Product Idea |

Freight Train


Thank you!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who supported this project, especially those who took the time to leave one of the many kind comments and/or shared this project with others. Sadly we didn’t reach 10k this time, but I might re-submit the project if I can come up with a better way to promote it. So follow me (if you haven’t already) to be one of the first to know if & when the project is back.


The real thing

[Scroll down to see the big rebuild update.]

After being kind of AFK for a few weeks I’m back with a great new update to celebrate that we’ve now reached over 100 supporters (108 as of 06/22/15)! Thank you all so much. Please remember to share this project on social media, so that we can quickly “steam off” to 1000 supporters and the first extra time.

Now to the update: The last missing pieces have arrived and my real bricks version of Katy Caboose is finally complete. Enjoy!




Updated title image

[Scroll down to see the big rebuild update.]

Thank you to all new supporters! Not many more till we reach 100. :) Keep voting and spread the word.

I've updated the title image to reflect the latest updates and changes in the project:

It's a pity I can't update it on the front page. Hope you enjoy it anyway.


Engine details II

The small wheels on the trailing truck of the engine could be replaced with the standard / medium-sized wheels from the power functions train motor.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments section...


Engine details I

This is another version of the green lamps on the front of the engine. These are closer to what the lamps in the book and on the real engines look like (see some pictures of the real engines that inspired this build here: – also notice that the handrail under the smoke box door is present on two of the three engines pictured and has not been made up to have a face on the front of the engine – although (like in the book) it can be seen as one.)

But I thought they were a little big and went for the simple forward facing lights seen in the images below and in the original images. What do you think? Let me know in the comments section...


The rebuild is complete!

As promised the tender now has enough room for the Power Functions IR Receiver, the engine is fitted with rods, the freight cars have a width of 6 studs and the caboose has a width of 7 studs (9 for the steps - the same as the cylinders on the engine.)

Unfortunately, the savings in terms of piece count on the engine and the freight cars were completely eaten up by the rebuilt tender (two studs longer, 282 pcs [+3 pcs]) and caboose (due to the odd width). So the overall piece count remains at about 1500 pcs. Looking at the other non-CITY-themed train sets I think that’s not an unrealistic number (and could easily be lowered by omitting one of the freight cars.)

The tender now has a slight wedge shape (8 studs wide on the front and about 7 on the back), so the engine will look great pulling whatever cars you have, whether they’re standard LEGO cars or 8 wide MOCs.

The roofs can still be easily removed, of course. (The roof of the caboose can be easily fixed by removing the row of tiles on the body and the appropriate row of plates under the roof, e.g. if you have younger kids that want to grab the caboose by the roof to play with it.)

When using power functions to drive train, the Power ON Indicator is now visible below the switch.

The tender now features a pin-coupling instead of permanent link, to make it easier to assemble and rerail the engine.

A big thank you to all the new supporters since the last update! Please keep sharing the project with your family and friends online. And use comments to let me know which build (or what part of it) you prefer.


Scale reference

This is the engine next to the current LEGO trains as a scale reference:

I was quite surprised to find that there were just two train sets and a station available when I got the current LEGO catalog as I started building this project (but I really like the 60052 engine.)  I remember that there were lots of extra cars and buildings available when I was a kid.

And it's been quite some time since the last steamer was available, if I'm not mistaken.

So keep supporting (and sharing) this project to change that. Thanks again to all who've already done that.


It's not just CGI ;)

A big thank you to the first supporters. Please share this project, if you haven’t already done so, to help promote it.

As my first update I have a couple of pictures that I want to share with you of the “basic real-world model”, mentioned in the description, and the tests I ran with it.

First, the Train passing a station (7997 in this case):

As you can see there’s enough room for the locomotive and although it’s a tight fit for the caboose, it never crashed into the station. Nevertheless, the promised rebuild / alternative build of the tender and the freight cars will also feature an alternative build for Katy Caboose at a base width of 7, so that no part of the train sticks out further than the cylinders of the locomotive.

Next, the train on one of the old 12V switching tracks:

No problems here - but due to the width of the train there may be issues with trains passing each other, as the old switching tracks leave no room between adjacent tracks.

Finally, this is the first version of the rods:

Unfortunately, they don’t work - the parts have too much play and they're jamming a lot. Expect a new design with the rebuild / alternative build.

I’ve already begun work on the rebuild / alternative build and am making good progress. Stay tuned!