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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my first G gauge set with tax refund money a few months ago. Obviously people like to upgrade locomotives but I have not had the income I needed to do so. But I am going to be trying my hand at different kinds of work I may be able to pull off better with my disability so as to increase my income. Next month I am going to try and get myself an upgrade for G gauge locomotives!

For a long time I have wanted a G gauge GP38, and prices of USA GP38s are rather attractive when you shop rite. This way, I would have a G gauge counterpart to my O gauge GP38. Drawback is I would have to upgrade my oval from 4' to 5' curves to pull this off. That's okay but might delay me a week or two to afford.

But lately I have become attracted to some of the european offerings from Piko and LGB... The Black on Red type. This is so unorthodox to mix with my Michigan Ore Cars but I so would do that. The proportions of this type or euro loco would look good with ore cars.

What I choose depends on a few things. The GP38s can be put on layaway for a month thru RLD hobbies. But for the European locomotives, Trainz.com has good deals but must buy outright however... But what shocks me is how good of a deal they have on some of these. $258 for an LGB 2 6 2 I mean I feel like that is impressive. Similar deal for a 0 6 0 Piko but I feel like the Piko version is a little less high-end. These specific trainz items may well be gone by the time I am ready to hit the SHIP button... But there's always ebay and new deals.

I would love to hear your opinions on which locomotives are cooler. Remember I don't care about being prototypical

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I’ve got a 2080D made in “Western Germany” (i.e., made before 1990) that I have owned since 2020. It has never let me down and is a great puller for its size (those german-made LGB locos seem to be built like tanks, my Dad still has his Stainz that is 45 years old and still runs well). Mine came with a broken lamp housing and a missing bell, but both of those were easily replaced since lgb still makes this locomotive. I also replaced the grease in the gear drive, lubricated the axles and running gear, and replaced the traction tires. An hour or so of googling got me a PDF of the manual, which is helpful to know where all the screws are.

I think the S is missing sound relative to the D. If you get a D, the sound is a little goofy, in that it sounds like you’d expect a 30+ year old sound system to sound, but the whistle is not too bad. It doesn’t have a reed switch to activate the whistle, it has a physical button that is depressed by a plastic rail placed on your track (see here: LGB #2060/3 SOUND ACTIVATION STRIP FOR 2080'S). You have to remember to pull the rail up before running trains with low clearance.

I don’t have any Piko engines since I tend to opt for trains with a higher level of detail than what Piko usually has, so I buy used, older trains with my limited train budget. That also means I spend a lot of time repairing things. I do have some cars of theirs and they are seemingly built well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’ve got a 2080D made in “Western Germany” (i.e., made before 1990) that I have owned since 2020. It has never let me down and is a great puller for its size (those german-made LGB locos seem to be built like tanks, my Dad still has his Stainz that is 45 years old and still runs well). Mine came with a broken lamp housing and a missing bell, but both of those were easily replaced since lgb still makes this locomotive. I also replaced the grease in the gear drive, lubricated the axles and running gear, and replaced the traction tires. An hour or so of googling got me a PDF of the manual, which is helpful to know where all the screws are.

I think the S is missing sound relative to the D. If you get a D, the sound is a little goofy, in that it sounds like you’d expect a 30+ year old sound system to sound, but the whistle is not too bad. It doesn’t have a reed switch to activate the whistle, it has a physical button that is depressed by a plastic rail placed on your track (see here: LGB #2060/3 SOUND ACTIVATION STRIP FOR 2080'S). You have to remember to pull the rail up before running trains with low clearance.

I don’t have any Piko engines since I tend to opt for trains with a higher level of detail than what Piko usually has, so I buy used, older trains with my limited train budget. That also means I spend a lot of time repairing things. I do have some cars of theirs and they are seemingly built well.
Great information thank you, because the 2080D or more likely, the S, is what I am likely to get. Yeah, Piko does have a couple features that leave something to be desired despite its high quality. For example one YouTube video dude posted a video of his new high-end Piko 100 100,000 100 or whatever, and he stated that it had plastic arms on the side. That is insane for a $1500 locomotive, LGB definitely uses stainless steel for those.

The reason I mention Piko is because they have the most black on red euro steam locomotives of all brands it seems… so they come to mind. But if I can choose between plastic stainless features I would choose stainless. I won’t be leaving my stuff outside all the time anyway.

All things equal I prefer newer stuff versus older tho
 

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I think you will find the GP38 will still have issues on that tight of a curve. I had one running on 10 diameter and that would be the bare minimum in my opinion for reliable operation and not pulling the car behind it off the track from coupler swing in the curves. The LGB Harz 2-6-2 is a bulletproof engine like most everything in the LGB line up. The newer 22801/02(non sound/sound) have much more detailing and more realistic/correct valve gear on them. Also check out LGB's White Pass diesels, they have come in all of the prototype paint schemes, with and without sound. Also the LGB Moguls, like the 2119d bumblebee or the C&S ones with the plow and bear trap spark arrestor on the stack are also solid and dependable engines to own. I also find the handrails and details on the USA stuff a wee bit fragle. The plastic that USA uses is much easier to break than the stuff that LGB used back in the day.
With LGB, I usually recommend newbies stick to the stuff from the Lehmann years before the bankruptcy and buy out by Marklin. Some of the stuff from Marklin, just does not have the same durablity as the original stuff(pre 2006). Parts are easy to find from several sources if need be for common wear items like track skates, traction tires and motors.
 

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I agree with Mike on the GP38 having problems pulling the first car off the track on a 5 foot diameter turn. I had that problem with a USA Trains GP38 on a 5 foot diameter but not on an 8 foot diameter. Some say the problem can be lessened by having the first car have a body mounted couplers, rather than truck mounted, so, if you can only fit a 5 foot diameter curve, the body mounted coupler may help.

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I agree with Mike on the GP38 having problems pulling the first car off the track on a 5 foot diameter turn. I had that problem with a USA Trains GP38 on a 5 foot diameter but not on an 8 foot diameter. Some say the problem can be lessened by having the first car have a body mounted couplers, rather than truck mounted, so, if you can only fit a 5 foot diameter curve, the body mounted coupler may help.

Kent
I think you will find the GP38 will still have issues on that tight of a curve. I had one running on 10 diameter and that would be the bare minimum in my opinion for reliable operation and not pulling the car behind it off the track from coupler swing in the curves. The LGB Harz 2-6-2 is a bulletproof engine like most everything in the LGB line up. The newer 22801/02(non sound/sound) have much more detailing and more realistic/correct valve gear on them. Also check out LGB's White Pass diesels, they have come in all of the prototype paint schemes, with and without sound. Also the LGB Moguls, like the 2119d bumblebee or the C&S ones with the plow and bear trap spark arrestor on the stack are also solid and dependable engines to own. I also find the handrails and details on the USA stuff a wee bit fragle. The plastic that USA uses is much easier to break than the stuff that LGB used back in the day.
With LGB, I usually recommend newbies stick to the stuff from the Lehmann years before the bankruptcy and buy out by Marklin. Some of the stuff from Marklin, just does not have the same durablity as the original stuff(pre 2006). Parts are easy to find from several sources if need be for common wear items like track skates, traction tires and motors.
Okay. That is good to know... Until I move and wind up with an actual yard, I wouldn't ever have room for curves as wide as 10" but I would imagine I could compromise with this situation and get 6' or 7' and then mickey mouse the coupler onto the body of some piece of rolling stock. I had assumed when they said 5' minimum that it would legit work great on 5' because when they state a minimum with Lionel O gauge stuff, that really means it does well at that size of curve. So I would have been caught off guard if 5' is not cool with a USA Diesel.

Taking a look at Onlytrains, who is one of my favorite merchants I frequent for wheels and rolling stock... Did I mention that new locomotives are expensive? So a used loco on Trainz is likely what I will end up doing unless I discover some other purveyor with more things.

The idea of having a G gauge GP38 to be a counterpart to my O gauge GP38 to run alongside it has long been a dream of mine. But the more information I get, the more I am learning that maybe a USA GP38 is not a counterpart to the quality of a Lionel O gauge GP38? Need super wide curves?

The availability of an LGB 2080S is a bargain that I think I will wind up with ultimately... Because around $300 is really the most I should consent to spending anyway considering my pay grade. Earlier in my G adventure I thought they were weird looking.... But those black on red european locomotives have just kept growing on me, they look like tanks and the color scheme is cool.
 

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Lionel also has truck mounted couplers on most of their locomotives to help with those tight curves. USA diesels do not. I to love the black and red German/Austrian locomotives, I still have a small collection of Marklin HO from the 1960s that I get out and run at times. That 2080s will serve you well, make sure you ask if the sound is fully functional as many early LGB sound boards are starting to fail as electrionics have a finite life span, the rest of the engine will run fine, but usually either the chuff or the whistle will be weak or stop working. Yet some work just fine still. LGB might be colorful, but so are the real ones in Europe. Seems like the railroads over there never gave up on the colorful advertising on freight/passenger cars and even on newer locomotives. Might look like a fantasy paint scheme, but google it and you will find the real engine painted the same way. I also started on R1 curves, was not till I got my own house that I was able to put up a raised railway with bigger curves. I got into the live steam world of G many years ago, thats a whole new level of expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Lionel also has truck mounted couplers on most of their locomotives to help with those tight curves. USA diesels do not. I to love the black and red German/Austrian locomotives, I still have a small collection of Marklin HO from the 1960s that I get out and run at times. That 2080s will serve you well, make sure you ask if the sound is fully functional as many early LGB sound boards are starting to fail as electrionics have a finite life span, the rest of the engine will run fine, but usually either the chuff or the whistle will be weak or stop working. Yet some work just fine still. LGB might be colorful, but so are the real ones in Europe. Seems like the railroads over there never gave up on the colorful advertising on freight/passenger cars and even on newer locomotives. Might look like a fantasy paint scheme, but google it and you will find the real engine painted the same way. I also started on R1 curves, was not till I got my own house that I was able to put up a raised railway with bigger curves. I got into the live steam world of G many years ago, thats a whole new level of expensive.
Oh yes if I can get a locomotive for half the cost because it is used and the sound is going bad then that is absolutely what I will do when it comes to G. I am in no way complaining or suggesting that model train purveyors are greedy or anything, as there is a reason these intricate machines cost what they do. But where I come in is the fact that I have been living on $1000 per month take home, and will be changing to $1300 and eventually ~$2000 a month as I test the field given my disability. So it is not like I can just pay new full price to be supportive so easily.
 

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Same here, I can always remove the sound boards and such. I have gotten many engines that way thru the years. I have a friend that is on SSI/Disability that is trying to save up to get a small basic live steam locomotive in G scale. He will get there eventually just going to take some time. Till then he just gets to enjoy running my engines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Please note that on the 2080S instead of a treadle you can replace the bell and whistle mechanical sensors with the round reeds switches and just use a magnet to trigger the sounds.
I do this to any 2080 upgrade. the round reeds fit perfectly with some glue.
Same here, I can always remove the sound boards and such. I have gotten many engines that way thru the years. I have a friend that is on SSI/Disability that is trying to save up to get a small basic live steam locomotive in G scale. He will get there eventually just going to take some time. Till then he just gets to enjoy running my engines.
Well if I get a 2080S with a defective sound I may eventually try surgery on it, but I approach that subject very carefully after a fiasco involving a brand new Lionel 0 8 0 I later sold for less than 20 bucks. Generally I would just run it as it is for months to at least get the joy out of it before I attempt to do surgery. My enhanced caution compared to a year ago also does help with safety in taking something apart but with wheels that sync up and quarter, I will not go into that drivetrain compartment.

It will be at least the 3rd week of July before I am ready to make my locomotive purchase. Unlike your friend on Disability, I am not capable of holding on to money for extended periods of time to save for something. Even with my ADHD treatment, it is not something I have ever been able to do.

BUT while I won't have my new locomotive for awhile, I did something else that is new and awesome for me today. For the longest time my train layouts have just been a loop, an oval, a square, what have you. It just goes around in circles. I had avoided getting anything more technical than that.... But today.... I bought.... A switch. I bought an LGB manual right hand switch and I am going to install a track that shoots out the side of my layout and that trains can go down. I don't know why it took me so long to get to a point where I would do that but I had always dismissed switches thinking they were always requiring fancy or expensive investments. In truth, most of my time has been spend on O gauge and it is true that O gauge switches seem to be more expensive compared to other items than G gauge and I don't know why that is. But with a manual switch, there's no trick to it. I am happy that I finally did this. I will post video when I get it and get the track for the side line.
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Cool. He is also struggling with saving due to Autism/ADHD, same as I have. But he is unable to work, where I have a stable union job at a local factory. But for many years, I did not, and had to scrape by on what I could save up in small bits here and there. You will achieve a new locomotive here eventually. Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cool. He is also struggling with saving due to Autism/ADHD, same as I have. But he is unable to work, where I have a stable union job at a local factory. But for many years, I did not, and had to scrape by on what I could save up in small bits here and there. You will achieve a new locomotive here eventually. Mike
Wow, It is interesting how often Autism and ADHD are linked. I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 4, but was not diagnosed with Asperger's until 2000 at age 16. Some had said later they thought the ADHD was a misdiagnosis but it totally was not, I actually have both. It is interesting how badly my life falls apart if I stop taking stimulants. If I stop taking ADHD stimulants, or if I misuse ADHD meds, either case my life will fall apart. If I just were to stop the ADHD meds, my life might not fall apart right away but what happens is I go on to generally exhibit much poorer decision making, and I become vulnerable to all kinds of substance abuse. The ADHD meds treat a serious situation in my brain where my brain does not do an adequate job of regulating dopamine. I was made to take Ritalin for most of my childhood and back then the medication regulated my otherwise highly impulsive behavior pretty well. So when they let me choose to stop taking it at age 15, you can imagine why this was a bad idea and how I became rather delinquent with time after that point. There was no outgrowing my ADHD. It haunted me and continued to impair my judgement and health all the way until I went back on treatment in my 30s.

I speak online about how some people with ADHD should always take the medication lest their life become a complete mess, and I talk about methods on how a substance abuser with ADHD (such as meth abuse) Can get clean, join a 12 step program and simultaneously start taking ADHD medication exactly as prescribed under sponsor and doctor supervision etc. I suppose some folks with addiction could never take ADHD meds as prescribed, but my experience proved that this is not always the case and in some cases, the medication can be a critical component of somebody's recovery.

My asperger's presented lots of problems for me when I was young. But as I got older and developed schizoeffective disorder and lived without ADHD treatment until age 36 my life was a total mess and Asperger's actually became the least of my concerns. At this age, I am on all the right medications more or less, and Asperger's really does not cause me any suffering. I have worked out all of the ways that Asperger's impacted my ability to navigate society so unlike when I was a teenager, I am no longer going around acting like a weirdo and embarassing myself.

You all don't have to go into details about your Asperger's or ADHD, but when it comes into conversation I don't hold back and will share briefly because of all I went through and all I learned about how my brain works.

I won't speak too much about these things outside of this one comment since this is not a mental health board.... But I felt compelled to speak once here since there are a couple of us at a nexus.

I look forward to receiving my Right Hand Manual switch!!!
 

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I got my first G gauge set with tax refund money a few months ago. Obviously people like to upgrade locomotives but I have not had the income I needed to do so. But I am going to be trying my hand at different kinds of work I may be able to pull off better with my disability so as to increase my income. Next month I am going to try and get myself an upgrade for G gauge locomotives!

For a long time I have wanted a G gauge GP38, and prices of USA GP38s are rather attractive when you shop rite. This way, I would have a G gauge counterpart to my O gauge GP38. Drawback is I would have to upgrade my oval from 4' to 5' curves to pull this off. That's okay but might delay me a week or two to afford.

But lately I have become attracted to some of the european offerings from Piko and LGB... The Black on Red type. This is so unorthodox to mix with my Michigan Ore Cars but I so would do that. The proportions of this type or euro loco would look good with ore cars.

What I choose depends on a few things. The GP38s can be put on layaway for a month thru RLD hobbies. But for the European locomotives, Trainz.com has good deals but must buy outright however... But what shocks me is how good of a deal they have on some of these. $258 for an LGB 2 6 2 I mean I feel like that is impressive. Similar deal for a 0 6 0 Piko but I feel like the Piko version is a little less high-end. These specific trainz items may well be gone by the time I am ready to hit the SHIP button... But there's always ebay and new deals.

I would love to hear your opinions on which locomotives are cooler. Remember I don't care about being prototypical

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If you notice when you log onto the Trainz website, you might get a notification to sign up for their emails and doing so gets you 10% off on your first order. I've done that and used that discount. I reccently purchased a $375 passenger car and upon checkout saw an offer to pay over time interest free using Shop Pay. You set up 4 payments, timed every 2 weeks to pay off your balance without incurring any interest. It helped me keep within my budget. Also, you can apply for PayPal Credit on line and pay interest free for your purchase over 6 months. I usually divide the amount in 6 and set up an auto pay every month for that amount. Has worked great for me! The trick of course is not to do it too often or your monthly payments add up! You mentioned Only Trains who I use also and recently purchased 2 box cars that way using PayPal Credit. Hope this helps a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
If you notice when you log onto the Trainz website, you might get a notification to sign up for their emails and doing so gets you 10% off on your first order. I've done that and used that discount. I reccently purchased a $375 passenger car and upon checkout saw an offer to pay over time interest free using Shop Pay. You set up 4 payments, timed every 2 weeks to pay off your balance without incurring any interest. It helped me keep within my budget. Also, you can apply for PayPal Credit on line and pay interest free for your purchase over 6 months. I usually divide the amount in 6 and set up an auto pay every month for that amount. Has worked great for me! The trick of course is not to do it too often or your monthly payments add up! You mentioned Only Trains who I use also and recently purchased 2 box cars that way using PayPal Credit. Hope this helps a little.
Thanks for all your help here. One thing I noticed was PayPal’s new pay in 4. This concept is much like the jewelry site JTV or QVC which allow you to make 4 or 5 installments without credit check, and send you the item right away.

Trouble is, when I tried using PayPal Pay in 4 on eBay, the function errored out while simultaneously deducting the first payment out of my bank account… something I never thought possible with modern technology and I had to hit support up to get the money back which took days. I have not tried that again because I’ve never had the money to spare to have held up on my account.

This other “shop pay” was available on trainz.com? That’s good news because it will allow me to get my Locomotive sooner and make several payments and an item of $400 value isn’t hard to get approved to split like this with services like Affirm etc, though I’ve never seen Affirm in the context of trains.

I am making changes in my life right now to get my income above the bullshit $1100 I’ve been living on since April. The way I got into G gauge was a tax refund! :) I had a good job at Costco but it was too damn hard on my disability. I’m turning to gig work now as I look for a permanent job of another type, of course, gig economy work is in some sort of recession already right now, especially delivery services, as those have seen a fallback since their pandemic and pre pandemic heights. You could really make some good coin in 2019, but now things are oversaturated since that kind of work appeals to a lot of people. Point is, a couple months from now at most I will be in a position to finally get a locomotive that I want, and a service or option to split up the payments will aid that further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I received my package from Trainz.com today containing my new right hand manual switch.

It smelled like somebody’s garage. It smelled like dust, and I had a mild allergic reaction which suggests this switch came from someplace with lots of cats!!!!!!

Otherwise I’m satisfied with it though!
 

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Run it thru the dishwasher or the kitchen sink with dish washing soap, that will get rid of all the allergens. I feel you on that one. I love cats, but highly alergic to them.
 
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