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Welcome aboard the Astro-train! This futuristic stream-liner was a mix of the 1950's Earth train called the "Aerotrain" but redesigned specifically for use by Nexus Force personnel as a high-speed, high-security ground transport between the northern-most city of St. Nicklaus and north-pole-hugging outpost of Ice Station Odyssey, around 590 miles away. (this all takes places on the ice-bound planet of Beta Polaris, which orbits what we here call the North Star, far away from Earth.) Thus this makes it a space train! Unlike the original Earth version, the Astro-train is super-streamlined, and can go up to speeds of up to 230 MPH on special track, with super-elevated curves and long straight-away's of hundreds of miles, all while using Positive Train Control (PTC) on the the mostly double-track mainline, where all vehicle crossings are flyovers and switches virtually non-existent once out of St. Nicklaus city limits. This train runs along with Seven identical versions of itself on the route with up to five in running order on the route and at least one in the maintenance shed at any one time. Also, please NOTE: The train is authorized to make 15 minute stops in the icy wastelands at native villages as requested before continuing on to it's destination. Signal boxes are provided at certain spots to stop the train at the correct spot to en-train, with only village elders having the keys. To de-train, you must pull the cord at least full 10 minutes before you wish to disembark to allow the train to slow down. Only five stops are marked on the route, but several unmarked villages are springing up, so the schedule has gone out the airlock recently. (In actuality, this is a heavily modified version of 2018 Star Wars set 75217 (Imperial Conveyex Transport) mashed up into an 8-wide version of my 1950's Aerotrain model. The model also features inside details and Jacobs bogies besides the lift away side panels of 75217 and removable cab roof.) This loco is missing five printed pieces: (1) slope of this type for the front of the nose, right below the third headlight. It is the Nexus Force's logo. (4) of this round tile for the roof engine exhaust vents. Fold up the walls so you can look underneath at the powerful diesel engine. The roof of the engineer's cab comes off to place a figure at the controls. Each of the four cars can hold four seats each behind the two fold-up side walls. These are the four passenger cars, which are linked together in pairs of two by Jacobs bogies. They can have more two-car sets dropped in or out, but the rear-most car set is the minimum. (as the last car carriers the four tail markers) I thought about adding another two cars, but the price was too prohibitive right now. Anyway, I think this might become a real brick built model sometime around Christmas to go with my Nexus Force space base... as seen in this horribly out-of-date picture from January 5th, 2019 and this topic here. We will just have to see what the future holds!
After 5 months of planning, 7 weeks of building and 3 weeks of testing, my latest creation is finally done. Well, all the major work is complete and much of the minor tweaks that need to be made as a result of continued tests will have to occur, but for the most part, this is the final model. Detailed, high resolution pictures can be found here: