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Ge U50

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Hello. I've always been interested in Lego trains, but never really had the change to make one, being too poor to afford those big sets as a child. After seeing various lego train setups and railyards, I decided that someday I'm gonna build my own to relive that childhood dream.

...But first, I gotta learn how to build the trains!

LDD's pretty much all I can work with, but it's got enough parts to use. After looking at the instructions for the Maersk train set to get a basic idea of how Lego trains are constructed, I decided to build something relatively simple, but at the same time still provide a unique challenge. To that end a diesel train, with its simple bogies and boxy shape, seemed ideal. But what diesels were unique? Well, there's a lot, but Union Pacific's various superhuge locomotives seemed interesting. After deciding on them, I Iooked around to see what people had made of these already. First I decided to build the DDA40X, but someone had beaten me to it, so I didn't want to end up copying them. The Big Boy is a favorite of mine, but steam engines felt a bit out of my league for a first train, plus there's a whole bunch of them in Lego form. I would up building the GE U50 because it seemed relatively simple in shape, but interesting enough to stand out.


Here it is, the ugly beast. A big, bulky design partly built from failed prototypes, it was one of UP's orders to have 15,000 horsepower, 3 locomotive trains for heavy freight drags. There were competitor designs, but this was one of the losing ones (even if it did meet the criteria.) It suffered a few mechanical issues due to being 2 locomotives shoved together in one frame, but the biggest drawback was the weight. 278.5 tons of weight was not very forgiving on the tracks.


Making this in LDD was rather challenging, as there's several things I'd change if I built this with real brick. For starters, making all the hosing gapless would be a lot easier in real life. I'd also apply a specific window piece I found a bricklink to the back up the cab, in place of the 1x1x2 brick with the hole in it.


It's big alright, but still 6 stud wide. When I started this I didn't even know about the different building styles and widths, but I'm glad with how this turned out. It'll be a bit taller than other locomotives, but the real U50 had that extra height as well, so I think it'll be fine that way. As you can see, the bogies are linked together in sets of 2 with span bolsters due to the rather long design. My biggest issue was leaving the bogies as is, because I wanted to include motorbogies for power functions or 9V tracks, but this left me very little room to customize. As a result, I just had to slap on the standard bogie detail parts and call it a day. Still, it doesn't look too bad, and this way you can have 2 power functions motors on the train easily (or even 4 9V motors if you want a real powerhouse.)


Since space is practically a non-issue for this design, I decided to pop in the largest battery box. Since there's supposed to be 2 PF motors, I figured the extra juice wouldn't hurt. I designed the section of the roof above the switch to be easy to take off, so that way you don't have to fight the model just to turn it on and off.


Battery access is also super easy. Just pop off the bottom tank and you're set.


Speaking of motors, it's a little hard to see in LDD, but I did put in pieces to represent the exposed motors the actual loco had. The diesel engines were a little less exposed, though, but I might go back and recreate those using the Maersk's as a design basis (with the changes needed, of course.)


Despite the massive size, I did take Lego's tight turns into account, and the articulation should more than suffice. Whether or not the cab will hit anything sticking out like it is another story, but it'll end up depending on the layout in question.


Of course, the bogies would end up hitting the ladders, but hopefully the turns won't be too hard and the ladders won't stick out too much during operation; don't want them getting caught on anything by accident. I feel this is the biggest design flaw with this, but it's a rather minor one thankfully.



Here it is compared to a recreation of the Maersk train. Being based on an SD40, I figured this would make a perfect scaling example to use, and I'd say it's pretty much spot-on with real life.



Here's the alternate design used by Southern Pacific. There were a few changes to the front end, but it was mostly the same.


Obviously both of these trains (especially the Southern Pacific variant) would need decals to really look good, but I'd like to believe this is the best they can get without. For the first train I've ever had the chance to build, this was certainly a learning experience that I don't regret. Now I feel more confident to tackle the monsters known as steam engines, although first I gotta decide which one to build. Maybe another oddball design, who knows. I hope you enjoyed these, and might even consider building one for yourself!

LXF File for LDD: http://www.4shared.c...Pba/GE_U50.html

Edited by HBVRaiden

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Hey you may not have a lot of real bricks to wirk with but you are a genious at LDD! Amazing trains! Good job and thanks for sharing!

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Good job. Desiging for 9V or PF train motors is a good solution to power the thing. Otherwise it gets complicated with 4 bogies and drivetrain through multiple turntables.

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Thanks for the compliments guys. Glad to know my first attempt wasn't a "trainwreck".

...Don't hurt me, please.

Good job. Desiging for 9V or PF train motors is a good solution to power the thing. Otherwise it gets complicated with 4 bogies and drivetrain through multiple turntables.

I'm reasonably confident that it's impossible to motorize through any other method. The span bolster's central pivot doesn't match up with any of the trucks, so finding a way to transfer power at all would be a mess, let alone making it look good in the process.

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Oh wow, that's a great build. Are you sure you've never done a train MOC before? I'm not going to say it is pretty given how well you've reproduced the fairly ugly prototype, but you did a great job matching these unique locomotives. There is a lot of subtle detail, e.g., the see through vents on the rear end. The trapezoidal flags work well for those portions of the handrails. I think the handrails should be broken at the ladders, but I suspect that is simply hard to do in LDD. Two thoughts on the ladders, one, you might be able to come up with a solution where the ladder hinges up as the truck swings out below... perhaps using the old style window pane held in via... well ??? Or two, perhaps redo the trucks such that the four axle unit rotates roughly at the point of the ladder, and then one of the two axle units will swing WAY out... but obviously that would be a design compromise... but then again... if PF powered snaking the wire to the motor could be difficult if it swings out too much.

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