Fifty years ago, Eberhard and Wolfgang Richter presented a revolutionary new item at the 1968 Toy Fair – model trains for indoors and outdoors. Whether it was in a warm hobby room in the basement or outdoors with snow and ice, LGB still stands up to these challenges and is still considered an extremely sturdy model train system. For 50 years now, a small steam locomotive – the Stainz – has typified the LGB logo and has thereby enjoyed world renown. In 1968, Eberhard and Wolfgang Richter probably did not expect the enormous success that LGB was adjudged to have earned in the last 50 years. LGB is and remains the first model train system for indoors and outdoors – this slogan still applies even after 50 years. Fifty years, or half a century is the current age of LGB. We want to celebrate this great birthday jointly with our fans and the LGB family as they have grown together over 50 years. On this page, you will find all of the information about the anniversary festivities, special products, or events for the anniversary, photos, films, and all kinds of useful information about your LGB anniversary.
Yet how did this unique idea come about of doing a locomotive in LGB colors for the anniversary "50 Years of LGB"? After the great success of the models of the RhB anniversary locomotives – above all the model for the 125th anniversary of the RhB – the thought arose of creating a similar locomotive for the LGB anniversary. The first thoughts about this came as early as the summer of 2016. These were developed further over time and made more concrete. The decision was made to realize these plans during a visit by Märklin Director Wolfrad Bächle to the Rhaetian Railroad during a special run with the type Xrot steam rotary snowplow. The design was worked out and it was coordinated with the officials at the RhB. The last thing still to be done was to decide which prototype locomotive to use. On the one hand, it had to be a locomotive that would be available during the planned period – that is during the anniversary year of 2018. On the other hand, it should be – if possible – a locomotive road number that had not yet been in the LGB program. It quickly became evident that one of the road numbers considered was no. 617 "Ilanz". The decision was thus taken to use this unit as the anniversary locomotive.
The basic components of the "LGB Anniversary Locomotive" project were thus determined, the design was fixed, and there was also no longer any doubt about the road number.
Yet first, we would like to take this opportunity to give you a closer look at the Ge 4/4 II 617, which is being given the honor in the anniversary year of making LGB even better known worldwide and at the same time of demonstrating the closeness between the RhB and LGB. The LGB family that once originated in Nürnberg will also be maintained in the future and be expanded with new family members.
The big prototype is not the only one to provide many decades of reliable service. The LGB model of the RhB class Ge 4/4 II can also look back on a long history and is among the classics in the LGB assortment. Over the years, the model was also constantly refined and rebuilt.
With our new anniversary locomotive, the Ge 4/4 II 617, you can celebrate the LGB anniversary more than just in the big prototype. Naturally, this special locomotive model is also being issued in a one-time edition as a model in the anniversary year 2018 by LGB. The LGB anniversary locomotive, class Ge 4/4 II, road number 617, comes from the factory with an mfx/DCC digital decoder and has many light and sound functions that can be used fully in digital operation. The running sounds also work in analog operation. The pantographs are powered by servomotors and can be raised and lowered in digital operation. The model is prototypically painted and imprinted. Its prototype is in daily use in this special design on the Rhaetian Railroad route network. Make sure you get this special and unique LGB anniversary model now and use it on your home garden railroad layout, and celebrate the anniversary with us!
On January 12, 2018, a festive unveiling of the original RhB locomotive in the anniversary design took place in Landquart, Switzerland. This marked the start of the festivities in the anniversary year. The LGB model true to the original was also presented on this occasion. Other interesting reports about the presentation can be found at
Märklin TV is also reporting about the origin of this locomotive and its presentation:
You can find the "Ilanz" with a splendid LGB anniversary design running on Rhaetian Railway routes until the end of December 2018. Discover where and when exactly at the schedule. If you come across it in Switzerland, reach for your camera or smartphone and get snapping. Send your best photograph to LGB-Depesche@3g-media.de by December 31, 2018 at the latest. You will then enter our exclusive prize draw and have the chance of winning lots of amazing prizes, such as LGB RhB models and special tickets for the Rhaetian Railway. The names of the winners will be published by the RhB and in issue 2/19 of LGB Depesche.*
In this spot, we will update the schedule dates of the prototype locomotive for you. If you would like to see the Ilanz running live in Switzerland and would like to photograph it or even ride on the train it is pulling, you can plan your visit here.
Visit LGB this year at one of the following events and admire our anniversary locomotive and the other models from the anniversary new items program:
|March 9–11, 2018||Fascination of Model Railroading, Sinsheim, Germany|
|April 19–22, 2018|
The LGB anniversary new items program on tour, this time in the West – Club members will receive a gift. Sale of LGB fan items in addition to sales at the museum in Göppingen
|May 19–21, 2018|
50 Years of LGB on the Preßnitztal Railroad in Jöhstadt, Germany
The first highlight of the celebrations for the anniversary with a contest
|June 8–9, 2018|
Double anniversary in Györ, Hungary
25 Years of the Györ Plant (only for club members) and 50 Years of LGB – tour the production and celebrate with us
|June 9-10||10 Jahre UNESCO Welterbe Albula + Bernina in Samedan|
|August 3–5, 2018||Historik Mobil in Bertsdorf, Germany|
Big and small Saxon railroads meet here
|August 11–12, 2018||Garden Railroad Meet, Eschershausen, Germany|
|September 2, 2018|
LGB 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California. The official home of CHLOE and the Grizzly Flats Railroad collection
|September 14–15, 2018||Open House Day in Göppingen, Germany|
The official highpoint of the anniversary celebrations
|October 5-7, 2018||model hobby play, Leipzig, Germany|
Show flair of a special type at the end of the season
|November 1–4, 2018||Fascination of Model Building Friedrichshafen, Germany|
The fair on Lake Constance
|November 15–18, 2018|
International Model Railroad Show, Cologne, Germany
Last appearance in the anniversary year, after that into the next 50 years with a lot of verve – Club members will receive a gift. Sale of LGB fan items in addition to sales at the museum in Göppingen
In the anniversary year, LGB can be seen at more than just large shows. LGB is also presenting the great anniversary products this year with the big prototype. Thus for example on the Rhaetian Railroad in Switzerland, on the DEV, or in Saxony. Looking back, be inspired here by the events and acquire numerous impressions – we hope you have a lot of fun reading!
Rollout of the LGB anniversary locomotive on the RhB.
Our New Items Program for 2018 has several products that are being produced in a one-time series only in the anniversary year. Our tip: It is best to order right away at your dealer. An overview:
LGB Depesche – All Around Information
Great layout reports, the most important information about new items, building and tuning tips, and portraits of LGB fans: the LGB Depesche offers all of this. Since 2015, the legendary Depesche has been appearing again (in German and English) and it has quickly become the most important communication medium for LGB fans. With its extensive background stories about models and elaborate photo articles it reports them both up-to-date and in detail about the product new items from LGB as well as about building layouts – indoors and outdoors. Readers of the LGB Depesche get information first-hand about digital technology and about the activities of the LGB Club.
Particularly interesting: In the anniversary year, the LGB Depesche will appear with 8 extra pages. Here you will learn everything important about the LGB story such as the most important events in the anniversary year.
Visualize the contents of the Depesche with the following excerpts.
Do you want more? With a subscription, the LGB Depesche comes to your house postage paid and you save 13% compared to the individual copy price.
Here is how to get a subscription: Abo
Or, become a member of the LGB Club. In addition to the subscription for the LGB Depesche included in it, take advantage of many other benefits such as an exclusive club model, an annual chronicle (on DVD) with all of the important highlights of the LGB model year, an exclusive Club present or numerous cost savings at over 100 cooperating partners. Here you can get more information about the LGB Club Club.
Exclusive for the anniversary: the history of LGB in a short summary:
|1968||Presentation of the Lehmann Big Railroad at the Nürnberg Toy Fair as the first model train for outdoors and indoors.|
|1969||The first edition of the LGB Depesche appears in January|
|1970||Two-train operation becomes possible with catenary|
|1972||First built-in realistic sounds in LGB models|
|1974||First big LGB steam locomotive (Harz narrow gauge railroad item number 2080) with electronic steam, bell, and whistle sounds|
|1977||Start of the second, affordable sales line "Primus – the Super Train"|
|1978||Establishment of the first LGB Club in the USA|
|1981||Hundredth company anniversary of Ernst Paul Lehmann|
|1984||The first prototypical model of an American locomotive is available as the Mogul locomotive with a tender|
|1985||Establishment of the Rhein/Sieg LGB Club in Much, first LGB Club in Germany|
|1987||Establishment of the subsidiary company LGB of America (LGBoA) in San Diego, California, USA, as a service station and later also as a delivery warehouse for the North American market|
|1989||First edition of the LGB Telegram appears, the English language edition of the LGB Depesche for the American LGB Fans|
|2002||Opening of a department in the Nürnberg Toy Museum with the most significant collection worldwide of Lehmann toys.|
|2007||Takeover by Märklin|
|2010||LGB special model "100 Years of the Bernina Railroad" (item no. 21000)|
|2010||Top new item: Saxon class IV K steam locomotive (item no. 25841)|
|2011||New tooling for the Saxon class I K steam locomotive (item no. 20980) and class II K steam locomotive (item no. 20990)|
|2012||RhB class ABe 8/12 "Allegra" powered rail car (item no. 20220), the longest individual model in the history of LGB|
|2013||New edition of the class 99.51 classic (item no. 26841)|
|2013||Introduction of the multiprotocol decoder (DCC/mfx)|
|2017||Model sensation: genuine chrome-plated class Ge 4/4 III (item no. 21428)|
|2018||50 Years of LGB anniversary with exclusive special models|
The LGB Depesche reports extensively about garden railroading and its many traditions. Read more about the 50 years with their highs and lows: www.lgb.de/journal/lgb-depesche/heft-bestellen/