Product Idea |

Old Hill Train Tunnel


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A tunnel for LEGO City trains (and more) - *see rockslide video below!

There has never been an official LEGO train tunnel, though there has been one in DUPLO with set 2938. I created this project as my first LEGO Idea to try and fill that tunnel-shaped gap in the LEGO City range, but do it in an interesting way that gives different options for both play and display.

The story

Just north of LEGO City, an old rail line leads to an abandoned tunnel, where years ago trains used to run. Brave adventurers can explore the tunnels, whilst experienced climbers clamber up the side of the hill to catch the view from the top.

The top of the hill lifts off in two parts and can be placed alongside the hill as a base for the minifigures to stand on. The two tunnels are hinged at the side and open up to form one, even longer tunnel. The use of a hinge in this way was seen in the train shed from LEGO Train Ideas book 7777, as well the LEGO set Train Engine Shed (10027); here, the functionality is applied to a tunnel. Opening the hinge also reveals a waterfall and some old archways from the industrial age.

Deep in the tunnel, there is an old pump cart still sitting on the rails. Light up the lamp at the front and use the light to find your way through the tunnel! But be careful - pulling the tab on the side of the tunnel launches a rockslide, as shown in the video below! There is also a set of abandoned tools in one end of the tunnel.

And of course, if the LEGO City authorities think it is a good idea, the tunnel can be reopened for modern passenger trains or goods trains to rush through on their way to the city! Remove the grass lids from the roof and watch the trains clatter by underneath, or watch through the archways on the side.

A useful tunnel (or two tunnels) for every train layout, or an exciting adventure even if you don’t have a train.

About This Project

I have always loved LEGO trains, and wanted a tunnel that I could watch trains rush through as they busy around the track. I also wanted to make something with a sense of adventure - a set that could be enjoyed whether attached to a wider track or not.

The design of the tunnel is inspired by many tunnels around the world that pass through a hillside or mountain or under the sea before emerging on the other side, like the famous Seikan Tunnel in Japan or Box Tunnel in the United Kingdom. At the same time, I wanted to give the user different options as to how the tunnel could be used. This is what inspired the addition of climbing holds dotted either side of the vines, as well as the old archways built into the rock, which give the minifigures some extra entrance ways to explore, as well as providing a different, side view of trains as they rush through the tunnel.

Further Details

This design uses approximately 584 pieces and incorporates two minifigures.

The light brick in the pump cart is activated by pushing a 1x4 tile onto two studs on the rear of the cart. Pulling the tile back off the studs switches the light off again.

Latest changes

* The April 2022 edit has redesigned ‘rockier’ archways to look more like they are built out of actual blocks of stone. It retains the date plaque, but this is now coloured grey to match the stonework.

As a fun challenge, can you figure out why the date 1891 was chosen for the year the tunnel was built? 🧐

Many thanks for looking and for everyone who takes the time to support the project :)

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