button loops at our public displays."

      Wendell

    • August 2, 2014 9:18 PM EDT
      • Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
         
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      I believe the Stainz locos are legends in their own rite.  I run mostly small LGB locos.  However the Stainz locos still out perform their mown team members.  Did the original LGB designers have divine guidance when they came up with the Stainz workings?  Who knows.  It may be my imagination at work.  

      ____________________________________

      "In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholsome diet"

                                                                             Winston Churchill

    • August 12, 2014 3:18 PM EDT

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      Readers of these postings who regularly run Hartland Locomotive Works (HLW) locos will likely agree their locos are very durable.  Our three HLW "MACs" have hundreds of hours on them and absolutely no problems with durability other than eventually reduced continuity through the wheels. After several years wheel tread wear, I simply wired off the MAC motor to connect with a trailing gondola equipped with a set of LGB ball bearing wheels -- ones with pickups.  The result is no electrical glitches.

      Regular lubrication is one standard I follow -- I use the Mobil 1 oil and grease on all of our locos and cars.

      Wendell

    • August 18, 2014 2:29 PM EDT

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      Some intersting comments from a guy that used to help maintain the Wegman's store displays (about 60 setups). The trains ran about 16 hrs per day depending in timer 365 days. The 1985 Stainz were the engine of choice. The trucks would last about 2 1/2 yrs. New Stainz about 6 months. Thus the new caretaker has switched to USAT diesels. These last about 1 yrs. Aristro FA less than 1 yr. Thus, experience here is based upon a large number of engines.

    • September 9, 2014 9:46 AM EDT
      • Cape Cod,
         
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       I will attest to the durability of a LGB Stainz. The other night I had mine get rear ended and take a near 2 foot drop missing a brick and landing onto dirt.   After a quick inspection and finding nothing broken it went back on the track to turn more laps.   

       LGB seems to have a nice mix of detail and durability.    

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