LEGO trains have been for sale since the 1960s, and LEGO fans have been creating their own custom layouts with LEGO bricks ever since. Whether you enjoy 4.5-volt, 12-volt, 9-volt, RC, or Power Functions LEGO trains, and whether or not you have an opinion about 8-wide, 9-wide, or some other scale, you’ll find lots of gorgeous engines and rail cars right here on The Brothers Brick.
Is your 5-year-old into steam trains as much as he is into LEGO? Builder Alexander (aka narrow_gauge) combines both of these passions into his LEGO steam engine cake.
Though you can’t eat it, this creation makes me shiver with delight just looking at it. From the wood bottom border to the shrubbery and birdlife, everything is detailed inexactness. As far as technical work goes, Alexander doesn’t hide any of his capabilities as a LEGO railroad engineer. It’s great to see the train wheels actually on the track as it curves around the hillside. Very few builders take on an original railroad track design, and this one is flawless.
And look! There’s even a bridge! Builds like this keep kids into both trains and bricks their entire lives.
Recently, we’ve featured quite a few LEGO builds based on the 9V Train Track switch element. Those were some mighty fine builds. Some might even call them transformative. But Librarian-Bot has taken the idea of “Train Switches” in an unforeseen direction with Switchback. This sinister-looking Decepticon is ready to take you for the last ride you’ll ever go on. I particularly like the way the hands are constructed – they add a delicate, almost surgical feel to an otherwise bulky robot.
In train mode Switchback completely hides any robotic nature – and even works on standard LEGO track. It’s a sharp-looking engine build that makes good use of tile and curved slope elements to provide just the right level of real-world detail.
If you’re ready for even more Transformers goodness (and badness) be sure to check our archives!
The latest LEGO set to be released under the Adult Portfolio theme (previously known as the Creator Expert line) is the Crocodile Locomotive. LEGO has been making trains and locomotives all the way back from 1965 and since then it has given life to die-hard fans that gather around communities and clubs that that focus on this single theme. Trains and locomotives, without a doubt, is an evergreen theme that has evolved in many forms and I dare say that its featured every single year since the beginning of its first introduction regardless the sub-theme it may appear in, from the tiniest polybag to the generic City sets, or even tie-ins from the Harry Potter franchise. After a 7-year hiatus of a serious train release, we take a look and share our thoughts on the latest Crocodile Locomotive theme consisting of 1271 pieces and priced at US $99.99 | CAN $149.99 | UK £89.99
This month’s cover photo, from Pieter Dennison, is a model of the Dunedin Railway Station in New Zealand. From the tower to the topiary garden, this scene captures all the nuance found in the Dunedin Railway Station, reportedly, one of New Zealand’s most photographed buildings. If you’d like to learn more about this build, read our previous coverage of this LEGO Dunedin Railway Station that Pieter spent five years building.
Introduced in 1967, the Japan National Railways 583-series of electric multiple units (EMUs) served long-distance travelers for 40 years, with the very last rolling stock finally withdrawn in 2017. Riding in these was nearly as exciting as traveling on the Shinkansen bullet trains, though certainly not as fast. Japanese builder Orient R. Minesky (also on Flickr) has recreated this iconic and historic train in LEGO, in its original dark blue and cream JNR livery, prior to privatization and breakup into regional railways in 1987. Presenting the train photographed on a cement wall from a low angle, with LEGO electric lines against a real-life background, makes it seem like the train is clattering toward you at speed.
LEGO train track used to be blue, but 40 years ago the Grey Era started, and Holger Matthes built this beautiful and functional Roundhouse “Bamberg” with some very modern parts and techniques, but still perfectly in the style of those classic 1980-1987 sets.
During my two trips to New Zealand for work, I never left the North Island, and the beautiful cities and countryside of the South Island have eluded me, so I’m always grateful when I get to travel somewhere new via LEGO bricks. Peter Dennison lives in the lovely city of Dunedin, and has spent the past 5 years building a huge diorama featuring the historic railway station on Anzac Square.
LEGO Train-heads, yes, you’re probably beaming ear-to-ear with pride that you are well aware and know the use of this particular piece. For the rest of you who’s wondering, it’s not too late to extend this little mystery a little longer, take a guess on HOW exactly it’s used in train sets? Still pondering and wondering? Let’s cut to the chase, you’re here to get answers. Read right on to find out.
One of my favorite things to see is when a LEGO builder will revisit a past model and update it. We’ve been watching Tony Sava‘s Dreyfuss Hudson train builds since at least 2008, and this latest iteration is a thing of beauty. New York Central Dreyfuss Hudson with XXL Disc drivers makes use of newer parts like 3x3x2 quarter-domes to enhance the shaping, as well as including some aftermarket pieces like 3D printed Shupps XXL drivers and TrainedBricks connecting rods. I’d also like to mention that the train depot background is just *chef’s kiss* levels of sweet. If it weren’t for the minifigure off to the left, you’d be forgiven for mistaking this for a photo of a real train.
If you’d like to learn more about Tony’s builds, check out our interview with him!
The coolest thing about this LEGO scene by General Sparkle (if that’s your real name!) is the blurred effects cluing us in that this is one fast train. However, the subject matter is well in focus. It’s just a really neat effect. In case the train went by too fast for you, the high ranking military official with the dubious name tells us the cars are as follows: engine, crew, tanker, passenger, passenger, ammunition, passenger, weapon and anti-aircraft gun, heavy equipment flatbed, and more passenger cars. Thank you, General! We’re not even sure if this is a render or an actual LEGO build with some neat photographic trickery. But we are pretty sure this is the first time we’ve featured this builder so let’s hope we see many more cool creations to come. It joins the ranks of so many trains we’ve featured here over the years.
LEGO Designer Pierre Normandin is no stranger to trains–he grew up loving them and has designed many of the LEGO City trains available the past few years. He recently shifted within LEGO to the Creator Expert team and had the chance to flex some building muscles by designing the recent Fiat 500 and now an even more detailed train! In this designer video, Pierre talks about his love of trains, why the Crocodile Locomotive is so iconic, and how the set started off larger and eventually grew to be 7 studs wide to include more detail.
10277 Crocodile Locomotive set comes with 1,271 pieces used to create the brown electric locomotive, a buildable display base, an informational placard, and two conductor minifigures. It is now available from LEGO for US $99.99 | CAN $149.99 | UK £89.99. Make sure to read our interview with LEGO Design Lead Jamie Berard about the creation of this LEGO train and the design effort that went into it.
I’ve never been a huge train person. I mean, I like trains and all, and love watching them thunder by, and enjoy building elaborate tracks with my kids for those little wooden magnetic trains, but the LEGO train itch has passed me by completely. Perhaps someday I’ll construct a train if I ever get around to building a large-scale city diorama (after I win the lottery or suddenly come into money, to pay for all the bricks), but not until then. Not so for Josiah Durand, as he demonstrates with this superb military train scene. It’s got everything you could want, from a chunky engine to various types of cars, especially that anti-aircraft gun car, and the landscape is also eye-catching.
Unlike with most train dioramas, the tracks are completely brick-built, rather than using the standard track elements. Additionally, the wheels seem to be a combination of wagon wheels, dishes, steering wheels, and other round things, rather than the typical train wheels. The fill-in between the ties and rails is an odd assortment of small, textured dark bluish grey pieces, especially chains and stud shooter triggers (I love seeing those triggers pop up in builds!). The only thing that seems odd is that the ties are grey and the rails brown when usually it is the other way around unless it is such an old track that the wood has greyed and the metal rusted. It’s nothing to get steamed up about, since either way this is still one good looking train display.
Love trains more passionately than I do? Then check out the TBB train archives!