When I was a kid, I loved riding in the car on the way to my grandma’s house, watching the railroad tracks that were along the highway for much of the way. It was the peak of excitement when I saw a long freight train chugging along, with what seemed like miles and miles of boxcars or coal cars or tanker cars. The best part was always the graffiti on the sides, full of vibrant hues and indecipherable words. The trains I saw were all diesel, as I am waaaaaaaaay too young to have seen steam engines out there in the wild, but I did watch a lot of Shining Time Station on TV, so you might say I am an expert. One can learn a lot about trains from Thomas the Tank Engine! One could also learn a lot about trains from Alexander, I bet, based off this huge display that he and his crew put together for a LEGO show. It’s got everything, with every sort of train, houses, roads, terrain, and even a massive roundhouse. Check out this slick shot of two engines rounding a bend; they’re so pretty!
Back in the early 20th century, the Victorian Railways in Australia ran two S class steam locomotives, first without streamlining and later with streamlined Art Deco styling. Australian LEGO train builders Alexander and Teunis Davey have collaborated to build both versions of these vintage trains. The earlier version looks beautiful in dark red with black details, while the later streamlined version looks fantastic in dark blue and gold.
Alexander users a number of custom elements in the locomotives, including 3D-printed rods and valve gear, as well as the gold locomotive names and trim. As much as I love the Art Deco look of the 1937 train, I’m smitten with the classic look of the original, unstreamlined locomotive.