Monday, May 20, 2019

Magnus Trains by Christian Hoehne

TrainCraft Trove answers the plea of one of our donors - please see https://www.gofundme.com/keep-the-lgb-traincraft-blogs-alive for more details - to report about Magnus, the German manufacturer of  G-Scale metal trains and corresponding parts.

The following is a compilation of translations of the "Spur G News" web blog by LGB club Rhein-Sieg and "Spur II Nachrichten" by HJ Neumann.


Magnus was founded in 1976 by Christian Hoehne in Putzbrunn near Munich/Germany. Ever since then they grew steadily and well. Son Dominik accompanied his parents Rosi and Christian Hoehne from the time he was a toddler. The company truck was grey. Also grey were the precious metal crates and their contents. As soon as the truck doors and the crates opened the eyes of all LGB fans present started sparkling. Every year the perfect adventure (it was). Since these trains were made of metal! ( In German the word for train literally means Iron RailRoad - hence Magnus slogan was " Model Trains - made out- of iron).
The plain grey metal crates were piled up in the trailer truck, rigged and ready to go. Then the newest models were displayed and offered right on  shelves on the truck! Magnus 'manufactured' models purely made by hand for LGB, like the Garratt 1 of the Schinzacher Nursery Railway made of all-metal. Even the steam loco RhB G 4/5 No 107 was completely handcrafted in pure perfection in Putzbrunn, Made in Germany. Mrs Rosi Hoehne managed the sales department and the men focused on manufacturing the train models.
Also made by Magnus - a real"Mom&Pop Shop" - were specialties and 'aging' of locos. Standard gauge operators are still gushing about the fantastic Big-Locos of the model series 50 or the model series 01 with 64 mm gauge width. Perfection to the last detail.
Water standpipes, railroad coach carrier trucks, complete workshops or wheel sets were manufactured for the enthusiastic  G-scale model railroader.

Magnus closed shop for good in 2014.

The following is courtesy of FGB Berlin, a German LGB and G-Scale retailer with a very informative website (see https://www.fgb-galerie.de)

Exclusive,select models by Magnus for LGB
In 1976 Christian Hoehne established Magnus Co., 'manufacturing' handcrafted locos.
One of their first orders included exclusive handcrafted locomotives for LGB E.P.Lehmann Nuremberg.
Over the years 7 loco series were built listed consecutively.
Each loco series was limited to 100 locos
All locos were G-Scale models with very interesting wheel arrangement


LGB Annual-Loco-Series 1977 to 1983

Modell 1977 - 
Class 24 der South African Railways
Modell 1978 - 
Garratt Lokomotive der CFM (Caminhos De Ferro De Mocambique)
Modell 1979 - 
Mallett der Bridal Will Lumbering Co.
Modell 1980 - 
Kitson Meyer der Girardot Railway of Columbia
Modell 1981 - 
2'D1' Kondens-Lokomotive der Argentinischen Staatsbahn
Modell 1982 - 
Standard Lokomotive der Indischen Staatsbahn
Modell 1983 -
1'E Typ Decapod Lok der Tungpubahn in China 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Yours Truly on the March 18 thoughts by HJ Neumann

Klaus' Plea: I want to keep you informed and entertained with our blogs without ads or the need for subscription.It takes great effort and time  to entertain the blog sites. Please support us in our endeavor of keeping the blogs ads-free, the LGB history alive and promoting this delightful avocation by donating any amount you feel comfortable with. Send me a check or go to our Go-Fund-Me page at .https://www.gofundme.com/keep-the-lgb-traincraft-blogs-alive
THANK YOU for keeping the LGB hobby alive!! And God Bless!


Your donation will help in our efforts to have a new blog at least every week!




Alright, YT has never done this before. But ......

First let me say YT really admires JH Neumann for his enthusiasm for the LGB Hobby and his lifelong commitment to LGB trains and the LGB fan community. YT also realizes that with advanced age the past often seems closer to your heart than the present. BUT....

Here is the link to the 2018 LGB catalog
LGB 2018

I think it is a very good and broad offer for the LGB fan. One of the best in recent years, actually. Coming back from extinction (no production from 2006-2009) is hard for a product that is slightly complicated to say the least. A regular LGB loco consists of up to 150 different parts or more. Handrails are not molded into the form but are a part by themselves. As are wheels, bumpers, domes, cabin doors, and so much more.
Just the motor block of your average LGB engine is a well-thought-out assembly of 15 to 40 parts (depending on type and model). All available as single spare parts. You know where this is going. Because this is exactly the reason that LGB trains are liked around the world with a following of fans and customers for more than 50 years and counting. And it is also a reason for delays in manufacturing, maintaining and reworking the molds for locos and cars.

We as TrainCraft by Klaus have it on our banner to keep the Original old LGB locos up and running and the history of the Old LGB alive. But without any new items to purchase there would be no new fans and customers. All of us old guys would just simply pass away one day without any future for the hobby.

It takes a great effort to get a company back from the dead and a product running again. Money, knowledge and management are key factors. Now take a look at the 2018 LGB catalog. It's a download so it may take a while on your computer. But look. YT hasn't seen an offer that big since the early 1990's. And LGB was never cheap. Ever. Actually it is less expensive today than in its heyday. Considering costs of living back then and today.
And there are new and young(er) LGB fans again, today!  Take a look at how many Garden Railway clubs and societies there were in the USA and Canada in  1990, 2012 and today in 2019  : it went from roughly 240 down to maybe 30 back up to 120 today. Yep! You didn't expect that, now, did you!! And each garden railway club has its own G Scale layout and trains operating on it. Younger people in growing numbers are joining the G Scale community and they come with their own taste in train(-set) types, color scheme and price range they are willing to spend. Not to mention that LGB has narrow gauge railroads at its heart and narrow gauge by defintion is a pretty limited affair. The number of original models than you can rebuilt in G scale is just not that big compared to regular gauge.

It has always been a master characteristic of LGB to announce a 100 and deliver max 30, meaning you get 30 percent of what they say they will have. At any time, under Wolfgang Richter and some say, even more under Rolf Richter, LGB announced 10 new items and then had 1 item in stores nine months later. and the rest took up to 2 years to be available for purchase. Bad management? I refer to my paragraph about the 150 different parts ... Klaus Baumann (VP Sales at the original LGB) told stories manifold about how they had to create so-called hand-models from wood, metal and some molded plastic so they could have a photo for the next catalog and say "NEW Items for ... A good example is right here
That's a Mogul. Held by Eberhard Richter jointly with his brother Wolfgang and Klaus Baumann. Alas, Eberhard died ( in a horse riding accident) before the Mogul went into series production. So what you see here is your typical 'hand model'.

Ability to actually deliver a new item to a dealer vs showing it in the catalog hasn't changed much over the last 50 years. A look at Only Trains, one of the best and fairest dealers in the USA for LGB and other G Scale Trains shows that out of 46 LGB locos  (steam,Diesel and electric) 21 are available in stock, which is about 45%. That is pretty good.

A word about prices, German prices that is. Germany had a currency change in 2002, from DM to Euro as had all European Union countries with their currency. People liked it and hated it. Some compared it to a monetary reform. Life went on. We have the internet now. And Amazon.com. There is just something really wrong when someone compares apples to oranges.  It's like comparing what you did at age 37 to what you do now at age 72..... It just doesn't work aside from inflation, general economic power, and assimilation of the former East Germany into what Germany is today. Yes, the Deutsch Mark was a hallmark of the reborn Western Germany (after WWII) signaling a wealthy-to-be society. But... go and see Germany today. With the Euro. It is a rich country. Beautiful. They reintegrated and rebuilt not only East Germany, they rebuilt every single building they still had  (by 2003). And Germany's history goes back more than 2000 years. That's how long the territory of today's Germany is inhabited by people who built castles, villages, towns, roads, bridges, railways, churches and what not.  Oh, and LGB trains! To hang on to a price scheme from 25 years ago from a completely different economy is just not right.

Stainzer Flascherlzug
But... Yours Truly does opine on the quality of some of the passenger cars. Especially the Stainz train set cars and Steiermark railroad cars. Don't get me wrong. The Original is lovely. Check their Steiermark Train ( scroll down to the big pic and click on the arrows). Take a look at the lovely old fashioned passenger cars in original size. But the LGB models? Since day one they  look as if someone melted down old plastic garden chairs and made those cars......alright, you can be mad at me now...



Klaus' Plea: I want to keep you informed and entertained with our blogs without ads or the need for subscription.It takes great effort and time  to entertain the blog sites. Please support us in our endeavor of keeping the blogs ads-free, the LGB history alive and promoting this delightful avocation by donating any amount you feel comfortable with. Send me a check or go to our Go-Fund-Me page at .https://www.gofundme.com/keep-the-lgb-traincraft-blogs-alive
THANK YOU for keeping the LGB hobby alive!! And God Bless!


Your donation will help in our efforts to have a new blog at least every week!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Thoughts -- March 2018 and some Y.T. Notes

Klaus' Plea: I want to keep you informed and entertained with our blogs without ads or the need for subscription.It takes great effort and time  to entertain the blog sites. Please support us in our endeavor of keeping the blogs ads-free, the LGB history alive and promoting this delightful avocation by donating any amount you feel comfortable with. Send me a check or go to our Go-Fund-Me page at .https://www.gofundme.com/keep-the-lgb-traincraft-blogs-alive
THANK YOU for keeping the LGB hobby alive!! And God Bless!


Your donation will help in our efforts to have a new blog at least every week!


Following is the translation of HJ Neumann's article from March 2018 about LGB new items, representing his opinion. Followed by Y.T. observations for 2019 and the current LGB engines available here in the USA (to the best of my knowledge...) This is a lot of text, so lean back and enjoy!

OK Then! After all I will write something about my "LGB Thought stock" with that a many readers asking for it. Now, that I've overcome my "shock' also known as "New Items LGB 2018" from the beginning of this year-- at least a bit.

Especially as I actually have no reason to get upset: neither am I an LGB dealer ( who has ever less to sell) nor LGB manufacturer ( who obviously is missing a long term sales strategy) I am just only an LGB fan and possible customer  and as such I am gripped by boredom when looking at the program 2018! Starting with the 50th anniversary logo which arose from a mix of history and a bland "50 Jahre/Years". Well, I am no graphic designer but that something doesn't work here even I noticed. Alas, too late...
Before I started writing this I went to see some dealers asking them about the single specific orders received. Horrible.

Five box cars are offered for the special anniversary (LGB # 40501, 40502, 40503,40504,40505). Then there is a gold colored Stainz which functions as the set loco in the catalog. The five cars come at Eu 130.00 each, total Eu 650.00 plus the Stainz for EU 260.00, sums up to EU 950.00 ( or  US$ 1,100.00). Or, to remind you, in exchange rate to Deutsch Mark DM 1,800.00. That is dead on arrival -- for me. Color wise  the cars and the loco don't go together at all. Plus such a gold colored loco already exist as small edition loco by LGB dealer Ritzer.

I still remember very well the 1981 Anniversary train ( 100 Years Ernst Paul Lehmann Patent Works) The set came with a loco and 2 passenger cars color-wise nicely attuned, with tracks and transformer ( thus ready for set-up) and back then at DM 130.00. As a sign to the LGB fan community I would have tried to build on that: anniversary train set with loco and five cars all in the same color scheme. This time no tracks and transformer for a price of EU 399.00 ( US$ 450.00) That still wouldn't have been the shooting star of the week but the LGB fan community would have understood-- and I myself would have bought a set as well. For the loco, dear Maerklin,  I would have chosen the LGB loco # 2015 open in the back if you know what I mean... Matching that I would have offered a sound tender the next year - if I had been the manufacturer. And make some money with that. And a baggage car for the thus created specialty train would have been the new item for 2019 - announced as new item in 2018. This is how you do it, gentlemen!!

For about Eu 1,000.00 ( US$ 1,200) there will be a RhB loco Ge 4/4 II (# 28443) plus a US Mogul (20280) for about Eu 1,200.00 (US$ 1500.00) the Denver & Rio Grande Western. The original RhB loco operates  during the anniversary year by the way and could ( I repeat could) instigate some purchases. I personally would never (!) buy this specific model specifically since this subject would be an old hat in 2019. And don't tease me with that  Mogul from the LGB flint-stone aera!

LGB offers to participate in events for the original RhB operation on ..., activities in Joestadt and Gyoer on...- Yeah, yeah - you can go there but that is of no benefit to the standard LGB fan.

Another new item announced is the "LGB factory loco". The Original was located at Saganer Str in Nuremberg until bankruptcy in 2006 and was announced as new item back then as well. Now it is supposed to come. Now that the young folks don't know about it and the old folks don't care anymore. All in all this is 10 years too late.

"Too late" is a matter of definition, "too expensive" is easily understood by anyone. By now almost every item at LGB is "too pricey" but this year they top even that. The RhB steam snow blower Xrot (# 26605) is offered for no less than EU 3,999.99 (US$ 4599.99)They  write:" in tradition with the earlier LGB metal models". As if time stood still and people would still spend that amount of money for LGB trains. But the times have changed substantially. Years ago,  wealthy LGB collectors would have bought a model like this hoping for short term value improvement. But today?

Of course Maerklin will declare that this item is already sold out with its edition of 400 locos. So what. It is a known fact that big  Maerklin dealers with a full blown H0 program are more or less forced to take these models into their program. Just to get rid of them on eBay at purchase price. No this is the wrong signal at the wrong time. Another sign of planning without orientation. So sad.

If it was the right decision to buy the old BRAWA RhB steam loco G 4/5  (# 23530) and their passenger cars can be doubted as well. Under BRAWA management they sold really bad because - simply said - they were too delicate. To operate of course not for the show case. And when you buy LGB you want to operate LGB may be even outdoors. And again at EU 1,900 they display another price wish where most LGB fans have to pass up.

Now I tell you what I ordered from my dealer from the new 2018 items: The Richter freight mail car #32191 -- to complete my train set. The Saxonian box car  4333K (#40271) for set-completion also and the MBG bar car # 33661 because it it so beautiful. That's it. My poor dealer...(Sorry)

At least I don't have to get excited about a loco , already expensive , is sold in a wooden crate. Thus getting even more expensive. Maybe they could have seduced me with an aged Steam model ( A Stainz?) matching the ones in my own show case!

Finally a word about the Museums Car 2018 (LGB # 40018) a simple, covered boxcar with the labeling "Ernst P Lehmann Patentwerk" and on the other side " LGB Lehmann Grossbahn" How 'exciting'!!!


Greetings from Much!
HJ Neumann

Yours Truly has so much to say about this  and for the first time even commenting on a whole article. So please go join us on the next blog about this one episode!
Klaus' Plea: I want to keep you informed and entertained with our blogs without ads or the need for subscription.It takes great effort and time  to entertain the blog sites. Please support us in our endeavor of keeping the blogs ads-free, the LGB history alive and promoting this delightful avocation by donating any amount you feel comfortable with. Send me a check or go to our Go-Fund-Me page at .https://www.gofundme.com/keep-the-lgb-traincraft-blogs-alive
THANK YOU for keeping the LGB hobby alive!! And God Bless!


Your donation will help in our efforts to have a new blog at least every week!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

White Elephant Sale


This is Klaus' first White Elephant Sale offering the odd, the peculiar and the half forgotten:




Driving Decoder UHL 77500
= identical to PIKO 36120, 36212 and 36122 and a substitute for the Massoth XL


Special Sales Price US$ 85.00/ea.
Buy 2 for US$ 110.00
plus shipping&handling----------  4 left in stock 

Compare to Piko prices ranging from US$ 135.00 to $189.00/ea.

For all PIKO locos V60, V100,VT98, BR 194
Using a Piko cable set (not sold by Klaus) it also fits into PIKO 0-6-0, Mogul and Camelback as well as into TAURUS and BR 218.
As a Massoth XL substitute it fits into almost all LGB engines except Chloe, LGBchen, Olomana and Porter.

Get them while they last!
Contact Klaus by email or phone for ordering

The red 2096 test injection molding in the White-Elephant-Sale image will also be coming up for sale as well as more clearance items from Klaus' workshop parts section.




Wednesday, February 27, 2019

1986 -- No 3 A Look At The Toy Fair

YT: This article by H-J Neumann dates from 1986 when he reported about his visit to the Nuremberg Toy Fair visiting the LGB stand. Compare to last blog by YT and note the similarities after 33 years. 

Ernst Paul Lehmann, LGB

LGB presented its new items on a new and bigger stand this year. The main attraction was a large outdoor layout  designed by a landscape company. There was a mountain, a (small) stream with a pond, lawn, bushes and flowers. And everywhere LGB trains took their turns  in either bigger or smaller laps. ( YT: note that the very same landscape built still exists on this years stand with some plants replaced -YT ponders... )

What got your attention right away was also the big new item of 1986: a red painted  model of the rack gear electric loco H Ge2/2 of the Furka-Upper Alpine Railroad (formerly Schoellenbahn) which operates in friction mode as well as  in rack gear mode. Utilizing a cock rail which can be snapped into place into any LGB track grades of up to 25% can be overcome. Compare this to friction mode where the max grade is 4%.
Consisting of a rack gear loco and two red-beige passenger cars, the train climbed tirelessly up the hill just to descend down to the valley on the other side. Having reached the bottom a stretch of water was crossed on an also new arched bridge. This was the new arch bridge with the impressing length of (almost) 4 feet. It comes as a construction kit in which the single bridge parts have to be assembled and screwed in place. Several bridges can be constructed consecutively or adjacent to each other. The passage height allows for electric locos in panthograph  drive.

Announced last year the RhB Passenger car III Typ A could be admired behind a 'crocodile' within a long train. The car comes with complete interior trim, metal wheels and built-in interior lighting. With an overall length of 55 cm (21.6") the car is truly a super model which also shows in the price (DM 395.00) ( US$ 130.00 in 1986 and about US$ 300.00 today). delivery is expected for this year but the dining car will not be available until next year. (YT: the original car  LGB 3067 is available today for Euro 219.00 at Grootspor/NL . The latest US price is US$ 185.00 from 'ModelTrainMarket' a model train dealer in Ocala/FL which YT found on a Google search).
After the Maintenance and Searchlight Car # 4049 did not go into serial production in 1983 (LGB) now presented a different 2-axle model. Except for the -in our opinion- way to modern search light the car just doesn't fit the narrow gauge spirit. However until it will go into serial production there will be a thorough overhaul ; cue the catalog wording "reserve the right for modifications".

Speaking of "catalog": after a 2-year break a new catalog was presented this year. Trimmed to 113 pages it is still more a book than a catalog. Execution and photography are in familiar quality. The cover showcases the new electric loco of the Rhaetische Bahn which took turns in front of a tank train on the Fair layout shadowed by her  FO rack gear sister. (YT: The Rhaetische Bahn is again the star in 2019 in the new items catalog. It has been a constant feature throughout LGB history. For good reason: The Rhaetische Bahn in Switzerland is one of the very few still operating narrow gauge railroads in the world. Established 1888 it is ongoingly operating and expanding its lines. The Albula and Bernina lines were UNESCO World Heritage listed in 1988. Please go to their fantastic website Rhaetische Bahn and indulge in a ' real gauge' adventure.)
Listed as # 2064 the Wismarer Rail Bus was presented as a single rail bus, new item in all red coloring. With a trailing crest-car one such specimen was circling relentlessly around a group of bushes and flowers. The marked sales price of DM 450.00 has increased quite a bit compared to the already existing twin pack of # 2065-1 for DM 650.00. (YT: In US $ 1986: $ 150.00 and $ 220.00-- in US$ today: $ 345.00 and $ 510.00)

Though it wasn't a new item 1986 a Trans-Harz-Railway tank powered engine (Harzquerbahn Tender loco) with steam sound and flatbed w/ 2 cars was eye-candy at its best. May I suggest-- Mr. LGB can't you change color on the cars once in a while, e.g. blue and white?
Coming to the end of our  LGB stand tour we like to point out items that are going to be discontinued in 1986:
for starters there is the 'Fiery Elias # 2050, then the twin rail car # 2065 -see above- which will now be offered as # 2064 single rail car. In spare parts 29 positions were cancelled including all motor blocks and loco wheel sets. Obviously the actual demand did not hold up to the costs of  warehousing. Well now- nobody needs to be afraid of not getting his hands on parts for repair or DIY. Even if the required part is no longer part of the program you can still order each and every single part from the renowned LGB customer service.
Discontinued was also the switch block for battery operated locos as well as the (battery operated) steam loco. And within "Miscellaneous Items" the LGB pin and the poster are cancelled.
From the car program the passenger car Barmer Bergbahn # 3061 and the anniversary car "Jahreswagen 1985" have gone. Also, the specialty Anniversary Train for the Railroad Anniversary is no longer manufactured.
Within the trolley system only the 60cm catenary wire is still available. Anything smaller must be crafted DIY by cutting and bending.
Finally I cast my eye onto the new pricelist which is displaying either the same prices or only slightly higher prices. The DB Diesel engine #2051 is shown with a small price deduction of DM 55.00 ( US$ 27.00/ $ 69.00) and the sound version deducts even DM 80.00 ( US$ 40.00/$ 92.00) (YT: note that the price difference between a standard Diesel engine and a Diesel engine sound version back then was a hefty DM 550.00 or US$ 275.00 then and $ 635.00 in today's value. Easy to give a $ 40.00/92.00 discount...)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Notes From Yours Truly

Yours Truly has been waiting for the International Toy Fair Nuremberg to happen and end. It did. Alas, Mr. Neumann has yet to put out his thoughts on this event, which we are sure will happen soon.
Meanwhile here are some of our notes.

This link will lead you to an amateur short film on YouTube 
short video from Toy Fair 2019

as if you would go through the hallways yourself. Quirky but interesting

This 2nd video from the Toy Fair 2019 is  more professional

Toy Fair Video by modellbahn-kramm

And here is the link to the new LGB catalog for new items for 2019
LGB new products catalog for 2019

The German version is showing prices in Euro which can be roughly translated into US$ plus 10%. ( Euro 299.00 translates to US$ 299 +10% = about $ 330.00) For the English version try this link 
LGB New Items English version 2019

Maerklin/LGB had a huge booth/stand at the Toy Fair. It was easily one of the biggest on the Fair. It seems funny that the faces look the same after almost 40 years, knowing that they have to be different persons. After all, they would be 80 years and older by now.... Goes to show that model railroading does attract a certain type - right?

Maerklin also sticks with the past; they always had a booth/stand that was shielded from the average Fair visitor. No views allowed into the stand. Secrets had to be shielded from evil eyes. Whether it was LGB or Maerklin back then, they both followed the German tradition of not letting the average person know how they indulged and pampered their invited dealers with food, treats, gifts and more. There were times when the stands equaled Fort Knox--- then again, that would explain the high product prices. Somebody has to pay for the enjoyed extravaganzas...

Well, the internet and new media changed all that within the last ten years. Piko doesn't even care about this motto anymore and published all their new items before the Nuremberg Toy Fair. Their stand shows their open concept politics: everybody can enter, visit and look.
Also new compared to 40 years ago is that the LGB New Item catalog shows prices. But that's it. No other news here. Prices are still high for the product but can the product deliver?

Go see for yourself. A  freight train starter set for US$ 770.00 is a bit steep in my opinion. But it is a digital set. As for the Coca Cola series in yellow: Yes , Coca Cola did have a yellow phase in the 1940's. But who can remember that and is it published/marketed well enough by LGB? Oh well--. If you ask any American what color he sees if he thinks Coca Cola I bet you the answer is "red".

It is nice to see that Maerklin/LGB did put out a lot of new - or shall I say "copied from existing molds and newly painted" items. 

Yours truly has no information when the new items will be available. But delivery problems don't seem to be as problematic anymore as they used to be 20 years ago. 

ESU had a very small booth at the Fair. But their internet website is fantastic. You get really all the information you are looking for from there. Don't try that with LGB and their decoders. Then again, why would you look at a Dodge Omni ( just made it to worst car of the year by Consumer Report) if you can get a 2019 Porsche hybrid...

Yours Truly

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

1985 -- Issue # 2, Part 3

"Spur II Nachrichten" 1985, No 2, pg. 22

Club Activities

As announced in issue No 1 of the "Spur II Nachrichten" the first club field day was a visit to the LGB manufacturing plant in Nuremberg.
The agenda:
Friday, Oct. 25th
Departure at 2.00 a.m.(!) from Much
Arrival at 7.00 a.m. in Nuremberg
Viewing of the plant
Discussion (w/ coffee and pretzels)
Afternoon: visiting the transportation museum in Nuremberg
Strolling the historic district
Dinner and 'Gemuetlichkeit' (good cheer)
Saturday, Oct. 26th
visiting the model train exhibition at the convention center
Departure around 13.00h ( 1.00 p.m.)


Those had to be definitely serious LGB'ers willing to leave from deep sleep in soft feather pillows to go see the cradle of their joint hobby ( trying to be poetic, here).
All in all 9 club members had registered for this trip with 2 members from the southern region meeting us right at the LGB plant.
The bigger group started on time; in a mini bus provided by the local cabinet maker Wolfgang Schurig. Thank you again, Mr. Schurig for your generous donation!
With a little detour to Bonn-Bad Godesberg where we picked up our last travel companion we traveled right on to Nuremberg - pausing only for gas and a smoke. Nuremberg is the seat of Ernst Paul Lehmann patent plant, Industrial Zone 2, Saganer St. 1-5.

Entering the complex was impressing already: several huge buildings to the left and right of Saganer St. connected by a covered bridge.
Mr. Steinl, Senior Export manager, was expecting us already and was our guide through the plant. (We started) at the injection moulding hall where plastic is heated under high pressure and injected into forms/molds. The molds then open and eject the molded part into a vat.
Bigger parts are picked up ghost-like by a robotic arm and stacked on to a pallet-- you couldn't be more precise with a compass and a straight-edged construction.
Here they make the boiler for the "Mallet" , over there the driver's cab for the "Stainz", further on they inject the spokes into the metal wheel for the "Mogul". Oh, how many parts could I use for my hobby tinkering had I just brought a wheel barrel and might do as I wished to...(Then we went on) to the mold design and construction - probably the most important department of the plant.
Even a layman will recognize the precision work done by highly trained professionals here.With reverence we picked up a car box of the new RhB passenger car 3067 ( scheduled delivery in 1986) and examined all sides. That was one terrific piece!. On we went passing a location where Mr. Steinl told us" Don't look"- of course we didn't listen. Since we got to see a new item which was yet to be presented at the next Toy Fair 1986. What it was? I don't tell.Just this much: it will be another highlight!
Next came the warehouse, distribution, administration and finally the conference room where coffee and fresh Nuremberg pretzels were waiting for us already. Mr. Rolf Richter , junior CEO, was there to answer all our questions. It was a great experience to get information first hand. Thank you again, Mr. Rolf Richter, having fulfilled our request for a specialty visit and spending all that time with us. We ended the visit with a group photo. Mr. Steinl is front center,  Dr. Wilkes who took the photo is of course missing in this. On we traveled to  the city center of Nuremberg where we had scheduled a visit to the transportation Museum.
After that we encountered good cheer while strolling through the historic district, visiting the model train store "Schweiger", had a coffee at the "Marktplatz" and bought some fresh gingerbread cookies for our loved ones at home at the Otto E. Schmidt store ( remember, the 'father' of the gingerbread train by LGB) and then had dinner together.
We went to bed pretty early that night since we started noticing getting up very early that same morning. The previously scheduled video about narrow gauge trains was canceled due to the hotel not having a video recorder though they did have a TV set in the breakfast room.
After an extended breakfast the  next morning we traveled on to the Nuremberg Convention Center where they had a model train expo within the "Consumenta" fair. Of course we favored the LGB and Magnus booths but also ventured to see other gauges.
Herr Hoehne, proprietor of the Magnus Co., instantly agreed to give us a tour of his plant and company as well. Maybe we will accept his kind offer thankfully by next year.