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Product Review: LGB 20841 Sachsen IV K Steam Locomotive

LGB 20841 0-4-4-0t Sachsen IV K Steam Locomotive

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     This is perhaps LGB's most unusual locomotive yet. Much larger in person then the photos let on, this engine will capture your attention due to the highly unusual nature of the valve gear. If you'll take notice, the front set of pistons are actually "backwards" while the rear set are standard. Also, the front set of drivers are inside frame and the rear set outside frame! This is definitely one strange locomotive.


     The locomotive is roughly 19" in length and weighs somewhere in the vicinity of 10 to 12 lbs. Due to the locomotive's twin motor arrangement, its pulling power is outstanding! It is able to pull 10 to 14 cars (depending on the type of car) up my 140' long helix which has a maximum grade of 4.5%, which is phenomenal. The reason its pulling power is so remarkable for this relatively small locomotive (when compared to some of LGB's larger steamers and diesels) is due to the fact that all the weight of the loco is directed over its drive axles. In addition, each set of drivers houses one of the two motors, which happen to be identical to the tried and true original Stainz Locomotive motor LGB has been using for over 20 years. The locomotive also has a working smoke stack with the use of LGB's smoke fluid, a standard on all LGB Steam Locomotives.

Lubrication & Maintenance...

    A typical LGB locomotive. Once opened, a first time lubrication of the valve gear and side rods is all that is needed. This eliminates any low squeaks coming from the side rods immediately. The motor and ball bearings are sealed and water proof, therefore, lubrication is not needed, it has been done for you at the factory. Without any "running in", the locomotive performed flawlessly right out of the box, crawling along without any hints of stalling out: silky smooth operation. The side rods and valve gear should be lubricated a few times a year, 3 or 4 , depending on the amount of use the locomotive gets. Now, there are some purists who feel you should lubricate every 10 minutes, my experience has show this is not necessary with LGB locomotives. I own about 30 engines, I lubricate them 3 to 4 times per year (side rods, valve gear, slider shoe spring). I have never once opened up an LGB locomotive to lubricate the motor, never once. My oldest engines are 10 years old, they run as good now as they did 10 years ago.


     The appearance of the locomotive is on par with LGB. The valve gear and drivers are extremely detailed, it is mesmerizing to watch the odd arrangement of the gear while the locomotive is crawling along. The cab backhead detail is good as well, however the cab doors don't open! That was surprising.


     After running the locomotive for about 15 hours, I noticed only 2 main problems. The first of which is the smoke unit. For some reason, it will only smoke really well when filled up about 1/4 of the total volume. Now, most LGB locomotives will smoke perfectly at 3/4 full, yielding about 45 minutes of continuous smoking. With this loco, you get only about 10 minutes before needing a refill. I have not yet figured out why, but it will not smoke at all when the volume of fluid in the smoke generator is more then 1/2, the generator might need to be replaced. The only other problem I noticed was in the rear set of valve gear. Due to the unusual arrangement of outside frame, the valve gear is set very wide, wider then standard LGB locos, it is also VERY low to the rail. This presents a problem if you have any wires running along side the track. LGB's station platforms do not present a problem, but the clearance from the valve gear to the station platform is extremely small, 3 to 4mm at the most! Aside from the smoke generator and clearance of the rear set of valve gear, the locomotive is a pleasure to run and watch, a must have for everyone!

Out of a rating from 1 to 10, I give this locomotive a

Close-up shot of the intricate valve gear of the locomotive

View of the locomotive's rear, notice the unusual rear plow and lighting arrangement

A shot of the articulation of the locomotive


For any further questions about the 0-4-4-0t, please feel free to contact me

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