I wanted to MOC up a Metro-North yard switcher that is used in the Croton Harmon yard near where I live (it is one station south of mine):
The pair of these engines was originally ordered for use in Grand Central Terminal, but because they wheelbase was so small; they would not correctly trigger the signals so are used in Croton and Brewster instead.
This is my version:
Pulling a blue gondola (a bit of Metro-North rolling stock I will typically pass on my daily commute):
The back of the engine:
(compare to: http://www.rrpicture...aspx?id=2197673)
I’ve gone through 2-3 iterations of the design to balance playability and brick availability with looking like the original; and I have something that I think is recognizable when you put it next to the original, but is more inspired by the original than an actual copy. My kids (4 and 6) enjoy playing with it just like the other trains; so on playability I’m declaring success.
It is powered by a 9V battery, which I’ve connected by cutting a PF extension cable in half and soldering to a 9V battery connector:
I made two connectors, one out of each half of the extension cable. One of the cables has a fairly long Lego PF section. The other cable, which is inside the locomotive, has just a small section of Lego PF cable-the rest is the two wires of the battery connector. This turned out to work quite a bit better in the cramped interior of the locomotive, as it was a bit difficult fitting the cables from the IR receiver, motor, and also battery all together.
My first test runs were with regular alkaline 9V batteries, which is doubly problematic. First, they are about 1 USD a piece, and last for an hour. Secondly, it is a real pain to take the train apart and fit it back together to change the battery. My solution here was to use a rechargeable 9V battery from Amazon. I was concerned that the performance wouldn’t be as good, but the train goes just as fast on a fresh charge (enough that it can easily derail itself). It turns out that the rechargeable batteries last longer when run on speed five for 30 minutes, then flat out until they die (75 vs. 53 minutes). It also means that I can connect the train to the charger easily:
One of the changes in the second iteration was to use tiles so that the top piece would come off easily.
My Brickshelf gallery, including the LDD file is, is here:
And a video of it in action:
More pictures of the original available here:
Edited by TheBrickster, 06 July 2012 - 06:11 AM.
Oversized image removed by moderator.