Here’s the latest (and final) communication from LEGO about 9-volt trains, RC trains, and the future Power Functions trains:
As promised in the second communication from the 6th of December last year, we will give you the latest information and decisions regarding the development of the new train system based on LEGO Power Functions.
We are still working on the final details and doing a lot of testing of the new Power Functions elements; however, we are again able to give you some more details.
First – we will not change the gauge of the rails so there is no need to be afraid that the L gauge will disappear.
On the rechargeable battery box we have been working to get the best compromise between size and power. It has been decided that we will use a powerful Lithium Polymer battery and the size of the box will be 4 studs wide, 8 studs long and 4 studs high – this should fit in most of the trains.
The already existing standard LEGO transformer will be used to recharge and as the power supply.
The existing Power Functions RC Receiver already has integrated speed control. To enable the use of this we will make a newly designed RC handset with speed control capability.
All the above new Train related Power Functions items as well as the current battery train motor (with cross axles and wheels) will be available separately through LEGO Shop@Home before the Summer of 2009.
As you know we arranged a train workshop in November 2007 where ten AFOLs from around the world: Denmark, USA, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and United Kingdom participated, built with the prototype elements and also looked into ideas and possibilities for new train designs using the Power Function elements. Based on the outcome of this workshop and all the other fantastic input we got from the AFOL community over the last 6 months, our designers worked on the first train set using the new Power Functions system. This set will be truly aimed at the AFOL community to acknowledge the importance of the adult LEGO hobbyists in the LEGO train world.
This communication will be the last one regarding the transition from the 9V train system into the new Power Functions train system. Due to all the very valuable AFOL feedback we are far down the road with the development of the new elements and also the new train set. We appreciate all your efforts through this transition which we expect to be fully executed in 2009.
Stay tuned for the new LEGO train system coming in 2009.
Tormod Askildsen, Head of LEGO Community Development