This railway contraption by Akiyuki seems to have a single objective: mesmerizing viewers with an incredible orchestration of moving trains while appearing to be doing something relatively productive.
Its only function is a closed looped system that transports LEGO balls. This type of machine is commonly known by LEGO fans as a Great Ball Contraption. Here, the machine consists of a circuit of tracks and seems to perform a crucial task, and that appearance is itself quite a major feat of design and ingenuity. For me, I’d prefer to call it out as an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) machine—which is a fancy way of saying it gives me the shivers—and it makes me want to stare at it continuously.
Consisting of several modules and utilising four carriages to transport the balls from section to section, let’s take a look at the various modules that make this thingamajig tick.
First up is its core basic layout of components or basic layout consisting of a train, a track, a reverse module, a loader module, and an unloader module.
The Reverse-V module basically allows the train to switch tracks as soon as it’s backed into this module.
The Passing Module is quite ingeniously done too. It allows two carriages to make use of a single track and by bypassing the other one with this rail exchange.
This Passing Module has a Double Crossover function where two carriages would interchange tracks once they arrive at this destination for the crossover to happen.
The Loader Module is where the balls get loaded into the carriages, but only during a given cycle.
One of the coolest looking parts is the Rotary Dumper and Elevator module. It lifts up a carriage to a higher level and then does a 360° turn to dispose of the balls to a lower compartment before reversing to head back where it started from.
This whole machine is amazing not only because of its functionality when all the parts work together as a whole, but also because Akiyuki has even provided the full instruction guides to build your very own Railway System machine if you want your own. Head over to Akiyuki.jp’s site to download the instructions and a more detailed explanation of each of the modules with individual videos to explain how each module does its intended job.