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Ideas for trains in 2011


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#1 The Yellow Brick

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 08:03 PM

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I've just received the 2010 Passenger and Cargo trains (along with the Station and Level crossing)Posted Image and I was wondering what will Lego be doing next for trains. I'd personally would love to see an Roundhouse or some extra Rolling stock.

What do you think ???

Edited by The Red Brick, 15 August 2010 - 01:22 PM.


#2 Jargo

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 08:10 PM

hopefully an underground tube train. or an overhead light railway. I love those flat fronted trains and the tapered sides. None of the recent trains seem fit for a short haul journey. I really want a train that can loop around my city rather than just pass through.

#3 The Yellow Brick

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 08:29 PM

View PostBrickenhead-town-dweller, on Jun 12 2010, 09:10 PM, said:

hopefully an underground tube train. or an overhead light railway. I love those flat fronted trains and the tapered sides. None of the recent trains seem fit for a short haul journey. I really want a train that can loop around my city rather than just pass through.

I can see what you mean the trains produced today are not that good for small City's/Towns. that's why lego really need to consider re-releasing the Monorail again

Edited by The Red Brick, 15 August 2010 - 01:24 PM.


#4 Melfice

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 10:10 PM

View PostBrickenhead-town-dweller, on Jun 12 2010, 09:10 PM, said:

hopefully an underground tube train. or an overhead light railway. I love those flat fronted trains and the tapered sides. None of the recent trains seem fit for a short haul journey. I really want a train that can loop around my city rather than just pass through.

Actually, what LEGO seems to market as a high-speed train seems more like a light-rail train to me, fit for exactly that purpose. (Alternatively, it's based on the DB Class 612, or RegioSwinger, which really is a more high-speed regional service.)
But comparing LEGO designs to real-life designs is a shaky business, so... yeah.

In any case, the 2010 passenger train is more fit to just do a metro-loop than, say, set 4561 or 4511. ;)

#5 lightningtiger

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 10:58 PM

Now I would like to see some more track/train maintance, signals and of course rolling stock.
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#6 peterab

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:44 AM

View PostThe Red Brick, on Jun 13 2010, 06:03 AM, said:

ive just received my lego city cargo and passenger train (2010) and i was thinking what will lego be doing for 2011 with trains
maybe they will make extra coaches more train accessories ie: sheds and bridges. what do you think... :sceptic: ? :classic:

Well if the past is any indicator, we won't have any new City trains for a few years. We may see a new train aimed at AFOLs but I'd guess that wont happen till it's time to replace the Emerald Night. It's almost certain we won't see extra coaches because their sales levels are not sufficient for TLG.

None of this is a problem since as long as we have the basic mechanicals available we can Moc our own wishes into existence.

#7 Piranha

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 02:32 AM

I don't think we will see any new trains next year as the old 2006 trains lasted right up till 2010 (4 years! twice the normal lifespan of other sets) not counting the emerald night which is more of a model train anyway.
But I do hope for possible train additions like stations, tunnels, etc.  :thumbup:

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#8 vgsprites

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:28 AM

View Postlightningtiger, on Jun 12 2010, 03:58 PM, said:

Now I would like to see some more track/train maintance, signals and of course rolling stock.
Keep on bricking ! :sweet:

I have the same thoughts lightningtiger. More MOW would be nice along with more cargo stock. Especially Octan cars.  :classic:
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#9 The Yellow Brick

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:18 AM

View Postpeterab, on Jun 13 2010, 01:44 AM, said:

Well if the past is any indicator, we won't have any new City trains for a few years. We may see a new train aimed at AFOLs but I'd guess that wont happen till it's time to replace the Emerald Night. It's almost certain we won't see extra coaches because their sales levels are not sufficient for TLG.

None of this is a problem since as long as we have the basic mechanicals available we can Moc our own wishes into existence.

I can see what you mean. I to can't see CITY releasing any trains untill 2012 or 2013. But I do wonder what the next AFOL aimed train will look like.

Edited by The Red Brick, 15 August 2010 - 01:27 PM.


#10 pinioncorp

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:20 AM

I don't understand why they don't add rolling stock to the station or level crossing set. They instead include vehicles I really have no need for. It makes perfect sense: If you're buying a level crossing or station then you already have a train, why not add to that? A carriage included with the passenger station would be great. I have no need for more track maintenence vehicles, I need more carriages!

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#11 andythenorth

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 08:14 PM

More wagons would be great.  Sets like the 10016 tanker and 4536 hopper wagon fetch high prices on eBay and Bricklink.

Straight track always goes for high prices too.  

I would happily buy a set such as:
- a four-wheel cargo van (similar to the red one in Cargo Train Deluxe); another general cargo wagon (van or flat wagon), four pieces of straight track and a fork-lift truck.  
- two hopper wagons (of different design), four pieces of straight track, and something like a conveyor belt or excavator to load them.

For this I'd pay perhaps £30 sterling?  And if they were in the catalogue for 2-4 years, I'd probably buy maybe four of each set.

:)

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#12 Richie

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 09:38 PM

A wagon included in the station set would be a great idea. Seperate sold wagons would be great too, however I don't think TLG will release them. They did in the past, but seperate cars and wagons never sold well.

It's multifunctionomical.

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#13 brickzone

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:05 PM

Presumably there might be something like Emerald Night at some stage in the next couple of years? As stated above, I think it seems likely the 2010 train sets will be around for the next couple of years based on how long the old sets were around. Any extra sets are likely to be small, either some new piece of track or else something the size of the level crossing set.

#14 peterab

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:47 AM

View PostThe Red Brick, on Jun 13 2010, 08:18 PM, said:

but lego may have gotten so may e-mails/ complaints about extra coaches that they might decide to put some more coaches out

Even the train sets are marginal sellers for TLG so it is hard for them to justify removing something else from their production scedule to produce coaches, which have been poor sellers over and over again.

The Santa Fe coaches were great designs, had multiple different designs in the same set so are attractive to have in multiples, and failed totatly in the market place. They were heavily discounted on S@H and remaindered at $20 in Australia to get rid of them. My own train coaches also didn't sell well. The 9V set with four freight cars was easily and cheaply available MISB for many years after it was discontinued, which suggests to me that it also failed to sell well. These are all examples of wagons that are well regarded by fans of Lego trains, there just doesn't seem to be enough of us to meet the sales expectations of the huge company LEGO has become.

I think the best we can hope for in the future is Exclusive trains will be larger sets with an engine and perhaps three coaches.

View Postpinioncorp, on Jun 13 2010, 09:20 PM, said:

I don't understand why they don't add rolling stock to the station or level crossing set. They instead include vehicles I really have no need for. It makes perfect sense: If you're buying a level crossing or station then you already have a train, why not add to that? A carriage included with the passenger station would be great. I have no need for more track maintenence vehicles, I need more carriages!

I at least like this idea because it is a new suggestion, I'd probably prefer the level crossing without any vehicle or wagon, to make it a cheaper way to buy straight track. I like it as is anyway.

A very small and cheap wagon as part of the station would be good, as long as it didn't impact the price too much. I'd mostly be interested in the wheels and couplers so a simple flat car would be fine, and I'd be happy to lose the taxi and a couple of minifigs. I'll probably try to buy two of the station as it is, but with a wagon it would be more tempting.

On consideration this idea looks like it would make the sets more attractive to those who would already buy them, but I doubt it would increase sales much, perhaps though it wouldn't have a negative effect so it might be worthwhile for TLG.

#15 zephyr1934

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 05:01 AM

Don't forget that there is the Public Transportation Center and a HP train also due out later this year.



As for the future of trains, as an ambassador I have been lobbying for lego to start to produce niche sets on demand using the DesignByMe pick lines, but with a few special parts not available in the PAB to round out the model (including a sticker sheet), different packaging, and the two most important features: an actual human build test, and an actual set number. That way they could have a whole line of train rolling stock aimed at the AFOLs available at S@H without the need to produce any more sets than the market will bare (and the market will do so at the premium DBM price).

I would imagine the rush of orders for a hand picked set any time such a new set is released would be a strain on the relatively constant DBM demand. But that could be modulated by limiting only a few pick lines to the sets and serving orders first come first serve. When the set demand is down, those lines could be fulfilling DBM/PAB orders and when set demand is high, they can crank out multiples of the niche set(s). Anything that does super well could even be migrated to normal production runs. If peaking is an issue, the sets could be timed to come out when DBM/PAB demand is expected to be low and released without fanfare so that orders trickle in more slowly.

So far the idea hasn't gotten much traction. So if you like this idea, make sure you politely relay it to TLG whenever you have an opportunity (e.g., to the community team at lego conventions or in the quarterly AFOL survey). If we don't have attractive gateway train sets, the future will have much fewer AFOL train heads.

Benn

#16 Matt Dawson

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 09:28 AM

View Postzephyr1934, on Jun 14 2010, 06:01 AM, said:

Don't forget that there is the Public Transportation Center and a HP train also due out later this year.
Both of those, technically, are not "train" sets, though they contain rail transport.

View Postzephyr1934, on Jun 14 2010, 06:01 AM, said:

As for the future of trains, as an ambassador I have been lobbying for lego to start to produce niche sets on demand using the DesignByMe pick lines, but with a few special parts not available in the PAB to round out the model (including a sticker sheet), different packaging, and the two most important features: an actual human build test, and an actual set number. That way they could have a whole line of train rolling stock aimed at the AFOLs available at S@H without the need to produce any more sets than the market will bare (and the market will do so at the premium DBM price).

I would imagine the rush of orders for a hand picked set any time such a new set is released would be a strain on the relatively constant DBM demand. But that could be modulated by limiting only a few pick lines to the sets and serving orders first come first serve. When the set demand is down, those lines could be fulfilling DBM/PAB orders and when set demand is high, they can crank out multiples of the niche set(s). Anything that does super well could even be migrated to normal production runs. If peaking is an issue, the sets could be timed to come out when DBM/PAB demand is expected to be low and released without fanfare so that orders trickle in more slowly.

So far the idea hasn't gotten much traction. So if you like this idea, make sure you politely relay it to TLG whenever you have an opportunity (e.g., to the community team at lego conventions or in the quarterly AFOL survey). If we don't have attractive gateway train sets, the future will have much fewer AFOL train heads.

Benn
A few special LDD designs as "Offiicial" sets would do quite good, as voted by the community.
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#17 roamingstudio

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 10:07 AM

The main issue with individual 'train elements' seems to have been low turn over in the past (but perhaps a steady slow stream rather than initial high volumes) and possible losses on some models (when measured over the 6 months / 1-2 years)... And this bad experience does not help the pricing / product strategy.

Some DBM / LDD factory sets which are officially sanctioned would perhaps be a way forwards, but it might also be something which needs the community to do as a first step... i.e. a few designers build the LDD models and release them to 'testers' within the community (who must include young KFOL). Then write reviews; maybe with a small portal website? Finally making models available to the public. Railbricks did something like this with their limited run inaugural models; and there are two or three 'custom set' sellers available on Bricklink (actually with high quality packaging and instructions).

If there is a central purchasing point then perhaps that person / team could have exclusive access to additional hard to find elements / sticker sheets for special models. With a coordinated business plan this could work out to fulfil the needs of the AFOL / KFOL community... and provide a business model which could help TLG make decisions about releasing this themselves. However it would need TLG to step in and offer to make parts / packs available at lower prices than listed on the DBM / LDD market otherwise handling / packing costs will break any possible 'profits' (shared amongst the community of designers / testers / web hosting etc).

Having model numbers interate with each month will be confusing; especially if a part has to be replaced and you get model xxxxxab etc.

#18 MatthewUSA

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 10:31 AM

I would certainly agree.  More accessories like freight cars, passenger cars, maintenance cars / vehicles, etc... would be awesome to see for 2011.  I really hope TLG expands further on the Train line.  I know this theme could be a bigger success if they just market and expand on it, especially here in the USA.  The new items look AWESOME!  I hope they keep it up for the coming years.

Model On!

#19 Melfice

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 02:05 PM

View PostMatthewUSA, on Jun 14 2010, 11:31 AM, said:

I would certainly agree.  More accessories like freight cars, passenger cars, maintenance cars / vehicles, etc... would be awesome to see for 2011.  I really hope TLG expands further on the Train line.  I know this theme could be a bigger success if they just market and expand on it, especially here in the USA.  The new items look AWESOME!  I hope they keep it up for the coming years.

Model On!

The problem: LEGO Trains are a niche market, that makes little profit for LEGO.
Promoting such a line is a liability, because marketing is not cheap.
Not marketing, however, ensure that LEGO Trains remains a niche market.

So... what do you do?
Spend a million a month (US and Europe market combined. Guess might probably even be on the low end) for what might be very little pay out? Or do you NOT market it and keep the profits it IS making, so you can spend that profit* on licensed series, or other IP's that are making a much bigger profit?

Difficult decision, no?

* alternatively, you pool the profits from the train sales over 4 or 6 years so you can use those to design a new train. Which seems more likely, actually.

#20 Sir E Fullner

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 02:37 PM

I think that TLC should make a replica of the 34059 SIR ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR, a Pacific class that is one of the only engines surviving.
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#21 Matt Dawson

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:01 PM

View Postefullner, on Jun 14 2010, 03:37 PM, said:

I think that TLC should make a replica of the 34059 SIR ARCHIBALD SINCLAIR, a Pacific class that is one of the only engines surviving.

It's too much like the Emerald Night to be done.

the Trains range would be more profitable if Lego advertised it more, reduced/rearranged the sizes of the sets a little (e.g. the crane and truck from the freight set in their own set).
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#22 Mark Bellis

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 05:57 PM

The one thing TLG should definitely do for trains in 2011 is make the train motor available separately.

I guess the train sets range would last about 3 years, but it will remain a small range because of its small market.

As for the AFOL market, there needs to be a better replacement for Emerald Night when the time comes.  Something to maintain the supply of special train wheels, but not too similar to the Emerald Night itself.  Another rare colour that would be as popular as Earth Green - how about Dark Tan or Dark Orange?

Whilst I would prefer train motors (yes, 2) under the tender, with driving wheels coasting, the reality is that the train would always have to be suitable for 10-year-olds, so we can't expect miracles.  We'll just have to make our own better trains.

I would guess that, since Emerald Night could be seen as a UK/US prototype, it's more likely to be German prototype next time, with red wheels.  Unfortunately that means no rare body colour since they're mostly black locos.  An update to the Pacific engine from 7777 ideas book would be too logical and too similar to EN.

Maybe an update to 7750 would be popular?  It wouldn't require as much technical detail as some ideas, it would have 8 special wheels, most likely 8 with flanges (but there's no reason why the blind ones shouldn't be included in the set as extras since they come in a 3-pack) and it would have a train motor in the tender, which keeps up the use of train motors and hence reduces TLG's overheads for the motor.

We need a new Railway Ideas Book.  Please petition for one!  That would certainly increase train sales, and more train sales means more train sets for us!

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#23 paul_delahaye

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 06:31 PM

I think we need something that can fully utilise the other 6 functions on the remote control, I'm sure point controllers or an automated crossing must have been on the cards when they allowed us 8 channels on the remote, surely they were not just thinking of running 8 trains?

I'd like to see a freight loading station (not jut a crane), loose freight/car loading

A circus train could be fun?

#24 andythenorth

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:38 PM

View Postzephyr1934, on Jun 14 2010, 06:01 AM, said:

I would imagine the rush of orders for a hand picked set any time such a new set is released would be a strain on the relatively constant DBM demand. But that could be modulated by limiting only a few pick lines to the sets and serving orders first come first serve.[...snip...]

I found this a pretty fascinating reply.  I'm fascinated by how mass production works anyway, and it's a nice insight into the internals of production at Lego.

I've been trying to figure out what the issues would be for Lego in serving niche, low-volume sets for AFOLS.  This is pure conjecture, but I was thinking:
- marketing cost is €low: product pack shot, description, upload to web cms for store(s).  Not in retail channel, bought by AFOL via online store lego.com.
- SKU entries in retail systems, parts control in MRP €low
- design of set, build test, quality: €expensive
- low volume production runs - picking bricks €??  
- setting and print of box and instructions €expensive?

I work in a completely different business (web apps and advertising), but we spend a lot of time trying to balance production on multiple lines.  Coping with peaks is a headache :)
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#25 zephyr1934

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:43 AM

View Postandythenorth, on Jun 14 2010, 04:38 PM, said:

I found this a pretty fascinating reply.  I'm fascinated by how mass production works anyway, and it's a nice insight into the internals of production at Lego.
...
I work in a completely different business (web apps and advertising), but we spend a lot of time trying to balance production on multiple lines.  Coping with peaks is a headache :)

To clarify,

1) my earlier post (and expansion herein) is "my vision" and has not been endorsed by Lego.

2) I have no idea of how exactly DBM/PAB works, I just know that there is a big building somewhere in Europe and the parts are picked by hand. I believe both DBM and PAB share the same facility and pallet, but I might be wrong.

3) DBM includes custom boxes and printed instructions for sets designed with LDD printed on demand. But these are typically one-off's generated by computer and might include the occasional weird view/step/etc.. Since the niche sets would sell in the 100's or 1000's, a human should actually look over the instructions and packaging. Potentially manually correcting any major quirks that the automated system generates.

4) Also to clarify, my vision is that the production facility would be the same for the niche sets as is for DBM, but the packaging decoration would be completely different and would not indicate that it came from the DBM facility. The sets would either be designed 100% by lego designers or with input from the AFOL community, whatever works best for TLG. But these would NOT in general be from the generic pool of LDD/DBM/factory designs uploaded by fans. The sets would include a few exclusive parts not in DBM/PAB

5) I would imagine the sets would have the same shelf life as other train sets (unless some of the parts rotate off of PAB), i.e., potentially a few years.

This approach doesn't need marketing (the AFOLs will spread the word and the sets will show up at S@H), doesn't need additional inventory, etc. etc.. There are costs (e.g., set design, maintaining the web page, etc), but the higher DBM price should cover these. I'd rather have 6-8 nice train sets of individual pieces of rolling stock at DBM prices than one inflexible train set that forces the non-MOC building AFOL (and they are likely the majority of AFOLs) to buy as many locomotives as cars. Or better, both, one nice AFOL train set at normal prices that is carried in stores and a few niche sets at the higher DBM prices only available at S@H.



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