Rob Lee

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  1. Hi all Back in January I was looking at getting a Lego train set, and creating my own, very small layout (on my living room floor which has spare space of about (but no more than) 5ft by 5ft). I still haven't achieved that goal yet but I'm looking at doing so again and I'm wondering, given the existence of the old 12v and 9v train sets, is it possible to power the PF trains without using batteries? If so is it an expensive way of doing things? Thanks in advance.
  2. Rob Lee

    Looking to start a Lego train set

    Thanks.. I plan on modifying 4 switch points into the switch connection on the bottom of my layout above as per this thread - Hopefully once I've done that the real layout will all fit together nicely. The BlueBrick made layout is just to show me roughly what I need, I think if the switch points crossovers were correct to represent the modifications to the real track that everything would fit in BlueBrick. I guess I could just put in two double crossover pieces as they're roughly the size of the modified switch points crossovers, then it'll close up in BlueBrick - but I'm certainly not spending upwards of £150 on a pair of them when I can modify cheaper track sections to do the same job. OK I think this'll be the final draft in BlueBrick unless I can come up with some other layout... It all joins up nicely in BlueBrick now. I've added the cargo crane that's closest to the one in 60052 and I've added the Maersk train (my 60052 loco will probably be converted into something similar eventually anyway) to show what it'll look like with a train on it. It is 6 inches wider and 3 inches taller than I'd like, but I think I have that amount of room spare around what I measured up earlier. The double crossovers will be replaced with modified switch points when I build the track for real, so perhaps the layout won't actually be as wide. Guess I need to start seeing about getting a mortgage to get all the extra track pieces now...
  3. Rob Lee

    Looking to start a Lego train set

    Thanks. I've read about the flex track not being too good. I'm finding in BlueBrick that the way I'm placing switch points throws the connections of the tracks out so I have to fudge it and add flex track to make it look like they meet and join. I'm hoping that when it comes to putting the actual tracks down I won't need as much flex track. I've revised the layout to add a mirrored single crossover though (although I've just seen that I've let the bottom of the bottom left siding overrun!!) - It's the best I can come up with for a 5 foot (1.5m) square space. I would like to run the loco I get right from day 1, or at least have the track to do so. At this point I'm trying to put together a set so I have a loco I can use as a base to create a new one from the ground up or modify into a more "accurate" looking loco. Buying a set such as 60052 seems the cheapest way to achieve that basic starting point, certainly the easiest at least.
  4. Rob Lee

    Looking to start a Lego train set

    Thanks guys. I have had a look around here in the Trains section, it is where I saw the BR Class 37, I think it's made by a user called Bricktrix? People tend to post just pictures of the final result, rather than instructions and part lists though. I found out about how to do a few 9v mods and still use PF functions, sorry I answered my own question on that. I also found out about BlueBrick, and made a couple of layouts that would fit in a 6 feet by 6 feet space last night, one was 6 foot by 3 foot and double circle plus a couple internal sidings, one to place the 60052 set's crane at, based on someone's I have seen on here, the other was the same but with a "train yard" added on to it that feeds into the main section of tracks (I'm not very inventive). Thing is I just remeasured the space I would put the tracks down on (the middle of the floor of the biggest of the rooms in the house I live in) and the available space in the middle is actually only 60 inches by 60 inches (with a few inches either side to walk round), so 5 feet x5 feet (roughly 1.5m square)... ...that brings this idea to a head I think - I am actually considering giving up on having a Lego train set before I've even started. I can't feasibly put a decent layout in a 5 feet square area, I can just about fit into that area the track layout from 60052!! Plus I costed up the extra track I'd need even for the 6 feet by 3 feet layout I made in BlueBrick and even though I would have the track from 60052 I would still need nearly £50 (or more) worth of extra track, the most expensive being straight bits which seem like gold dust!!! The cost of parts just seems horrendous, particularly track sections given the amount needed. Even looking on places like Bricklink (it's fine saying a straight piece of track is £0.99, but if you need 27 of them that soon adds up). And even before I've considered what parts I'll need to "accurise" a loco or build an "accurate" loco!! I have my eye on a 60052 set at a low cost, for the moment, it's on an auction site though which means the price will probably sky-rocket to in excess of £100 in the final seconds, but I'm just not convinced that a Lego train set with a decent/fun layout is within my means. I don't think I have the room and I don't think I have the finances. I can understand why my parents never bought me a Lego train set as a child. EDIT - However having said that I've just had a play around in BlueBrick again and come up with a 1.5m square layout. Haven't costed it up yet though (for the extra parts that don't come with 60052) and I don't know if the left most "siding" would even work, at best I think I can put a loco down it then back up again on the furthest left spur. The crane from 60052 would be placed on the siding furthest right. I've had to use several of those flexi-track bits and I'm not even sure the track entirely fits together properly in those places. I'm also thinking of putting another single crossover on one of the sides because I can't see a way the train would "get out" of the inner loop without reversing. Here it is -
  5. Hi there, new to these forums so I guess a bit of background info is required. I've been reading about Lego these days on the web and in particular Lego trains, and I'm what I gather is termed an AFOL. Although I don't currently have any Lego I had some during my childhood (I'm 39 so that was back in the 80s/early 90s), not loads but enough that I could custom build a few things. Among many individual parts I didn't have (a U joint being one), one thing I never had was a train set. For my 40th this year I'd like to start a Lego train set. I'm more interested in building my trains as an accurate (as accurate as Lego can be) representation of real world trains for display but also for occasional "play", and I'm more interested in UK trains as I live in the UK, but the US trains look OK. To start my Lego train set I plan on buying set 60052 as that seems the best "bang for buck", but after that I plan on buying only parts, not full sets. I have about a 6ft square space to put tracks down in. I am on a limited budget though, locos in the region of £200-£300 parts cost would be way out of my reach. With that in mind there's some things I'm looking for info on - 1. How much would it cost/what bricks would I need to turn the loco in 60052 into a more realistic looking EMD GP40 or GP40-2? I have seen the Conrail version by Benn Coifmann (zephyr1934), and have downloaded the instructions but can't tell what extra bricks I'd need. There is a parts picture on page 40 of those instructions but it's a bit unclear to me if that's the extra parts needed. 2. Are there any other EMD GP40's out there with instructions (besides the limited edition, and no longer available (unless you buy the Chinese knockoff), Maersk one)? 3. Could the loco in 60052 be turned into a more modern SD70ACe or SD70M-2 with a minimal parts buy (are there any instructions on how to do that?)? 4. I've seen a few builds around of a great looking BR Class 37 (and 55) - does anyone know of any instructions and a parts list to build it? 5. Are there any other great looking MOC British locos around with instructions/parts lists? Would love to build a Mallard or Coronation class Steam loco, although I'm guessing they'd cost me multiple £100s for just the loco! 6. Is there an application I can use on my PC (running Windows 7) to design my track layout that includes dimensions so I know how big it is likely to be? 7. When buying parts is there somewhere/someone that I can just show a picture to and they'll know what I'm looking for? 8. I don't really like the idea of using batteries, and I don't like the cost of Lego's rechargeable pack - so is there a way I could easily use (i.e. very few mods/very little work) the old 9V transformer system but still use the Power Functions remote? Thanks in advance, really hoping someone can help me here as I'm a bit lost on how to proceed after buying set 60052.