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  1. February 1905: New prototype electric multiple units delivered to the Lego Railroad and Tramway Company (LRTC). With Botanical Gardens completed, I wanted a nice straightforward project to round off, and so I decided to create some appropriate Edwardian trains to go with the station. The first electric commuter railways ran in the UK in the 1900s using a variety of designs - many influenced by American practice - mainly using third (plus fourth) rail DC systems. Rather than pick a particular train and fail to replicate it, I decided to create a variety of atmospheric Lego-esque motor coaches with the same basic structure, representing the pioneering designs of times past. 8-studs wide was chosen because I wanted them to hold a useful (for commuter rail) number of minifigures (the lowest capacity design seats 12 with 9 standing). The advantages of imaginary rolling stock means that the designer is the sole arbiter of realism! Inspiration comes from the London Underground and Lancashire & Yorkshire railways amongst others, as well as later designs by the NER, L&NWR and L&SWR. I wanted to model tumblehome - a distinctive staple of British railways - with companies trying to squeeze as many people as possible into the restricted loading gauge. Doing this realistically either involves mind bending SNOT or else lots of extra weight and no room inside for minifigures (or both). In the end I settled for aircraft parts to get the smoothest simplest result. The result is a bit extreme, but I think I just got away with it. The Intention was strong imposing looking period pieces. Thoughts: These are all unmotorised and the doors don't open, I am completely at peace with that! The colour scheme is determined by part availability, I'm not a Great Western fan! Annoyingly, the new lantern has a stud both sides, meaning it can't hang vertically from a clip (surgery was required). I am looking forward to a red version, yellow as a safety colour is a relatively recent invention. Suggestions for improved door handles welcome, the plates used almost work but are not quite right. Ditto luggage racks, the solutions used don't work well for many reasons, but whatever I use has to be implementable in a two-studs-wide and six-studs-wide version. Car No 1 has external wiring on the roof for electric lighting. The wires are chopped up antenna (unfortunately not available in white). Bars would be too thick, leading to the dreaded half-plate problem. Suggestions for less clunky lamp holders welcome, they need to be circular. All other suggestions welcome, including for variations on these designs, I have parts left over.
  2. My recent build is this suburban passenger train. It is not a replica of any real rolling stock, though the design and livery are roughly based on UK train operator South West Trains. The train is an electric multiple unit, consisting of three units. A driver's cab is located at both ends of the train. Unlike the model mentioned above which draws electricity from third rail this train picks it up from overhead line. The train is 96 studs long. Counting also the bumpers and coupling magnets which protrude slightly beyond the construction, the entire length is 99 studs. The driver's cab is virtually completely snoted. Actually this technique left a slight aesthetic flaw – cutouts at the end of the roof above the cabin. Front end The interior of the front car with segregated driver's cab. The same design is employed in the rear car, with the only difference being the fourth passenger seat which is missing here beacause of the placement of the battery box. Though the train appears to be supplied with energy from external source it still needs some standard PF components for independent motion. The IR receiver and battery box are placed in two different cars which allows easier masking of the compoments and better utilization of the passenger compartments. The motor is placed under the middle car. The interior of the middle car The pantograph is not completely my invention but I used the design that has already appeared in some creations here on Eurobricks.