Tag Archives: Steam

The arrival of the Blue Comet

Fancy a train trip to New Jersey? Make sure you have your ticket booked as the iconic Blue Comet by Cale Leiphart is arriving! Its thoroughly designed body measures more than 40 studs in length and features a ton of the tiniest elements: valves, sand and steam domes, levers and regulators — all in blue, which makes this build a remarkable assembly of LEGO parts in regular blue color.

Comet Locomotive 01

And it wouldn’t be a proper locomotive without a full set of carriages. As usual, Flick album has all the details of this impressive train.

Comet Train Set 02

Very cool catch-up trains

I’ve got a little time this evening so figured I might as well post some old things from my bloglist.

First up is Caleb Randolph’s Swedish Class B. As though packing in the details wasn’t enough, Caleb has gone where others fear tread and added sound. As for the model itself: I’m particularly impressed by the running gear (the bars that move hypnotically on the wheels) as it’s nice and thin.

Swedish Class B

Secondly there is Cale Leiphart’s “K4s”. This pair of beauties are SNOTtastic in their details, in particular using panels to obtain a nice thin board next to the boiler (the big round bit).


And last but not least is Peter Norman’s (swoofty) Hiawatha Beaver tail wagon. In case you’ve never noticed I do like me some streamline moderne design.

Hiawatha Beaver Tail Parlor Observation

2008 Vintage

Anthony Savas LEGO PRR T1

Those of us who are into trains know that Anthony Sava has been working on his Pennsylvania Railroad T1 Duplex (4-4-4-4) Steam Engine #5544 for a year and a half. We know this because Tony has been posting work-in-progress pictures, asking for advice and generally running an interactive development system for all this time.

Since many people seemed to enjoy my Anatomy of a Warehouse post where I went through some of my own building stages I think this post should appeal even more. Anthony has documented about 30 images as he has progressed in this project.

Right at the beginning he asked for advice and suggestions on the nose which elicited many responses. As one of the most prominent features of the train it is really important to get this right and I think Tony achieved this admirably in his final version.

Later on Tony used LDraw to mock up various components of the train. I assure you the vanity of the example selection was accidental.

As the train got nearer to completion (this picture is four weeks old as of today) the design began to settle down (note the differences from the CAD image above) and more refined details started to appear.

A final pre-production version was completed a few days ago. Just lacking the stickers and any final tweaks. Tony thanks many people for their help but I’d like to thank him for spending the time on this excellent creation.

And I think we can all agree this train has aged rather well since its inception.

Steam is hard, let’s go shopping

Cale Leipharts train

Making big LEGO steam engines that run is hard work. LEGO train track has very sharp curves which mean all sorts of clever trickery is required to make a steam train even get around it without looking totally stupid. Fortunately Cale Leiphart is quite an expert in it and shows off a lovely 4-4-0 locomotive (that’s eight wheels) from the Maryland & Pennsylvania railway. The presentation in front of the Twin Cities LEGO Train Club’s layout is pretty snazzy too.