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Murdoch17 posted a topic in LEGO Train TechThis rotary plow-fronted train is ready to keep the other trains running in the worst winter weather using good old-fashioned steam power! 100% fictional history of the steam engine type (and the whole train, really): In late-1929, Thomas Carter was Chief Mechanical Engineer for Brick Railway Systems (BRS), and on vacation to visit family in New Zealand. He was about to get on the train in Christchurch, when he was passed by a new NZR "G" class 4-6-2+2-6-4 Garratt steam engine. Remembering how he was having problems getting the next "big thing" built back in America, and that he was having a steam power crunch when it came to rotary snow plow duty up in the Rocky Mountains, he contacted the engine's manufacturer, Beyer, Peacock and Company, and talked about a possible contract in America using the New Zealand "G"class as a starting point. Once he got home to BRS company HQ in St. Louis, Missouri, he got the upper management's final okay, and began final design on the new "DC" class of Garratts. (DC standing for Double Consolidation, as it is really just two Consolidation 2-8-0 type loco wheel-set's back-to-back with one boiler.) All in all, six of these (assigned numbers 4834 - 4840 by the railroad) were made as a trial run in 1930, but the Great Depression worsened in 1931-33 so no more were ever ordered. (originally, 10 locos more were planned for general freight service but were never built, which would have brought the grand total up to 16 engines.) Six engines were permanently paired off of with a dual snow plow team: two DC engines on each plow, with each engine team working the two track main line, one team per track, one way, until they met at the halfway point of Continental Divide (also known as the town of Summit Point), which was a vital steam-era crew exchange and refueling point near a inter-state highway. The third team of two engines and it's plow (The one marked YO seen above) was used as replacement engine for the two crews already mentioned, and were only used if another rotary crew was down for regular maintenance or due to an accident. After diesels came on the scene to replace the steamers (plows and engines alike) in the mid-to-late 1950's, the only two steam engines left of the DC type in North America were pushing the spare steam rotary plow YO. One of these locomotives (no. 4840) was found to have a severely rusted water tank and front engine frame, and was thus kept for spare parts to keep the other loco (no. 4839) running. This severely impacted the surviving engine's ability to push the rotary plow hard enough to make it through the dense banks of Colorado snow. After a few unsuccessful modification attempts to keep the 34-year old engine going, it was decided to send the entire train (plow, engine, and caboose used for the train) to a railroad museum in Missouri. They would also be sent with all the remaining parts from engine 4840 as it might be prudent to re-steam the engine in the future. So, in 1963, the YO and 4839 were sent to National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, where it still sits today. (The following part of the story is actually true!) This steam powered rotary snowplow was inspired by the real-world Denver and Rio Grande's narrow gauge plow "OY", as now seen on the Cumbres and Toltec RR in New Mexico / Colorado. I've decided to name my plow "YO" in tribute to my inspiration, using a 2010 Toy Story printed part for the "YO" designation. Oh, and yes, the front "blade" does spin around, but is not motorized. This model has been updated since the last time I uploaded this, with a better plow shroud because the old one would fall off when I looked at it funny. This one is not upside down on the bottom half like the old one, but it is MUCH more sturdy. (I was inspired by @dr_spock's rotary snowplow to build my own plow. Take a look at his Flickr as he's got a bunch of cool designs there!) The rear of the plow features the coal tender with a ladder from the water tank-top down to the magnetic coupler. (Before anyone says anything about Garratt loco's not being ever sold into the North American market, I'll say this is not from our reality, this is my own railroad mirror-world and does not follow our history as closely as it could. I mean, I've got steam loco's running into the 1970's on main lines hauling premier passenger trains for goodness sake!) This engine was originally inspired by two SRW locomotive works products. (Both were Garratt models made by @SavaTheAggie and formerly available on Bricklink until LEGO sadly removed his instructions) I reworked the model from Sava's 4-6-2+2-6-4 to a 2-8-0+0-8-2. I also added the forward water tank and aft coal bunker from his 2-4-0+0-4-2 Garratt, a custom boiler designed by me and medium Big Ben Bricks drivers to make it from a fast passenger loco into a slow freight hauler. (or in this case, a snow plow pusher!) The engine is flexible to a degree more than this, but not by much. It goes though R40 curves and switches just fine, though. A simple caboose, for the protecting the rear of the snow plow train. I used a pair interesting windscreen parts for the cupola windows. Inspired partially by 2001 My Own Train set 10014, (Caboose) but in blue. NOTES: Finally finished 10/7/2020!
Murdoch17 posted a topic in LEGO Train TechThe Bureau of Unexplained Phenomenon's train does not officially exist and you never saw it. All photograph's taken of this train are mangled by some unknown force while still in the camera, and it never seems to stay still for long enough to get a glimpse at the engine crew. The passenger cars are are only marked with the Bureau's logo on the sides for a clue to their ownership. The 2-6-0+0-6-2 Garratt steam locomotive pulls a four car train, consisting of what seems to be a baggage car, a sleeper, diner, and observation car. All four cars (and the engine) are marked in a dark blue with light gray accents and the Bureau of Unexplained Phenomenon's logo on the sides (not shown). According to the scattered reports of varying age, the train's scientist crew catalogs the odd happenings around the USA since the Bureau's founding by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, such as un-dead uprisings in the 1970's, ex-confederate vampires in 1875, time travelers from the 1980's in the 1880's, attacks by mutant giant ants in the late-1940's, and an entire town being held hostage by a giant blob from outer space in the early 1960's, just to name a few of the more prolific cases that we know of. Other reports suggest the train is not merely cataloging the happenings, but tracking them via a rip in space-time continuum in the Pacific Northwest that is waiting to be opened to it's full inter-dimensional potential. This man on the far left is supposedly one of the senior operatives of the mysterious Bureau, a Mister Graves. Mr. Graves has more recently (as of 1926) been keeping tabs on Lord Sam Sinister (far right) Senor Palomar (second from left) and Alexis Sinister's (second from right) plans for the inter-dimensional portal that is located in the pacific northwest of the USA. Mr. Graves has ingratiated himself into the evil trio's inner circle but is keeping deep cover on his plans for the portal. Rumors suggest the three are looking for the portal to release a being of immense power into our world, a event that Mr. Graves is no doubt trying to secretly prevent at all costs. This steam locomotive was originally designed by Anthony Sava but with fake pistons and with small-size friction bearing wheels. I added working pistons and Big Ben Bricks medium flanged and blind driver wheels as see here at Ben's website. In my model, gear wheels are used as stand in for the custom wheels that are not in LDD. Even with the added pistons, the engine easily can go around corners and switches. The rear of the loco. The baggage car is supposed to contain all kinds of mobile equipment for tracking strange type of hyper-matter and ecto-plasmic energy fields, among other things. (In reality, all these cars are empty) The dining car and sleeper. This is where the on board crew sleeps in one car and eats in the other. This car is called the war room. In reality, it's a remodeled business car, turned into a room full of charts and chairs and devices for listening for Sasquatches and detecting dragon smoke. It also messes with enemy listening devices and destroys track-side cameras of passers-by. Can't be too careful with the future of the world on the line! NOTES: In reality, I just wanted to build a small passenger train out of dark blue pieces to match the engine I posted a couple months ago to Flickr. I thought at first about making it for the president of the railway line, but a fictional secret government agency from the 1920's works just as well. Comments, questions, and complaints are always welcome. This train could possibly be built in 2019, but I'll have to see.
Murdoch17 posted a topic in LEGO Train TechThis steam locomotive is a 2-6-0+0-6-2 Double Mogul (Garratt-type) steam engine. This type of wheel configuration was built for use on railways in South America, Australia, Africa, and England in at least six different track gauges, according to Wikipedia. None were built for use in North America like my model is supposed to be, but I'm ignoring that fact. The engine I have made traces it's lineage to a model originally designed by Anthony Sava as a 4-6-0+0-6-4 but with fake pistons and with small-size friction bearing wheels. I added Big Ben Bricks medium flanged and blind driving wheels for use with the working pistons. The very inspirational original Sava engine is available for purchase in PDF instructions format at Mr. Sava's official Bricklink store here. Even with the added pistons, the engine easily can go around corners and switches quite easily. I did have to add two weight bricks for the pistons to grip the rails sufficiently to move instead of scrapping along the track like they were before. The engine also features a nicely decorated cab with plenty of printed tiles. (The letters BRS are the initials of my fictional railroad: Brick Railway Systems.) I got this picture from Google as an example of how close my LEGO Garratt engine is to the real deal. (I couldn't find a "real" picture of this specific type, but I know it exists according to Wikipedia. So this O gauge model of it will have to do...) As usual, I have a color-matched train in the works that this engine is to pull. To see the Maintenance of Way crane train's topic click this link. Please let me know if you have any comments, questions, suggestions or complaints. Thanks for looking at my model! EDIT 10/16/17: I edited the engine by extending the boiler four studs. The pictures have also been updated as well.
Murdoch17 posted a topic in LEGO Train TechThe Spirit of Legoredo was my one of my first big trains, and was built in 2011 with a baggage car, three passenger coaches, and observation car. It looked good to me at first, in nearly all black with a red stripe at the base, but over the years was quietly forgotten about, as it was quite dull-looking to others and hard to take pictures of. Then I switched magnet types to the newer ones, and it became even harder show off as it didn't match the rest of my newer train fleet. That is, until I added a new locomotive to the head end and one more passenger car. (changing the colors up a bit from mainly black to mostly red doesn't hurt much either!) This model was originally made out of @SavaTheAggie and his wonderful Emerald Garratt instructions, as seen and purchased here at his store. I turned the eight wide locomotive into a six wide one, and added a brick of height to the whole model in total. I then used the original red parts from my now-dark red 4-10-4 to build most of the model in real life, which as you can see, took a bit longer than I'd hoped when i posted it originally on the 5th of May. Fictional history of the engine type: In late-1929, Thomas Carter was Chief Mechanical Engineer for Brick Railway Systems (BRS), and on vacation to visit family in New Zealand. He was about to get on the train in Christchurch, when he was passed by a new NZR "G" class 4-6-2+2-6-4 Garratt steam engine. Remembering how he was having problems getting the next "big thing" built back in America, he contacted the engine's manufacturer, Beyer, Peacock and Company, and talked about a possible contract in America using the New Zealand "G"class as a starting point. Once he got home to BRS company HQ in St. Louis, Missouri, he got the upper management's final okay, and began final design on the new "DP" class of Garratts. (DP standing for Double Pacific, as it is really just two pacific type loco wheel-set's back-to-back with one boiler.) The engine's entire wheel-width was widened from 3 feet, 6 inches (narrow gauge) to 4 feet eight 1/2 inches (standard gauge) The mechanical stoker was kept, but the piston count was reduced from 6 to 4 in keeping more with American practice. All in all, 10 of these were made as a trial run in 1930, but the Great Depression worsened in 1931-33 so no more were ever ordered. (originally, 15 locos more were planned but never built, which would have brought the grand total up to 25 engines.) (The real world NZR "G" class on which Anthony Sava based his original design can be found here on Wikipedia. Sadly, none were saved for preservation.) The baggage car. These cars were all inspired by The Santa Fe Super Chief cars (10022 and 10025) and the Emerald Night's coach. (10194) The four streamlined coaches of the train. Each car on this train is 28 studs long, which is longer than my usual 24 studs long standard. Observation car of the Spirit of Legoredo passenger train. The original way these cars were styled had them all black and with a red base stripe, but I have added dark bluish gray fluting and a lot more red to the mix to make them easier to take pictures of. The whole train together. Comments, questions, and complaints are always welcome!