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  1. This engine is modeled after the GE 44 ton switcher locomotive. Why 44 tons, you may ask? I give you the answer from the Wikipedia article on this loco type: This locomotive's specific 44-short ton weight was directly related to one of the efficiencies the new diesel locomotives offered compared to their steam counterparts: reduced labor intensity. In the 1940s, the steam to diesel transition was in its infancy in North America, and railroad unions were trying to protect the locomotive fireman jobs that were redundant with diesel units. One measure taken to this end was the 1937 so-called "90,000 Pound Rule" :[citation needed] a stipulation that locomotives weighing 90,000 pounds (41,000 kg) – 45 short tons – or more required a fireman in addition to an engineer on common carrier railroads. Industrial and military railroads had no such stipulation. The 44-ton locomotive was born to skirt this requirement. The loco is bi-directional, and doesn't have much to differentiate between the "front" or "rear" expect for the air horn and exhaust stack on one end in real life. My LEGO model lacks these, so it's only way to tell which is front is by the headlights: clear for front, red for rear. I am going to name this loco WFP number 7007. (WFP stands for Wabash Frisco & Pacific, which is the name of a 12 inch gauge ride-on railway in St. Louis, MO.) They don't have a real 44 toner there, but do have a Fairbanks Morse H10-44 (number 704) in the same color scheme, so I made this engine as a companion to the H10-44. In the spoiler tag below, you will find a real life picture of a 44-toner loco. (I got the picture from, It is NOT mine!) Just for comparison purposes, here is the H10-44 I was talking about. NOTE: The H10-44 is NOT included in the GE 44-ton's LDD file! The (updated) LDD file for the GE loco is available here. Build updated 3-14-17 with a better 44 ton GE unit, courtesy of Henry Durand over on Facebook's LEGO Train Fan Club. Thanks Henry! Comments, Questions, suggestions and complaints are always welcome!
  2. Want an SD40, but can't afford one? Here's a half-off deal for you: ...literally. These little locomotives are made by cutting an SD40 in half, attaching the frame to the truck, and installing a new and efficient prime mover and cab. I kid you not: Link to the manufacturer's website. I went about building this model the same way I usually do: Gather reference images, find an engineering drawing, and overlay grid paper over the scaling drawing. Complicating the matter was that the diagram in Tractive Power's specifications brochure was very obviously wrong -- there's no way the SD40 truck is that long! Comparing the drawing to photos of the real locomotive confirmed my suspicions. I overlaid a drawing of an SD40 truck on the diagram of the body, and worked from that. As with my Standard Class 2, I selectively compressed the wheelbase to make the axle-to-axle distance a whole number. This made building the truck frames much easier: After working out the frames, I worked on designing a drive train that would power all three wheels (once again, I picked a small prototype, which didn't help). Here's what I came up with: That's the ungeared 9V motor driving a shaft with a belt, powering all three axles with worms. The center axle slides to traverse curves: As a side bonus, I get to check another motor off my list of "motors to power a locomotive with". Because of the belt drive, unlike any of my other locomotives this locomotive's pulling power is limited by torque instead of weight (because the belt will slip first). It still has plenty of pulling power for something of its size. The locomotive traverses almost all track arrangements -- strangely, it will skip switches coming out of a curve, but only in one direction. The hood hides the battery box. One section isn't held on by anything, and comes off to reveal the power button: The other sections are only connected with one stud (and some interesting panel spacing to grab the power connector), making it easy to change the batteries. The receiver sits on top of the motor in the cab and receives signals through a hole in the roof. Unlike the other locomotives I've built, this one has great reception from all angles. I really wanted to build this locomotive in Curry Rail colors, but the parts I needed weren't available in either teal (too old) or bright green (too new?). So I built it in black, but left the frames grey to show the details better. Thanks for reading! Full Brickshelf gallery, pending moderation.
  3. This loco is basically an updated 2017 version of the Railbricks Fairbanks Morse H10-44 engine that was built by Jeramy Spurgeon back in 2007 for the Hobby train set number 10183. (It didn't make it into the final set but was considered for it) I was also inspired by this topic here on Eurobricks by user dx0. I wanted to make it in orange like his model, but decided on yellow after looking at the Technic 1 x 4 brick, which doesn't come in that color. The elongated model features a new slope brick that actually very closely mirrors the real loco, along with space for railways initial tiles and printed numbers. I am going to name this loco WFP number 7004. (WFP stands for Wabash Frisco & Pacific, which is the name of a 12 inch gauge ride-on railway in St. Louis, MO. They really have a Fairbanks Morse-like loco there numbered 704, so this engine is partially inspired by that!) The rear of the loco features the cab door and the tail-light. The LDD file is available here if anyone wants it. (UPDATE: I revised the underside of the engine to be beefier, along with a bunch of other small modifications. The LDD file and pictures are updated as of 1/24/17. Comments, questions and complaints are always welcome!
  4. I've made a new gearbox for my next car. This gearbox can either be set to a gear ratio (driving the wheels) or to a function, allowing the drive motors to power something else. In total, there are 4 forward gears, 2 reverse gears and 6 function "ports". The reverse gears weren't intentional - they happened to exist when I added the gearing for the forward gears. The gearbox consists of a turntable with an off-center gear positioned on it. This design uses two off-center gears on the same axle - an 8t and a 12t. This allows more meshing combinations. The off-center gears are driven by a 24t gear in the middle of the turntable, which is powered by the drive motors. Around the turnable, there are many axles with gears on them (12 in this design). When the turntable is rotated correctly, one of the off-center gears meshes with one of the gears on the outside, turning that axle. Some of the axles are connected with extra gears to form a transmission with different speeds; the unconnected ones will be used for functions. Here you can see the internal workings of the gearbox. These are the gear ratios (including the 3:5 gearing before the transmission): Gear 1: 1:2.5 Gear 2: 1:3 Gear 3: 1:4.167 Gear 4: 1:5 Reverse 1: 1:3 Reverse 2: 1:5 Functions 1, 3, 4 and 6: 1:7.5 Functions 2 and 5: 1:5 The gear ratios are rather close, and the reverse ratios are too high, but there is little choice in choosing gears since all of them have to mesh properly with the off-center gears on the turntable. I made all the gear ratios quite high since I'm planning to drive the vehicle with 2 EV3 Large motors, which have tons of torque. There are two inputs - this is purely because I plan to use 2 EV3 Large motors - one on each side of the gearbox. The shifting input drives the turntable with a 28:8 gear reduction - this could be increased, possibly with a worm gear. Note that it is ESSENTIAL to use a MINDSTORMS motor for shifting, since the shift positions are in strange places and not in order. This gearbox can handle plenty of torque - the gearing up before it does help. However, when under high load, the turntable can move out of place and make gears grind. This gearbox works best with minimal backlash on the shifting input. Also, some clever programming can make the turntable adjust its position a little bit depending on the amount and direction of the load, countering the forces pushing the gears apart. The gearbox is very compact for its functionality - comparable in size to a 4-speed sequential gearbox. However, it can only be used with a MINDSTORMS motor for shifting, which will make it useless for most of you guys (unless of course someone develops a version that can be controlled by a PF servo...)
  5. Hello all! My name is Eliot. I build mostly City style 6-wide trains. I have been building a lot of trains on LDD recently, and I just joined Eurobricks a couple of weeks ago. So I found this to be the opportune time to share my newest creation. A 0-4-0 Steam Switcher Engine. For the models I've been designing on LDD, I have been using a color scheme of blue with a white stripe. It looks a little cartoony, but until I find a better combo, I'm going to stick with this one. I based it off the countless models of switcher that Lionel likes to do with their O Gauge trains. A rear view of the switcher. It is worth noting that this probably isn't possible to build since I built it in LDD Advanced Edition. Therefore, I could put all the parts in any color I wanted, regardless of if they've even been made in that color. For example, the robot claws on the back of the tender have never actually been made in blue. So if I actually wanted to buy this model, I'd have to use a different color scheme. What little interior i did. If I started building in 8-wide, I probably could get a full cab in, but I'm happy with my 6-wide trains for now. Hopefully the formatting isn't too messed up, since this is only my second post. Here is a download link if anyone wants the LDD file.0-4-0 Switcher.lxf NOTE: If anyone wants to redesign this model or make it better than it is, I'd love to see it!
  6. I was looking at that thread about compact PF solutions, and I thought about posting this MOC. The Alco HH series is a line of very early diesel-electric switchers (made in 'Murrika of course) produced between 1931 and 1940 after which it was succeeded by the much more well-know S series. The HH1000 was the 1000HP variant of the HH series of which 34 were produced between 1939 and 1940. Because other companies' color schemes were more difficult to implement, my HH1000 carries that of Union Pacific. UP owned exactly one HH1000, numbered 1251, which it acquired from the Mount Hood Railway in the late 60s. It was probably retired not long after. The most difficult part of the prototype to implement in Lego was by far the cab. Ideally the columns at the corners of the cab would be something like 2LU x 2LU, but that is pretty much impossible in Lego. After much fiddling I was able to get 2LU gaps in the back, but the cab is too long by about a stud to accomodate 5LU columns from the side. You'll notice the PF receiver sticking out of the center window. To me the main feature of this loco is that it is the perfect shape to cram two M motors, the AA battery box, and the reciever into a body 30 studs long. The receiver is actually just floating because that's the only orientation that works. The tractive effort is a little less than what I was able to get out of the RF-16, a combination I think of less weight and shorter bogies, but for practical purposes it'll basically pull anything reasonable - just slowly. As far as I can tell having a gear ratio other than 1:1 is more or less impossible here. This model has been about 85% complete for the past month or two, mainly for testing, but I'm about to BL the remaining parts, so it should get done soon! I didn't realize dark gray/blay saber blades were so expensive; so spoiled by LDD now.