Charles Christy

Lego used on 027 '3rail' Lionel layouts, buildings and rolling stock

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Posted (edited)


I am a model railroader in the US, but I got tired of buying cars and buildings that once built were 'there', unchangeable... So I started using Lego for buildings and later, tried
fitting Lego bodies to Lionel type trucks, making cars as well.

So here comes the question, has anyone else ever done this or contemplated this or am I just out in the trees somewhere?

I found that Lego for structures let me design and redesign the layout so it never gets 'old' or 'stale'. I applied the same to making rolling stock, changing and redesigning as desired.

I run on standard 027 3 rail metal track, with Lionel power packs, ac trains, and all the locomotives are Lionel Lionchief Plus 2.0 units, each with their own remote controls.

Cars are built by fixing a Lego plate, usually either a 6x16 or an actual train frame plate onto a Lionel chassis or Lionel trucks with the normal Lionel knuckle couplers to attach to the other cars or locomotives.  I'll get some better pictures up soon if there is any interest.  
I originally put this up on Bricklinks but it was suggested by another user there that this forum might also have some interest, so I'm putting it here.  I added a (poor) photo of part of the layout, it is smallish, about 60' of track or so, and the cat prowling the back side is just added fluff... The locomotives are all Lionel 027 Lion chief Plus 2.0, the 'chassis' for the rolling stock is all either single axle or dual axle Lionel frames with Lego bodies.  Sadly, I can't (yet) build an engine as the Lego drive units won't fit, and rebuilding the body shell on a Lionel unit is more difficult than just creating a car... but I'm still looking at the possibilities. 

IMG_20200221_103007627.jpg.499162f9ba54980d39244d6960fa97e2.jpg

Edited by Charles Christy

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Neat.  There are folks who are doing LEGO on G-scale track. Would custom designing and 3D printing LEGO to Lionel engine mounts be a possible option? 

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I think what you are doing is great. I didn't have any model RR equipment when I got started with Lego trains about 2 years ago but had done HO trains as a kid and then for my kids 30 years ago (which they have now) and didn't want to be buying finished engines and rolling stock just to run around a layout. I'm not a rivet-counter and the creativity possible with Lego bricks appealed to me. I'm not too reluctant to modify parts if needed to fit the way I want and I'm using a mix of Lego motors and wireless DCC hardware to control the trains adding sound and light functions. I'm looking forward to the Kadee coupler mod Brick Model Railroader has announced. You can see many fabulous models the people here post which are very inspirational to me. The great part of most any hobby is you can go in the direction that appeals to you and not conform to the "norms" if you don't care to.

Dave

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It's a really interesting idea, at least. My primary issue comes from Lionel track. I love 2-rail O, but have always avoided Lionel because the track looks like something out of a roller coaster.

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9 hours ago, SteamSewnEmpire said:

but have always avoided Lionel because the track looks like something out of a roller coaster.

Not the modern stuff

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Please show some more photos of your rolling stock! Marklin actually has sets to do just this in HO. At any rate, it is a brilliant idea. The trains at my local Lego Discovery center look to be running on S-Gauge track, motors and trucks. Then Legoland uses some larger scale non-lego trucks, track and propulsion. Had there not been the invention of 3rd party wide radius curves I suspect more builders would be using O-gauge bases.

 

13 hours ago, BurkusCircus said:

 

My job here is done (grin). Seriously though, the thing that makes lego trucks and locos on O-gauge difficult is the fact that O gauge is something like 5 mm narrower than L-gauge. With technic axle wheels I could only get up to 3 cars before being killed by friction. I've since gotten custom roller bearings, but the narrowness of the running surface on the lego wheels is not a great match for the old-style O-gauge tube rail. So there is something to be said about sticking with stock O-gauge for the trucks.

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Here are a few pix of cars I've built.  The first couple on standard double axle trucks are on Lego train plates, with Lionel truck assemblies underneath held by screws and using the holes in the Lego plates.  The engine is a Lion chief Plus NW2 diesel so I get all the sounds, smoke, whatnot, that Lionel puts in their locomotives, real smooth low speed performer as well.  

The best feature of this system  to me is that once you have a fleet of usable chassis, you can create or recreate whatever you want as opposed to having to purchase an endless stream of new stock.  I didn't make any of these to be particularly 'prototypes' just interpretations of what you might see.  Like the whole Lego RR system I think half the fun is to always be a work in progress. 

 

IMG_20200731_152035124.jpg

IMG_20200731_152058132.jpg

  I'd put up a few more but there seems to be a limit, so more when I can, single axle Euro style Era II or III short goods wagons.  Thanks for the interest!

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Looking good.

 

18 hours ago, Charles Christy said:

  I'd put up a few more but there seems to be a limit, so more when I can, single axle Euro style Era II or III short goods wagons.  Thanks for the interest!

Oh, yeah, Eurobricks is not meant to store your photos. Almost all of the photos you see in this board are hosted elsewhere (flickr, brickshelf, imgur, etc) and included by links

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I’ve built plenty of buildings using lego bricks as well as whole sections of landscapes and even working lift bridges for my HO scale network.  I will be starting a new project here soon to build a hillside with the track entering a tunnel at one end and a possibility of rigging it to have a landslide(I love doing special fx stuff using Legos). I also do elevated railway lines and stations as I see fit.  I have yet to try doing cars, however 

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