Murdoch17

General Motors Aerotrain - 1950's prototype diesel passenger train

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Historical background:

The experimental Aerotrain was built by General Motors using hard riding Bus Bodies for coaches, a new untested (and quite complicated) air cushion suspension system, and an under-powered motor originally made for switching locomotives. Two of these trains were built in the 1950's as a way to entice passengers back onto the railroads and out of their automobiles. The hard-coupled unit had one engine and 10 cars attached, including the observation car. These low-slung units toured the United States as a test of it's abilities. Needless to say, it was a tremendous failure. It toured on four roads including the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe, New York Central, Pennsylvania Railroad, & Union Pacific before eventually being sold to the Rock Island for Chicago Commuter Service. In 1966, after less than a decade of service, one locomotive & two cars were sold to the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin, while the other locomotive and two cars were sold to The Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri.

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The train can come apart (unlike the prototype Aerotrain) into 6 sections: 1 engine, 4 coaches, 1 observation coach.

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Model Notes:

The original train had ten cars, which would be hard to do in Lego (and it's kinda pointless as 9 of then are identical) I have five cars on my train, four identical coaches and one observation coach on the end. My Inspiration for this model came from this Brickshelf account here: http://www.brickshel...ry.cgi?f=497396 and i give 99% of the credit for the model to Brickshelf user enquete-art. The other 1% comes from me, such as the reworked front bogie, front and back windshields, window work and using this numbered tile in red: http://www.bricklink...sp?P=3070bpb063

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I used a lot of SNOT to hold the diagonal windows & front engine slopes in place. other than that, it's pretty straight-forward building.

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I found this picture on Google. It comes from a 1950's General Motors ad for the Aerotrain. It has been used by several different blogs and groups according to my search, so it should be okay to post here.

Comments, questions and complaints welcome!

Edited by Murdoch17

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Hey, very cool Murdoch17. I remember that engine in RI livery rusting away at the museum in Saint Louis from my youth. I believe it's been restored now?

You've translated it into Lego very well and it's reassuring to know that no bricks have been harmed. :laugh:

If anyone gets it going in real life, I'd love to see it.

Cheers, Joe

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Wow Murdoch, you are the LDD master. The Aerotrain was an art deco icon and I never thought it possible to build it in Lego.

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@bjtpro: not restored, but moved arouind the property several times... right now it's at the bottom of the hill next door to the non-restored trolley's building, near the new visitor's center. You'd have to see a map of the museum too get it, as the porperty is undergoing a bunch of changes right now... such as a train (like the ones at the St. Louis zoo) that runs around the property now....

Anyway: I'm trying to amass a collection of the LEGO versions of some of the National Museum of Transportation engines., (not all, of course!)

@Locomotive Annie: Thanks, but I'm not the master: this guy is. http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=5382564 he made it, I just recreated it from those pictures!

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If memory serves they have done some work on it there at the museum. The first time I saw it - which was longer ago than I'd care to admit :sadnew: - it was really in bad shape.

They have a great collection there, it would be awesome to have them in Lego.

EDIT; Oh, duh, someone DID make it in actual bricks. I totally glossed over that Brickshelf link to see your beautiful creation. Anyway, excellent LDD job and thanks for sharing the file. It looks like a fun one to actually make.

Cheers, Joe

Edited by bjtpro

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I have revived this topic to update it. The updated LDD file is on it's way. EDIT: The LDD file is in the first post.

16072909342_abb7eb6147_z.jpg

I found this picture on Google. It comes from a 1950's General Motors ad for the Aerotrain. It has been used by several different blogs and groups according to my search, so it should be okay to post here.

Edited by Murdoch17

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I have just updated the first post and file to reflect the new wheels and door windows.

The LDD file and pictrures have also been updated: http://www.mocpages....1436809378m.lxf

Thee mode is now on my to-build list!

(As a odd side note: "Last Train to London" by Electric Light Orchestra was playing on the radio while typing this post!)

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Here we see the Brick Railway Systems version of the experimental Aerotrain (temporarily re-named the Mark Twain Flyer while under Brick Railway Systems service) speeding past the St. Louis-bound Meramec River Runner at the the West Barretts Tunnels near noon sometime in September 1957.

The Mark Twain Flyer (AKA the General Motors Aerotrain) has just left St. Louis Union Station and is headed for the terminus in Denver, Colorado, which it should be there by the next morning.

The Meramec River Runner (also owned by Brick Railway Systems), though, is in the final stretch from Kansas City to St. Louis, Missouri, and it will travel back to Kansas City the next day.

(In the real world, this scene never happened. The Barretts Station tunnels are single track and were disused by 1944 via a double track cut through a couple hundred feet to the south of the tunnels. The Mark Twain Flyer never existed because Brick Railway Systems is fictional. This also mean the Meramec River Runner isn't real either. HOWEVER: The inspiration for this steam led train is based off of The Missouri River Runner run by Amtrak, which does run by this location daily. It starts at St. Louis and runs to Kansas City before returning later via the same route later on in the day... which is exactly the same as my train.

The Aerotrain really existed as two sets built as a ten car permanently-coupled train. It was used by my partial inspiration for Brick Railway Systems: Union Pacific (among other roads) as a testing bed for the innovative (yet a complete failure as a product) train. Union Pacific now own the track that runs trough Barretts Station, and one of the Aerotrains (well, the cab car and two passenger cars) rests at the Museum of Transportation at the same location as the West tunnel.

Also: I picked the date (September 1957) because that's the month / year my inspiration as a builder, best (and sometimes worst) friend, plus a great many other things: my father, was born.

This one's for you Dad!

Edited by Murdoch17

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Sorry for the two year bump, but this model has been built in real bricks, and as such needed an updated page... so I updated it!

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Thanks for bumping this! This looks great done in bricks, and I really like the way the windows are done on the cars!

I would love to see more retrofuturistic locomotives done and displayed at Lego conventions.

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That really worked out well in bricks. And I think it looks better than the LDD version. I always find it hard to judge if I only see a digital version.

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On 6/22/2017 at 6:53 AM, Digger of Bricks said:

Thanks for bumping this! This looks great done in bricks, and I really like the way the windows are done on the cars!

I would love to see more retrofuturistic locomotives done and displayed at Lego conventions.

Thanks, me too.

On 6/26/2017 at 10:01 AM, Man with a hat said:

That really worked out well in bricks. And I think it looks better than the LDD version. I always find it hard to judge if I only see a digital version.

Thanks, i usually build in LDD first to see if I like it, then later on I build it in real life.... I have quite the backlog of items to be made this way!

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