Product Idea |



Last Updated . Click "Updates" above to see the latest.

New Orleans Streetcar - 965 
Train line - St. Charles Avenue Line 12.
Model - 900 - Series
Built in 1923 - 1924
Genre - Creator
Building Difficulty - Medium
Piece Count - 980 parts 
Set Includes - (1 Streetcar) (1 Track Model Stand) (1 Train Station) (4 Minifigures) (6 LEGO Props) 
You can find more photos in updates!
(photos are slightly blurry due to high resolution)

NOTE: No stickers or printed pieces are seen in this set, but I would like a printed piece of the train number (965) for the set and some fake city adds on the side of the train. Yes the wheels can rotate I have tested them, it is one stud up from where the rotation happens on the track!

Brief History
Louisiana's city streetcars in New Orleans have the distinction as one of the first passenger railroads in the United States and one of the oldest continuously operating street railway in the entire world.
Their history dates back to 1835, with the St. Charles Avenue line. Back then it was a passenger railway between New Orleans and a distant suburb and resort town called Carrollton. Eventually, Carrollton became part of the city, but the St. Charles Avenue line still exists today.
The first streetcars to travel through the suburbs or as we like to call them the fabourgs ran on steam. After the Civil War, an ex-Confederate general leased the streetcar line and replaced the steam locomotives with horse power. It was a step back technology-wise and less efficient, but they were quieter and ended up staying around for twenty years before they were replaced.
There were attempts to replace the horse drawn streetcars with ammonia powered engines, steam dummy engines and electric batteries, however it wasn’t until 1893 that electricity replaced horse power. It’s the power system that’s still used today.
As the city New Orleans grew, so did the network of streetcars. In the early 20th century a number of private companies operated various lines competing with each throughout the city. However, there were a number of problems including inconsistent service for the riders and costly inefficiencies for the owners. The result was the city coming in and creating an organization called the New Orleans Public Service Inc. (NOPSI), which took over running street cars. Eventually, the NOPSI would be replaced by New Orleans Regional Transit Authority that run the streetcars today.
Throughout the history of New Orleans, Canal Street has been an important route of travel. Mule-driven carriages were the first form of public transit along this line, but in 1910 they were replaced by streetcars.
In the 1960’s buses became popular all over the country, including in the Crescent City. Bus lines started to replace streetcars and residents started to worry that all of the historic streetcars would disappear.
In many cases their fears were realized. In May of 1964, the streetcars were completely removed from Canal Street. Luckily, in 1973, preservationists succeeded in adding the St. Charles line to the National Register of Historic Landmarks. Because of that Historic status, the St. Charles streetcars look and run as they were in 1920.

Unique Features
The two (right) doors on both sides can open by pulling the string on the inside (string is not included in photos). Properly scaled to LEGO proportions for LEGO creator sets. It has four single stair steps that you can put down, and you can add a motor inside it. An example of the control system for the locomotive is in the final photo and is as accurate as possible to the real controls (for LEGO that is). There is also a driver's seat on both sides of the locomotive to go back and forth on the railway. Lastly, the seats can be changed to face the opposite direction if you wish for your locomotive to run the opposite way.

Reason it would make a great LEGO set
What makes this set so great, is that you can add a vintage train set to your LEGO city or suburban area and not have a large or expensive passenger train set running through the centre of your city. These long and bulky train sets do not look right directly next to a LEGO modular or road and can be a real hassle if they derail. These vintage locomotives were designed to run through suburban areas and cities and can make any LEGO project come to life. They can even operate in the middle of street intersections, so it is a great add-on to your small LEGO neighbourhoods or tight areas. The train has been scaled for LEGO modules and is just as tall as other previous sets within LEGO's transportation collection. I also purposely designed it to be under 1000 pieces, so it can be sold for under $99.00 U.S. dollars.

Why I built it?
I really like the massive LEGO creator buildings or modules and I also really like the LEGO locomotive sets, but they are always very expensive, making them quite a luxury to have. The locomotive idea is a vintage set that can be available to anyone for a cheaper price, due to its smaller piece count and lack of track required. If you don't have enough LEGO track to form a circle, your track will not be an issue for this locomotive. There is a driver seat on both sides of the locomotive to go back and forth on the rail way. Lastly, I built this set because I have always been very fond of streetcars since I first road one in New Orleans Square. These vintage cars were at one point the very back bone of transportation in the world during roaring 20's and should not be forgotten.
Fun Fact: You will notice that there is no ticket booth in this set. The reason for this is that you can only get a ticket from the train engineer himself, and it must be the exact change (1.25 per ride). 

IP Information
This idea is not based off of any toy train set or miniature model brand. This is based off of the New Orleans streetcar model - 900, built between 1923 and 1924. This public transport vehicle was built by Perley A. Thomas Car Works, inc or Thomas Built Buses, Inc (today). This locomotive, model - 900 is currently owned and operated by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (New Orleans public transportation). The agency was established by the Louisiana State Legislature in 1979, and has operated bus and historic streetcar services throughout the city since.

The New Orleans Transit Authority has allowed toy companies, t-shirt companies, wooden toy companies, key chain companies, and other companies the ability to recreate and sell models of the State's city public transportation line. New Orleans is culturally very open to other people using and publicizing their amazing culture (as long as you represent it correctly). New Orlean is very proud of its history and culture and I am sure nobody in the state would refuse a piece of their amazing culture being shown to the world by the beloved company known as, the one, the only, LEGO. 

The train station was built independently of nobody else's idea. I personally designed it to match other LEGO products.

Opens in a new window