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MOC: High Speed European Passenger Trains


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#1 lego9vtrainfan

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 05:34 PM

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Hi everyone,

I've been lurking on Eurobricks for years, but I decided it was high time to create an account.  I would like to share with you my collection of high speed European passenger trains (Eurostar, TGV, and ICE 3):

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I had the pleasure of working in Germany for a summer in 2007, during which I did some traveling as well.  I greatly enjoyed the high speed trains, and these trips were the inspiration for these models, which were built over the last few years.  Full credit goes to James Mathis for the original designs, which I used as the basis for my designs and modifications.  He has an excellent Brickshelf folder featuring many models -- thanks James!

I would not have attempted these models without a way to run them at high speed (as they should be run!).  Fortunately, I read about making long curves from straight track in issue #1 of Railbricks magazine, which I found presented an ideal solution to the sharp corners of 9V curve pieces (slowing down is out of the question, of course  :tongue: )  Thanks are due to Holger Matthes for this article (he also has a nice model of the ICE 3 -- check it out!)

Videos and media

I have a side interest in video making, so I have filmed my models running on various long curve layouts that were made temporarily over the years (a lot of space is needed, so I have no permanent layout, alas).  Here I have included lots of interesting camera angles, particularly those with the camera on the train and the "chase camera" positioned on a train in front that is also going around the layout.  All of the videos are stored in my YouTube channel, but I will link a few here.  For example:

TGV



ICE 3



Photo gallery:  Brickshelf

Eurostar


(double track layout with ICE 3)

High speed train crash

Of course I like to have some fun too, and my most recent addition is a terrible train crash between the ICE 3, Eurostar, and the innocent Christmas train. :devil:  Needless to say, the engineer responsible has since been fired. :laugh:



I would welcome any comments or ideas you may have, and thanks for reading/watching!  :classic:

Cheers,

LEGO9vtrainfan
Videos of LEGO high speed trains (ICE 3, TGV, Eurostar) on long curve layouts -- check out my Youtube channel!

#2 HoMa

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 05:56 PM

Hi LEGO9vtrainfan,

welcome and good to see you here! Your videos are still my personal favourite videos in the world of LEGO trains online! And I have to say that your ICE 3 version on the smooth curves was the initial impact for me to build my own ICE 3 (after having this train in mind for several years). Thank you!

As you said, space is always limited and you need to re-arrange your appartement to create a loop using the smooth-technology. I only had once the chance to set up such a layout. So I haven't had time to test all/more configurations on powering the high speed trains.

Maybe you could share some of your experiences here?

+ How many (standard?) 9V motors are used to drive your trains, e.g. ICE 3, Thalys or Eurostar?
+ How long is your loop in total numbers of straight 9V tracks?
+ How many train track contacts do you use? (One each XX pieces of track?)
+ Do you use any customized speed regulators? If so, what is the customization about?

I wonder if such high speed experiences would be possible with Power Function trains also? If you use multiples of the latest 9V train motor ( http://www.brickset....ail/?Set=8866-1 ) you might also get fast, long trains?

Anyway, good that your are here right now and that you share not only your great videos!

Holger

#3 Selander

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 07:06 PM

Really nice designs and videos  :thumbup:
But I wouldn't dare crashing my favorite trains purposly in front of the videocamera.
(too afraid of permanent damages or scrathes...)

Those big radius curves....do you just "bend" many straights ?

AND very welcome to the forum  :tongue:
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#4 Zorbas

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 07:27 PM

First of all, welcome to Eurobricks lego9vtrainfan! And what a first post that is... :oh:  :sweet:

Let me tell you, I'm just amazed! Your creations look absolutely GREAT! You've done a great job recreating the original models. Bravo! :thumbup:

What I really enjoyed was the videos especially the second one! Using different angles and showing the trains' routes independently was just like watching a movie!
Great editing my friend! :thumbup:


Definitely keep it up that way! :sweet:
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#5 Loganwan

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 07:39 PM

Wow, nice first post on the site.  Pictures AND video.   :wink: Eventually when I get my hobby room built, I plan on running my trains around the room as well, but I am too worried about people stepping on them, so I am going to mount them on the wall.

Your trains are really nice looking.  They just look fast sitting there.  I got to spend some time in England and France last summer, and seeing those long-nosed beauties just brought back memories of the train trip between the two.  Glorious design and human engineering.  You have represented them well in the block.
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#6 lightningtiger

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 09:59 PM

First the trains look AWESOME - you have done a fantastic job on all three of them !!! :sweet:  :grin:  :laugh:
Second the video clip - you could have that featured on Discovery Channels 'Destroyed In Seconds' ! :laugh:  
By the way how can you move in your home for not stepping on train track, like even in the kitchen ! :laugh:
AWESOME work......Keep On Bricking 'Lego9VTrainFan' ! :sweet:

#7 lego9vtrainfan

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 10:11 PM

Thank you for the warm welcome and the kind comments!  Perhaps I will have to post an introductory note in the Train Tech registry too.  :classic:

I will try to address some of the questions raised:

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+ How many (standard?) 9V motors are used to drive your trains, e.g. ICE 3, Thalys or Eurostar?
Each train has two motors, one at each end.  These are standard 9V train motors and haven't been modified in any way.

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+ How long is your loop in total numbers of straight 9V tracks?
The main loop in the first video (TGV) was about ~35-40m -- I never measured it exactly, but I know I used ~350 pieces of straight track including sidings.  The second layout (crash video) was shorter, about 125 straights for each loop, giving ~250 straights for the double loop.  I realized a while ago that to truly enjoy these trains, I would need a lot of track, so I gradually built up this amount over many years.  I have plans for a larger double loop layout using ~500 straights, but now I need find the time to go and try it out.

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+ How many train track contacts do you use? (One each XX pieces of track?)
Due to the increased electrical resistance provided by the small area of contact between each piece of straight track when they put together in long curves, I have found many electrical connections to the track to be very important.  In the first layout, for example, I used a contact every 4 m (~30 straights) in the curved areas.  One can get away with a lot fewer contacts on the straightaway sections since there is more contact between track pieces.

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+ Do you use any customized speed regulators? If so, what is the customization about?
For the TGV video, which I made a little while ago, I used three stock 9V speed regulators in series, each powering a different section of the layout.  This was OK, but I knew the resistance from the layout was still holding the trains back a bit.  Now I have some customized speed regulators where the current has been increased from 1 amp to 3 amps at 9V.  This was used in the second video (train crash), with one modified speed regulator for each loop, which is much nicer.  The result is particularly apparent with the ICE 3, as it also has 5 lights, which, combined with the two motors and the loss in the track, meant it could not get enough current from a standard 1 amp speed regulator to go at full speed.  This shortcoming is solved with the 3 amp speed regulator, which I obtained from the seller ELECTRO-BRICK on Bricklink.  He is a great guy and I highly recommend his work -- he can also modify your speed regulators if you don't need a new one.

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I wonder if such high speed experiences would be possible with Power Function trains also? If you use multiples of the latest 9V train motor ( http://www.brickset....ail/?Set=8866-1 ) you might also get fast, long trains?
This isn't something I've tried (unfortunately I don't have any such parts), so I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried making fast trains with the new Power Functions elements.

Quote

Those big radius curves....do you just "bend" many straights ?
Each straight is connected together with a hinge plate on one side and a 1/2 stud offset on the other side, which is achieved with a jumper plate.  Eventually this gives a curve with radius ~1.9 m.  HoMa wrote an article in Railbricks issue #1 describing this method, and I would encourage you to give it a try!  :wink:  Eventually I might try to make some custom track if I ever have a permanent location for a layout, but for now this method works great as it allows for long curves that can still be easily disassembled.

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But I wouldn't dare crashing my favorite trains purposly in front of the videocamera.
(too afraid of permanent damages or scrathes...)
Haha yes, I thought about this afterwards, since I might have broken the lights on the ICE 3 in the crash. :oh3:  Fortunately they were OK.  In any event, the beauty of LEGO trains is that you can just put them back together again!  Parts can be replaced, decals can be reprinted, so have some fun and stage a terrible crash!  :laugh:

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By the way how can you move in your home for not stepping on train track, like even in the kitchen !
Yes, this is why the layouts are only temporary... it is difficult to find a large enough open area sometimes!  The others in my house just stepped around carefully for a few days... very kind of them.  :laugh:

Thank you once again for your comments, and I look forward to participating in this community more in future!

Edited by lego9vtrainfan, 17 January 2010 - 10:14 PM.

Videos of LEGO high speed trains (ICE 3, TGV, Eurostar) on long curve layouts -- check out my Youtube channel!

#8 ThomasB

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 11:14 PM

Hi,

really great! I enjoyed this pictures and videos!
Lego 9v is still alive!

Thanks!

Greetings
Thomas

#9 Ashi Valkoinen

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 11:25 PM

This high-speed trains are incredible! I love them all, and they look cool in these curves! Great job!
Cheers,
AshiV

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Hungary-related TRAIN MOC in 8W - my main topic on EB
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#10 Davey

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 02:24 AM

I'll echo the thoughts of others by saying that you have a phenomenal set of high speed trains there!  They are really gorgeous and look fantastic running on those long curves.  I like the idea of stepping up to a 3 amp controller.  I have been thinking of modding one of my controllers like that for awhile now.  Just trying to decide if it is worth it for my layout.  

The video you took was really impressive.  If you don't mind me asking, what kind of video equipment are you using to take the video?  I liked that the video was taken from different angles and edited together.  Really great.  And the train crash was hilarious.  It was actually really interesting to see it in slow motion as it really showed how the physics of a LEGO train crash mimic those of a real crash.  Well done!

Also, welcome to EB.  Glad to have you here and I hope to see more of your creations soon!

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#11 MetroiD

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 02:38 AM

I am absolutely speechless! What a way to make your introduction to Train Tech!!! The trains, the tracks, the videos, the crash :grin: ... they're all perfect!!!
And I have the feeling that this is going to appear on Classic-Town.net pretty soon! :wink:

Can't wait to see more of your MOCs mate... oh, and welcome (officially) to Eurobricks!!!
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#12 lego9vtrainfan

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 12:14 AM

Thanks again for the great comments!  :blush:

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If you don't mind me asking, what kind of video equipment are you using to take the video?
Of course I am happy to share!  :classic: The answer, however, is rather low tech -- I use the video mode on two point-and-shoot digital cameras, a Canon SD600 from several years ago and a Canon SD880 IS that I got last year.  The video quality is by no means spectacular (VGA 640x480), but it's decent enough and they make up for it with their small size and relatively light weight.  This enables me to fix the camera to the top of the train, for example, with a gob of poster sticky tac that is easily removed later.  I normally use one camera at a time, but I have put both on a train at once to have the forward and backwards perspective at the same time, whereas normally this would require two different shots.  Of course I have plenty of out-takes where one or the other camera has fallen off the train, but so far nothing has been broken.  :laugh:  

The remainder of the shots were done either from a small tripod (stationary shot) or with a mostly steady hand (tracking shot) while holding the camera.  The "chase camera" involved sticking the camera to a flat car that was then pulled by a train in front while the camera was looking back at the train of interest... here the hardest part by far was making the trains advance at the same speed, as they both ran from the same controller.  Other cars were therefore added between the camera car and the locomotive such that the right "weight" was achieved.

Most of the work comes after shooting the video itself, and that is the editing, which I do in iMovie on Mac OS X.  I basically had some ideas for the videos one day and made use of the camera and software I had... it's all quite low tech, but it works. :tongue:  In the hands of a professional with different equipment I'm sure many more things would be possible!  Anyway, I have had a few requests on YouTube to make a "making of" video tutorial on my methods, so I hope to do this soon if there is further interest here.  

More to the point, you most likely have a relatively compact digital camera at home, so I would encourage you to try the video mode with some of your trains and (optionally) a gob of sticky tac -- perhaps you have some ideas for shots that I haven't considered?  I would certainly be interested in the results!  :classic:

Anyway, hopefully that discussion was not too far off-topic...  :wink:  

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I am absolutely speechless! What a way to make your introduction to Train Tech!!! The trains, the tracks, the videos, the crash  ... they're all perfect!!!
And I have the feeling that this is going to appear on Classic-Town.net pretty soon!
I have been humbled by the great feedback so far, and I would welcome any further questions or ideas about my trains and/or videos and I will try to respond.  I certainly look forward to contributing more to this community in future!

Cheers,

LEGO9vtrainfan
Videos of LEGO high speed trains (ICE 3, TGV, Eurostar) on long curve layouts -- check out my Youtube channel!

#13 TheBrickster

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 05:10 AM

Welcome to EB and to Train Tech Lego9VTrainFan.  I really enjoyed watching your videos, esp. the train crash.  I hope you enjoy the forum.

#14 Wouwie

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:38 PM

Wow! They're like perfect! Maybe it's me, because I love those high speeds trains here in Europe.
And the crash video :grin: The ICE3 crash remembers me of the ICE crash at Eschede, Germany...
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#15 lego9vtrainfan

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 11:13 PM

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Wow! They're like perfect! Maybe it's me, because I love those high speeds trains here in Europe.
And the crash video  The ICE3 crash remembers me of the ICE crash at Eschede, Germany...
Thanks for your comments, and I'm glad you enjoyed the videos too.  The crash I staged was entirely fictional, so please do not be alarmed...  :classic:
Videos of LEGO high speed trains (ICE 3, TGV, Eurostar) on long curve layouts -- check out my Youtube channel!

#16 samuraiturtle

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 11:17 PM

I just wanted to say I enjoyed your videos from the looks of things you got a big layout of tracks.  And the train wreck video was hilarious.   :laugh:

#17 LIAM1000

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 07:46 PM

View Postsamuraiturtle, on Jan 21 2010, 11:17 PM, said:

I just wanted to say I enjoyed your videos from the looks of things you got a big layout of tracks.  And the train wreck video was hilarious.   :laugh:
Hello Lego lovers , im new to this site and would appreciate any help in telling me where i can buy these lego high speed trains ???
Thanku  :classic:

#18 Commander Red Hat

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 07:51 PM

Your trains look great and very recognizable!  :thumbup:
I also like the fact that they really drive at high speed, the crash video was hilarious!
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#19 Melfice

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 08:35 PM

View PostLIAM1000, on May 9 2010, 09:46 PM, said:

Hello Lego lovers , im new to this site and would appreciate any help in telling me where i can buy these lego high speed trains ???
Thanku  :classic:

You design and build them yourself.
Models like these aren't generally for sale, due to the high parts-cost involved.
I can imagine trains like these running somewhere between 300 and 500 Dollar.

#20 DLuders

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 07:43 PM

In addition to the original (January 2010) video posted by lego9vtrainfan, he posted a second YouTube video in March 2010 (which went unnoticed on this forum).  Lego pieces are tough -- there were no permanent injuries!  :tongue:  Lego9vtrainfan wrote,

"By popular demand... I originally shot two crashes, this is the second, which uses a similar setup as my first video, although the camera angle and crash result are different! Oh no, all the toys spilled out of the Christmas train... and why the driver stopped on the cross track is anyone's guess! ;) So, here you have another high speed train crash between my LEGO 9V train ICE 3 and Eurostar models and the innocent little Christmas train... enjoy!"   :devil:



Another (morbid)  :sick:   YouTube video by grafitasitube:


Edited by DLuders, 09 October 2010 - 07:47 PM.


#21 Keper65

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 10:04 PM

Hello.
could you post some instructions on your train models?
Thank You!!!

#22 TheBrickster

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:40 AM

View PostKeper65, on 28 October 2012 - 10:04 PM, said:

could you post some instructions on your train models?

This MOC was posted over two years ago.  Please don't bump two-year old topics to ask for instructions; understanding that you're new around these parts.

#23 Keper65

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:53 PM

Sorry, I did not look to see how old the post was.

#24 TheBrickster

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:59 AM

Thanks for understanding.

#25 Lazarus

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

I have seen my son watch you vids a few times, he always wants to crash my lego trains now. I am tierd of fixing them all the time.



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