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  1. [ available here] The Lego Corporation has built a fine collection of model trains with many train sets aimed at the adult fan of Lego (AFOL). These instructions replicate the design of the locomotive from one of the most famous of these sets: the Maersk Container Train, set 10219. These instructions are intended to be a gateway for the AFOL looking for a more detailed build beyond the regular sets. The locomotive from 10219 most closely resembles a GP40 or GP40-2. The choice of Conrail was driven by part availability. This build was intended to minimize costs wherever possible, e.g., at the time of this writing the 6x28 train base is quite expensive in many of the colors. However, set 60052 the city cargo train has two blue 6x28 train bases and is currently available from as well as many retailers. This set also has most of the expensive components necessary for the build, including power functions components to power the locomotive, wheels and couplers, and even a bit of track to run it on. You will need to add a lot of parts to the build, but whenever possible I used common parts. One key thing that is lacking in most fan-designed models are stickers or decals to decorate the final creation. Don't worry, I've thought of that too and I am working with a sign shop to print white on clear stickers for this model. If you are familiar with North American railroads, you know that locomotives like these usually run with multiple units. So the sticker sheets include the lettering for two units, each with different road numbers. These instructions include two variants. If you build power functions trains you can build a powered and unpowered unit to run as a set. If you build 9V trains you can modify the unpowered model with one or more 9V motors. To complete the locomotives (and help encourage more instructions like these) be sure to pick up the corresponding decals either from bricklink (via and look under "stickers") or drop a private message to zephyr1934 on Eurobricks. The instructions are available at At the moment I am offering two different sets of road numbers (3051+3166 or 3108+3245). If someone wants to buy stickers for more than four locomotives just let me know and I could add more road numbers. The actual stickers will be on clear material and look similar to this prototype. Here is an earlier thread on the build, and brickshelf gallery of the model Click here for the instructions Click here for my bricklink store where you can buy the stickers
  2. I am happy to finally be able to present my version of a Conrail GP40 [full gallery] The obvious resemblance to the Maersk locomotive from set 10219 is deliberate and I would call this build a MOD rather than a MOC. I wanted to approach the Maersk locomotive from a clean slate with the objectives of: (1) replicating a common North American locomotive (yeah, there was that NS unit, but that was only one engine, Conrail alone had a 275 GP40's). (2) With the lack of a "Creator Expert" train on the market right now, provide an affordable "gateway" build for new AFOL train fans looking for something more meaty than the city train sets. (3) Since this is meant to be a gateway MOD, keep the parts costs as low as possible. As of this writing, probably over $100 worth of the parts for this build can be found in set 60052. This includes a pair of blue train base plates (hence the pair of locomotives), the 6x16 tile to cover the PF gear, and of course all of the PF parts (not to mention a supply of track to run on). As my grandfather used to say, when TLG hands you blue train bases, make Conrail. (4) Having built a few heavy freight cars recently and acquiring wide radius curves from ME models, I am now in need of a few PF diesel freight engines. This build keeps the form factor from the Maersk, but a lot of the actual build is different, including a few new tricks (e.g., the exhaust stack). Since N. American locomotives rarely travel alone I had to build a pair (oh, and there is that second blue base plate in 60052 that would otherwise be lonely). One is powered (3051) and one is not (3245). Rather than use the 6x16 tile on the unpowered unit, I built the long hood on 3245 out of regular bricks. As I look at the two together, I like the smooth side better, but it is not easy to hide 4 wide PF in a 4 wide hood. With this MOD I have also addressed some of what I think are shortcomings in the original Maersk design, chief of which was doing away with the high friction technic axles for the loco trucks and adding a second motor under the powered unit for more pulling power. I am even using a purist PF reverser switch inside the hood, so there is a lot of wire stuffed in the space that remains. One of the things that really makes a build pop is the lettering. These locomotives have been complete for a few weeks, but the stickers misprinted and I had to redo the lot. I was finally able to apply them this past weekend (more detail on the sticker process can be found here) The basic design is meant to be customizable. I personally like the look of the unpowered unit and if I did not already have way too many 9v diesels I would probably put a 9v motor under it. I did my best to keep costs down by avoiding rare parts, of course if someone had a ton of 1x8's those could easilly be substituted for the 1x4's... or on the unpowered unit one could use 2x4's. There are still a few expensive parts that could be substituted out, e.g., 1x1 bricks with stud on the side are a little pricy in blue right now. There was the use of the blue train base plates, fairly common at the moment, hence the Conrail design. Then more subtle tweaks, for example the hand rails are completely different, borrowing the clip idea from the BNSF set 10133 to eliminate one set of expensive hoses and then using bars instead of hose for the railing to eliminate the other set of expensive hoses. I plan on releasing the instructions for free as a gateway to the hobby and selling the stickers for those who really like the build. The instructions will come out as soon as I can finish cleaning up the LDraw file (a few weeks) and if there are any early adopters I could start taking requests for the stickers now (send a PM). In my opinion the stickers are good quality (as shown in the pictures) but not perfect if look closely (also as shown in the pictures). [ full gallery]