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Somewhere between talking to CommanderWolf about boxcabs, seeing his HH1000, and reading up on old diesel-electric locomotives on the internet, I somehow got the idea to build a model of the very first production diesel-electric locomotives in the United States. These locomotives were produced by a consortium of three companies: ALCo, General Electric, and Ingersoll-Rand. Diminutive as they were (this model represents a 60-ton, 300hp locomotive), they are the direct ancestors of the diesel-electric locomotives powering the US rail system today. As far as I can tell, only three locomotives were actually built with this specific layout: CNJ #1000, B&O #1, and Lehigh Valley 100. Later models featured doors at both ends in addition to the sides; in addition, larger 100-ton versions were built. They could run in either direction, although there are distinct ends and sides: the above image shows the "B" side and "2" end (which I consider the "rear" of the locomotive). I went into construction pretty set on equipping this locomotive with Power Functions while still building an accurate model (at the same scale as the rest of my locomotives). While there are examples of very small Power-Functions-equipped locomotives, I was pretty much dead-set against using the Power Functions train motor -- the locomotive would be too fast, and I wouldn't be able to accurately model the trucks. So, I had to fit motor(s), battery box, and receiver into the shell of the locomotive: As usual, the Power Functions receiver turned out to be the biggest bugbear in this whole adventure. Its shape is extremely inconvenient. While there is just barely enough room to fit Power Functions M motors vertically inside the locomotive above the trucks, placing them would imply that the battery box would have to go between them ... leaving no room for the receiver. I was not going to accept powering only one of the trucks (for a model this light, you need all the traction you can get). The locomotive is not long enough to orient the M motors any other way, so I turned to the trusty 9V gearmotor instead. However, I determined that, even using that motor, there wasn't enough room inside the model for both two motors and the receiver. It was around this point that I decided that 7-wide was the correct width for the model, to avoid it looking too big (it also resulted in better proportions for the windows at the end of the locomotive). At 7-wide, there are only 5 studs of width inside the locomotive, of which 4 studs are taken up by the battery box. The transmission would have to either be 1 stud wide, or I would have to integrate panels into the side of the locomotive in the hopes of hiding the gearing. So what did I do? Restrictions breed creativity: (chain doesn't connect correctly due to LDD difficulties) Turns out, the entire drivetrain can be made to fit into the space available using a chain. The grey idler wheel attaches to a 1x2 brick with pin in the wall of the locomotive. Other parts of the drivetrain are similarly integrated with the body, and the motor and battery box form integral parts of the model's frame. The Power Functions receiver just barely fits in this awkward position above the gears on the non-motor end, and receives signals through a trans-black 1x2 brick on the roof: It is actually a pretty decent puller despite its small size (it is the "AGEIR" listed in this thread; the power rating has since risen to ~0.2W after I carefully lubricated and reassembled the entire drive system). Oddly for a PF-equipped locomotive, it is possible to back-drive the motor by pushing the locomotive, due to the low mechanical resistance of the 9V gearmotor. An additional side "benefit" of the drive system is that the chain makes a pleasant diesel-like clicking/rumbling sound when the locomotive is in motion. As troublesome as all these restrictions (that I placed on myself...) were, I really enjoyed figuring out how to fit all the mechanical components into such a small space, while still maintaining an accurate depiction of the prototype. It just goes to show what's possible using Power Functions. Brickshelf gallery here. If you're curious about the history of these locomotives, you can read about them here.
Shortly after jtlan's CNJ1000, I set out to make a small PF boxcab of my own! I think like many of the earliest diesel electric locomotives in the US, the A6 had its beginnings in the Kaufman Act of the 1920s, which banned steam locomotives from operating in New York City. PRR built three A6 class two-axled switchers (3905-3907), one of which was repowered and reclassified A6B (3907), all of which operated in various New York yards between the late 1920s and late 1950s. Here is a picture of the lone A6B with some B1s up for scrap in 1961: This projext actually started out as one of those B1s, but along the way we found engineering drawings for the A6/B, and I was able to cram the drivetrain I'd designed for the B1 into the smaller body of the A6B. The unit is 24 studs long between couplers and has about 400 parts. The power comes from an AAA battery pack driving the old 9v geared motor. Not surprisingly the most difficult part of this model was figuring out how to position the battery pack, the geared motor, and that darn PF receiver inside the scaled dimensions of the loco. There weren't *that* many potential combinations of fit, but I had to go through a couple. In the end it's actually pretty tight given that the face of the receiver is already at the same height as the top of the curved slopes that make up the sides of the roof. The transmission is as simple as I could possibly make it: just 8-tooth gears meshed into 24-tooth crowns. You could actually speed this up by using 12 and 20 tooth bevels, but I prefer to go slower and have more pulling power - I want to be able to use the most worn out AAAs floating around and still go somewhere. Consequently the loco is *really* slow, but I'll call that a feature. Otherwise, the build is pretty straightforward, but I did try to make the top easily removable. My only real beef with this implementation is that the L drivers are slightly too big and the 1x1 tanks slightly too small. The receiption is also not amazing due to the positioning of the receiver, but it could be worse. There's a flap in the roof to access the power button. I have no idea what the big tank in the back is for. Someone enlighten me. More pics Bonus material #1: I tried my hand at "weathering" the unit by changing some of the brick colors, but I couldn't really get a combination with which I was happy: Bonus material #2: LDD of the B1 that I didn't finish. Pantographs are a pain. Have a nice day!
(apologies for any mistakes made in posting) A Lego diesel-electric shunting engine, based on the BR 08 class. Although I'm not a huge fan of non-steam locomotives, this brick-on-wheels is an exception. I love 'em. I'm happy with how this one turned out, especially since it presented several challenges - the detailing on its side being one of them - and an area in which I sadly failed is its hazard stripes. I like to try and limit myself to official Lego bricks and stickers but I might have to admit defeat and print out a custom sheet. Its rear end looks oddly bare when it ought to be covered in hazards.
Inspired by Locomotive Annie's recent 'Steam Electric Locomotive' topic and Electrosteam's 'Bag of Ideas' topic, I threw together this little MOD. Car #168 is the end result of a secret program started by the CIA in 1964. The previous 167 cars all met a grisly demise on the test track, incurring the loss of numerous personnel. The work was so hazardous that hardened criminals who were offered reduced sentences were about the only people willing to work on it. Haircut (pictured here with his guard) was one of the few to survive. The engine was designed to air-lift itself behind enemy lines where it could wreck havoc in it's own unique way. Most of the interior of the car contained various weapons including large calibre machine guns and missle launchers under the retractable roof. There was also room to store the rotors when not in use as, obviously, they would cause a bit of a problem with bridge and tunnel clearances. This prototype - the first to successfully complete trials - was launched from an aircraft carrier when it suddenly developed engine problems and presently it rests at the bottom of the Gulf of Tonkin. The crew was able to paracute to safety however the general in charge of the program was secretly shot for embezzling funds and for being so daft as to think this was a viable project in the first place! Due to lack of funds the program was discontinued soon afterwards. Oh, what's this? The Atlantis team has stumbled upon the wreck! What are they doing in S.E. Asia? Aren't they supposed to be in the Atlantic or Mediterranean somewhere and what are the Fish-men doing at the wreck? There are rumors of rolling stock that were being developed as well but no photographs have ever surfaced. There are several researchers digging through the files, who knows what they might find...? Ok, hope you got a laugh out of it. I don't have much in the way of space, time or bricks...did the best I could. The 'Atlantis' shot probably would've been more successful from a higher angle, live and learn. Joe