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The prime method of transportation to and from the North Pole for children is now arriving at your front door! So, grab your robe (but don't rip the pocket in your haste to get outside!) and head on the adventure of your life... "Well, aren't you coming!? This here is the Polar Express!" What happens to the steam-hauled Polar Express when the steam-era parts suppliers eventually go out of business in the mid-to-late 1960's? Elves know toys inside and out, but steam locomotives are a bit out of their wheelhouse. Enter 1231, the newest locomotive-set in the Polar Railway's repertoire of railroad vehicles / rolling stock, used as a eventual replacement for 1225, and current freight loco. Built by EMD in December 1959 as a FP9 for the cab unit and a regular F9 for the B unit, these engines use small steam boilers to heat the heavyweight passenger cars, just like the 1225 before them with it's (obviously much larger) boiler. 1231 is currently assigned to freight duties at the North Pole awaiting it's turn at the head of the Polar Express. (eventually) The whole Express train, headed by steam locomotive 1225. This steam engine began life based on my design of the Frisco 1522, a 4-8-2 Mountain type, which I had built into a 2-8-4 Berkshire for my Polar Express. I then saw a far superior model by @Plastic_Goth over on Rebrickable, as seen here. It was then purchased, and I added my own wheelbase to it from the pervious Frisco 1522-derived version as I try not to use those small friction wheels for the front pony truck, as it squeals too much. (as used by Lemon_Boy in his version) Then, I took the open bottom cab and added mine back in, albeit in 7 wide. I redid the tender to be seven wide as well, while shortening my passenger coaches by four studs. (I will put them on a 24 stud train-plate instead of 28 for each car.) this will give me nearly enough parts to add a firth car as a third identical coach. I kinda took inspiration for the Emerald Night for the firebox. Simple and elegantly held on by technic pins, it makes a good converter from the seven wide cab to six wide boiler. The tender retained its ladder to the deck, albeit on a smaller scale - about what I did for my Emerald Night tender MOD. This is the saddest car in the film: the recycled toys baggage car, which thankfully is empty here, but in the movie was full of tangled marionettes and broken toys galore. This car features a sliding baggage door in addition to the usual opening regular doors. (which in turn were styled after the Emerald Night's coach's doors) These two coaches feature opening doors on each end. The color scheme chosen for the cars was inspired by @SavaTheAggie's Polar Express, and not the movie. (Dark red windows and medium blue train cars are accurate, but way too expensive!) This is the observation lounge car, and features a viewing balcony on the end of the car. From left to right these people are: - Narrator child - Engineer (I'm calling him Max) - Fireman (now named Joe) - Conductor (named Charlie, as far as I'm concerned) - The mysterious ghost hobo (who I'm trying to write a story linking him between the movies Emperor of the North and Polar Express. It will explain how he got onto the Express, and how he died at Flattop Tunnel. Based on a deleted scene from the Polar Express.) Everyone knows about the Polar Express passenger train, but what about the other half of the railroad business: FREIGHT! Well, this problem is now solved with the "1231" Electro-Motive FP9 diesel cab + booster locomotives, along with boxcars for toy materials, hot cocoa tankers, coal cars (for naughty children and the hungry 2-8-4 steam loco 1225), and flat cars with varying loads, this one being Santa's backup sleigh w/ reindeer! This model originally was inspired by the EMD FL9 in the "Lego Train Projects" book from No Starch Press. I made it shorter and added a B unit, while changing up the color. I also make them into a regular diesel powered F-units instead of the dual electric / diesel powered FL9. The chosen color scheme is of my Polar Express train which, as you most likely know, is usually headed up by 2-8-4 steam loco 1225. Well, here is the backup / freight loco number 1231. NOTE: This idea of a later-day diesel hauled-Express is actually not new, as I've seen it in blue-and-dark red Lionel models for a while now in several Hobby shops... they even have a Polar Railroad GP-7 as a model too, according to my Google search! The engine will feature (once built) feature printed letters on the A-unit's sidewalls saying "Polar Railway", and closer to the nose, will have the "1231" as the loco number. The rear has a doorway to the first passenger car. The boxcar seen above is for for carrying toy-making materials, such as wood, and barrels of plastic pellets. This flat car is supposed to have three hay bales in front of Olive (the other reindeer, who is usually omitted from the regular team pulling the A-Sleigh because of his bad habit of calling team leader Rudolph names and being generally unpleasant while playing reindeer games.) Olive pulls the backup sleigh instead. This hopper car is for carrying naughty children's coal, which also happens to fuel the 2-8-4 steam loco 1225. A simple Hot Cocoa tanker car.. be careful, it really is hot! The last car in the freight train is a caboose. The letters "PR" (standing for Polar Railway) go on the side wall studs. As usual, any comments, questions or complaints are welcome. There is only so many days until Christmas, and then this train becomes relevant again, so I'm building this REALLY soon! EDIT 4/22/21: Added freight cars to the post.
2-8-4 "Berkshire" type steam engine - Anthony Sava inspired
Murdoch17 posted a topic in LEGO Train TechThis engine began life as Anthony Sava's 2-8-4 Berkshire based on the real Pere Marquette 1225, from which I purchased instructions of way back in 2012. I then modified the model with a new boiler, longer wheelbase (two extra drivers making it into 2-10-4), reddish brown exterior paint scheme, new cow-catcher, smoke-box door, and pistons. More recently, I reconfigured the engine back into a 2-8-4 Berkshire in order to add a better front pony truck, modeled after the one in the Emerald Night set. (10194) The engine handles better than the Texas version, and is easier to roll thanks to the improved pistons. Here is the engine on a curve to let you get an idea of the overhang. The firebox door maybe a little large, but I like it better than the original 4 x 4 dish that was on the original Berkshire way back in 2012 when I first built it. No ldd file is available, sorry! ...and here is a picture that looks good as a desktop on my computer: "Take it to the limit" Brick Railway Systems "Berkshire" 6297 meets Southern Pacific "Daylight" 4460 at the yard limit sign near Barrett's Station. And yes, the title is a nod at the Eagles song of the same name. Here is the train this engine pulls: The baggage car The three updated coaches.. and yes, I know the cars are a bit wonky in their placement: the first car is off the rails a bit, while the second is on a bit of a hill and the third is cut-off in the left edge. The observation car... this one features the 909 markings on the rear deck. Originally these cars were 30 studs long and 8 studs wide, plus their were six of them. Their length wrapped around my Dad's 8 foot-long layout, so I got rid of two of them, reducing the length dramatically but also reducing the number of cars to four. A Berkshire (not yet a Texas type at this point in time and way before being color-swapped to brown and going back to being a Berkshire) type pulling a skimpy four car train looked silly, so I came up with what you see here: five 24 stud-long train cars in 6 wide. Where did get the idea for them in the first place? They were inspired by a 8 wide Galaxy Express 999 MOC I saw years ago on Brickshelf. (see it here: http://www.brickshel...ry.cgi?f=374748 ) The name of this train was changed to the tune of the Beatles song "One after 909" from the album "Let it Be". Then I tried a bunch of words after that go with 909, including the following: limited, express, cannonball, flyer, runner, and a bunch of other names and combination of said names I can't recall right now. Eventually, I ran into National Limited on accident when correcting a typo. I liked the way it sounded, and thus 909 National Limited was born. Unfortunately, their is no LDD file for the passenger train.
LDD MOC: Brick Railway Systems #1227, 2-8-4 Steam Locomtive
Murdoch17 posted a topic in LEGO Train TechI bought some instructions from Anthony Sava's BrickLlink store the other day, and finally finished MODing the model in LDD. The instructions I bought were very easy to understand, and If your thinking of buying them, do it. You won't regret it! ...Anyway, I haven't come up with my usual backstory yet, so here are my pics. The locomtive is number 1227, and was built in 1933 by Lima Locomotive Works for Brick Railway. The white tiles on the tender / cab are supposed to be printed, and in real life will say: Sides of cab: 1227 Sides of tender: BRICK RAILWAY SYSTEMS Rear of tender: BRS (or maybe 1227, I haven't decided on this yet) Inside of the cab. The slopes will be replaced with two printed pieces, and the firebox door is also a placeholder. I really enjoyed redoing this model, and making into my style. Once again I wish to thank you, Mr. Sava, as you design really thought out, good looking engines' & rolling stock. I give you :thumbup: for excellence and ingenuity. (NOTICE: NO instructions will given here or anywhere else by me, so don't even ask, as I don't want to take away Anthony's hard work and give it away for free. If you really want it, buy the instructions & modify it.)