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Home / News & Reviews / Product Reviews / LGB Building Block Starter Set

LGB Building Block Starter Set

By Cody Grivno | April 26, 2019

This Lego-compatible starter set is an ideal entry point for kids

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Bill Zuback

Facts & Features

Märklin, Inc./LGB
P.O. Box 2649
Lake Ozark, MO 65049

Price: $282.99 (price may vary based on exchange rate)

0-4-0T steam locomotive
Two flatcars
12 pieces of R1 curved track
30 Blox-brand 2 x 4 bricks
Track clips
Track power cable with tinned leads
Wall pack, 18V DC output

Bill Zuback
Bill Zuback
The LGB line of G gauge (1:22.5) trains now includes a starter set that brings the fun of plastic building blocks to garden railroading. The set contains a 0-4-0T steam locomotive, two flatcars, 12 pieces of R1 curved track that form a 51″-diameter circle of track, and 30 Blox-brand 2 x 4 bricks.

THE EQUIPMENT. The 0-4-0 steam locomotive (former LGB item no. 92080) is decorated as TT Railroad no. 11. The body shell is molded in red and gray plastic, with minimal, crisply printed graphics. The locomotive has a rear hook and loop coupler, a front headlight, plastic side rods, and separately applied plastic grab irons and stirrup steps on the cab. The cab interior features a small light bulb and a mix of molded and separately applied parts. The locomotive measures 11⅛” from the tip of the front pilot to tip of the rear coupler hook.

Powered by the supplied pack, the locomotive started moving smoothly at 5 mph (scale) when the throttle was set halfway between 1 and 2. At step 4, the locomotive achieved at top speed of 49 mph (scale).

The flatcars are equipped with free-rotating single-axle trucks that rotate around a center pin molded to the underside of the flatcar deck. The plastic wheels and cored axle stubs are mounted on a metal axle. One Phillips-head screw holds the coupler shank to the truck. A single, fixed buffer is centered above each coupler on the flatcars and locomotive.

To test the set, I assembled the circle of track on my kitchen floor. The track has factory-installed rail joiners and modeler-installed track clips. The 18V DC-output wall plug has a barrel jack that attaches to the controller. The track power cable has factory-tinned leads that fit neatly into the controller’s spring-loaded terminal connectors. The tools-free setup took about 15 minutes.

Then, I gave my 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter a flatcar and an equal number of Blox-brand bricks. The flatcar deck, which measures 3¾” x 813⁄16″, is held to the underbody with Phillips-head screws. The deck has 336 studs for attaching the included 2 x 4 red bricks. The majority of the studs are solid, but some have a hollow center. The bricks hold securely to both.

My son fashioned the bricks into an open-air passenger car for transporting his Lego minifigures. My daughter arranged her bricks to make a vehicle carrier and work station. It was fun listening to them talk through their ideas and encourage each other with suggestions. The flatcar decks are compatible with Lego-brand (including DUPLO) and other popular plastic building bricks.

With their newly designed cars completed, the kids were ready to run trains. I started the locomotive in motion and gave the kids a quick primer on the controller. Center is off, left is reverse, and right is forward. The intuitive controller make the set family friendly. Before I knew it, my wife had joined in the fun.

The LGB building block train starter set is an ideal way to bring kids and grandkids into large scale railroading. The side of the box shows how to combine the set with LGB track packs nos. 19901 and 19902 to make a larger layout with a runaround track and a siding. As simple as it is, this set is packed with all of the right components and appeal to the next generation of outdoor model railroading hobbyists.

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