Following up on their announcement a couple months ago, the LEGO Group has asked Ambassadors to pass this message along to all you LEGO Train fans out there:
As promised in the first communication from the 1st of October we, are informing you of decisions regarding the development of the new LEGO Power Functions train system. Using all the valuable feedback we received from the AFOL community, we have now reached some basic decisions about the scope of the future train system.
We are still working on the details of the new Power Functions train system; however, there are certain features that have been decided. Some of these features are a new designed remote control with speed regulator, a new size rechargeable battery box with a built in speed regulator and finally we are exploring and seriously considering new track geometries thanks to the use of plastic rails. As you know, this has been one of the most requested features from the AFOL community over the years.
In late April 2007 we arranged a workshop for a group of 5 AFOLs involved in the LEGO train community, and they worked on some of the possible solutions and defined the basic needs for a new LEGO Power Functions train system along with the LEGO design and engineering team. In this workshop it became clear what sort of elements and features to include in the new train system. The result of this workshop was the design of prototype elements. Detailed decisions about the specifications of the elements are still in discussion and will be for the next couple of months.
We wish to continue the cooperation with the AFOL community in the development of the Power Functions train system and in late November we had another workshop where we built on the experiences from the first workshop. In the November workshop there were ten fans from around the world: Denmark, USA, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and United Kingdom. The idea was that the AFOLs and the LEGO team would build with the prototypes in order to determine what additional features to include, what to add to the concept and, finally refining it. This ensures that the new Power Functions train system gets input from the AFOL community and also ensures the features are as close as possible to what is requested by the AFOL community.
However, please keep in mind that the new train system first and foremost should be suitable for the use of children, and therefore it is consequently being tested by children as well as AFOLs. There is an established budget for the initial development so while we would like to address all needs that are expressed; there is a high likelihood that we will be unable to address all needs.
You will be updated on the results of the workshop and the continued development of the train system early in 2008. We continue to value and appreciate your feedback and suggestions with regards to this project.
Head of LEGO Community Development
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