Murdoch17

Streamlined Bipolar EP-2 electric locomotive + Hiawatha passenger train with beaver tail observation car

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From 1919 to 1962, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (known as the Milwaukee Road) had these five General Electric-made behemoths pulling trains under the wires from Chicago to Seattle. They were called the Bipolar's for each of the locomotive's 12 motors had only two field poles, mounted directly to the locomotive frame beside the axle. The motor armature was mounted directly on the axle, providing an entirely gear-less design.

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These locos were so powerful they could out-pull modern steam locos, and what used to take two steamers took just one bipolar. However, after a disastrous 1953 rebuilding by the railroad's company shops (who had no clue how to work on a electric loco) the engines were prone to failures and even fire. And so, in 1962, four of them were scrapped with the lone survivor, numbered E-2, towed to the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis Missouri, where it has sat silent even since, as seen above.

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The slightly stylized LEGO version of the locomotive was inspired by a 1999 version of the Bipolar electric locomotive built by user legosteveb and by a digital-only design by @Sunder.  With this updated, more curvy model, the classic orange and red scheme was impossible, and so as the yellow and red of the previous model type. Thus I was forced to invert the red and yellow to the fictional scheme seen. (The black number boards in front and rear should say "E2" in printed 1 x 1 tiles.0

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The loco frame is split in three sections as per the original engine. The front and rear section can pivot slightly to make the engine go around curves. Since the last uploading of this model, the wheels have been re-arranged into two groups of seven (they are joined near the end of the frame, with the exact middle section floating freely between the two ends) and the body of the engine has been extended for a total magnet-to-magnet length of 70 studs. The model should perform well on R40 curves / switches, as this picture attests to it's flexibility.... though until it's built in real life, it will remain untested.

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The newer model is only 1 plate higher than the previous version, with the same length and width.  As you can see, it's my longest single locomotive yet designed with 14 axles total. (I'm not 100% sure my articulation attempts in all the boogies and the frame were enough to work on standard LEGO track, but I guess I'll just have to see when it's built in real bricks latter this year!)

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The passenger train, and the rear car in particular, were inspired by the Milwaukee Road's Olympian Hiawatha service from Tacoma, Washington to with the rearmost car being a Beaver Tail observation car, which were out of service by 1961. (you can read more about these odd-looking cars here on this Wikipedia page.) Actually, I'm not sure the Beaver-tails were ever used all the way to the West Coast on the Olympian, but since it's LEGO, who really cares!

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That's all I have done for now, and as usual, questions, complaints, comments and suggestions are always welcome! (real life pictures coming to this topic as soon as possible, but the LDD file for the whole train is available here at Bricksafe)

Edited by Murdoch17

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Really nice Bipolar!!! I love its simplicity! :laugh:

If I can give a personal suggestion...maybe try to create longer cars, this E2 will be a big lady and standard Lego lenght cars seem too small in comparison.

24 studs is the lenght of normal train platform - I'd say 1,5 times - 36 studs should be enough :wink:

 

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6 minutes ago, Paperinik77pk said:

Really nice Bipolar!!! I love its simplicity! :laugh:

If I can give a personal suggestion...maybe try to create longer cars, this E2 will be a big lady and standard Lego lenght cars seem too small in comparison.

24 studs is the lenght of normal train platform - I'd say 1,5 times - 36 studs should be enough :wink:

 

The reason I use the cars I have (24 or 28 studs, with one 34 studs depressed center flatcar) is because of the boxes I store them in, as seen below.

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These modified copy paper boxes are the best storage solution I have, and work well... except for the 70-stud Bipolar, which will be taken apart into chunks to fit into one of the boxes. (and if that doesn't work, I don't know what I'll do.) Anyway., having an entire train of such extreme length as suggested will cause immense problems, as I saw when I last tried it way back when in 2012 with my Anthony Sava-inspired cars. (They were around 30 studs long and 8 wide, and were eventually turned into my 6-wide and 24-long reddish brown streamlined train, and were a pain in the neck!) Besides, having a train that wraps around half you layout looks kinda ridiculous, almost like a dog chasing it's tail

Sorry for the long winded response, but in short: I'll just stick to my short cars for the foreseeable future.

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Ahahah no problem, it was only a suggestion on general  "look and feel"...nice boxes you have, they seem very practical! :laugh:

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Posted (edited)

(slight BUMP)

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Model updated with the first post's pictures / text re-arranged and edited! The engine has been re-done from the frame up to be inspired by @Sunder and his retro-future locos, with the LDD file in the first post for the whole train.

Edited by Murdoch17

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The great parts gathering has begun! ...also, has anyone noticed the color and parts similarities between the locomotive and the space ship "Commodore" in set 76084: Ultimate Battle for Asgard?

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7 hours ago, Murdoch17 said:

The great parts gathering has begun!

Ooooh, this is going to look cool fleshed out! :excited:

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