Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Latest update: 16 September 2016

This page provides an overview of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQ).

For more G scale info, check out the ‘G Scale Info‘ section.

What scale is G scale?

Difficult to say! G scale started as 1:22,5 scale, but since then has seen the introduction of many other scales using the same 45 mm track gauge. So G scale can nowadays range from 1:19 to 1:29 scale. Read more here: What is G Scale?

What is the difference between Gauge and Scale?

This is explained on this : G Scale?

Can I use my G scale trains outside?

G scale trains from manufacturers like LGB and Piko are designed for indoor and outdoors use. Those products can run in the sun, in the rain and in the snow. Some devices like transformers and power supplies need to kept indoors for safety.

Where are LGB trains made?

LGB trains were made in in Nuremberg (Germany) until LGB’s bankruptcy in 2006. When Märklin took over LGB, production was moved to Gyor (Hungary) and all jobs at the Nuremberg were not preserved. Märklin/LGB also started production in China, but after a few years all production was moved back to Hungary again. So today in 2016, all LGB is made in Hungary.

Source: Wikipedia – LGB

Where are PIKO G scale trains made?

PIKO has two production sites in Sonneberg (Germany) and Chashan (China). PIKO’s G scale is entirely produced in Sonneberg, NOT in China.

Source: PIKO

Where are USA Trains G scale products made?

USA Trains produces their “American Series” rolling stock in the Charles Ro facility in Malden (Massachusetts, United States). The “Ultimate Series” range is made in China.

Where are Bachmann G scale trains made?

Bachmann is owned by Kader. Kader is a Hong Kong based company, producing the models in China.

Can I double head two locomotives?

Yes, double heading G scale trains is possible under certain conditions. The locomotives need to run at roughly the same speed, which you can verify by running them behind eachother on a few laps of your layout. If one is significantly faster than the other one, do NOT use them in a consist. Also, make sure both locomotives start at the same time when turning your controller.

If you think both locomotives perform similar, you can simply couple both locos together and enjoy your double headed train.

Are Playmobil trains compatible with LGB trains?

Older Playmobil train sets came with LGB brass track, so the Playmobil trains would run perfectly alongside other LGB trains. Those trains were track powered, just like LGB.

Newer Playmobil sets are battery operated and radio controlled (R.C.), and come with plastic track. So they are not compatible with LGB anymore.

What is the LGB “EPL” system?

To control electrical switches and signals, LGB invented the “EPL” system. The EPL system is an integrated program of switch drives, contacts, controls and other electric devices you can use for remote and automatic control of your layout.

What is the minium radius for PIKO G scale trains?

All PIKO G scale trains have a recommended minimum radius of 600 mm (‘R1’). Even the largest locomotives like the BR 194 and the Ludmilla will run through R1 curves due to their clever articulated chassis design.

Always check your clearances though, as some rolling stock items have substantial overhang in tight curves. For example: the DB ‘Silver Coin’ coaches, the VT 11.5 ‘TEE’…

PIKO lists the recommended minimum radius for each model in their G scale catalogue.

Can LGB fit PIKO couplers?

Yes, the LGB and PIKO G scale hook and loop couplers are very similar, if not identical. The PIKO couplers feature a slightly stiffer spring, but I don’t notice too much of a difference.

Why does my locomotive stall on switches?

Small locomotives often stall when they run over the plastic insulating frog of a switch. When the loco passes over the switch, one side of the loco hits a spot on the track where none of the electrical pick-ups (wheels, pick-up shoes) get power, so the loco cannot keep running and stalls.

Keeping the rails, wheels and pick-up shoes clean will reduce the problem. You can also run the locomotive a little faster over the spot, so it will be less likely to stall.

Why is my locomotive stuck on the center of a switch?

Contact problems aside (see question above), a locomotive can get stuck or even derail on the center of a switch. It can be a problem with either your track or locomotive.

Check if the switch/crossing is laid flat, as problems may arise if it isn’t. When you’re absolutely sure the track is fine, you might check the pick-up shoes on the locomotive (if it has any). Some models (e.g. my PIKO Mogul) cause trouble on switches because the outside of the skates is bent down too low. Slightly bending them upwards might solve your issue.

Why does the smoke generator not work?

If you put too much smoke fluid in the smoke generator, it won’t work properly. Pour some fluid out, and try again. Usually, the manual tells you the optimal amount of fluid for the smoke generator to work properly.