Facebook Page
Product Review: LGB 20471 Brunig Rack Steam Locomotive

LGB 20471 Brunig Rack Steam Locomotive

Back to the JLS Railroad Product Review Archive


     A strange locomotive, strange indeed. The first steam locomotive ever produced which can utilize LGB's Rack Rail system. Once over the rack rail mounted down the center line of the track, the cog beneath this 0-6-0t will grab the rack, engaging the upper set of valve gear. Once off the rack, the upper valve gear disengage. On the rack, it is some sight to see the counter rotating gear of the cog working along with the drive gear, alot of moving parts, very nice.


     The engine itself is about 14" in length and weighs in at around 6 to 7 lbs. The locomotive has very good pulling power off the rack, able to pull around 20 standard LGB freight cars. It really shines on the rack though. Once the cog beneath the locomotive engages the rack rail mounted down the centerline of the track, the locomotive is able to pull about 40 to 50 cars up a 4.5% grade! It sounds ridiculous, but, it is true, I have tested it myself on my 120' long helix with standard plastic and metal wheeled LGB freight cars. Now, I wouldn't recommend pulling that consist up that grade often, we did it as a test to show it can be done. A 20 car consist up the grade will present no problems at all. The locomotive has LGB's standard, extremely powerful 7 pole buller motor. Constant lighting circuits are also standard to power the 6 lights on the loco. With the use of LGB's smoke fluid, the engine has a working smoke stack, as is standard on all LGB Steam Locomotives.

Lubrication & Maintenance...

    I have heard horror stories about locomotives with alot of moving parts simply falling apart right out of the box, even after lubrication. I have also heard of locomotives that need lubrication every 10 hours of use, or some ridiculous number like that. Well, not with this locomotive. Once opened, a first time lubrication of the valve gear and side rods is all that is needed. The motor and ball bearings are sealed and water proof, therefore, lubrication is not needed, it has been done for you at the factory. 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 detailing is great, with working valve gear for the drivers and rack. The cab backhead detail is good as well. Now, don't expect to see something as detailed as an Aster fine scale model or BachMann Climax, but, you'll have an engine you can run with no trouble and hassle which looks superb.


     Problems with an LGB locomotive? What? Well, with all my 30 LGB engines, I have never once had a problem, never. This is a first. Right from the box, the Brunig makes a slight gear noise while running in reverse, forward is no problem, it is silent. This might just be because the loco hasn't been broken in yet, might possibly be a small burr on the gear. Although there is a noise, the noise is still infinitely lower then the standard gearbox noise of USA Trains engines, as well as BachMann locomotives. It isn't really too noticeable. The other problem I noticed, which is more serious, is that the locomotive doesn't smoke nearly as good as any other LGB locomotives. This could just be a faulty smoke generator, I will be looking into the problem and reporting back what I find. Presently, the locomotive works phenomenally, but, barely smokes.

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

Brunig on JLS Railroad

Photo of the Brunig in operation on the JLS Railroad

Brunig Valve Gear

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

For any further questions about the Brunig, please feel free to contact me

Back to the JLS Railroad Product Review Archive