If this handsome structure from builder legolux1973 looks familiar, you might recognize it from its young, wild, LEGO World City days as 10027 Train Engine Shed. Since then, though, it’s moved to the country and developed a quiet, studied sophistication clad in dark red. Only one engine bay is needed these days, but it’s grown to make space for modern locomotives and there’s a small office smartly tucked to the side. The black half-circle arched windows top off the banks of windows, and note the small 1x2x2 window with grille tucked in sideways above the bay doors. The scene is finished with lots of little details, including some fuel containers (Octan, of course!), a pallet jack with a pallet and boxes, a little portable tool cabinet, and lots of tasteful landscaping. We’ll raise a grease can to you, Train Engine Shed!
LEGO Ideas switches to a new track with the reveal of 21344 Orient Express. The Orient Express is a classic train that is a part of popular culture, most prominently in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express novel and its movie adaptations. The Orient Express first ran in 1883, and though the original incarnation ceased operation in 1977, you can still ride the Venice-Simplon Orient Express in very similar coaches today. The set rumbles in with a 4-6-0 steam locomotive, a 3-axle tender, a restaurant car, and a sleeping car with two classes of accommodations. Built from 2,540 pieces and including 8 minifigures, it will be available from LEGO.com and LEGO stores worldwide starting December 1st for US $299.99 | CAN $TBD | UK £259.99.
Frequently featured for his impressive LEGO train builds, Pieter Post comes in strong once again, this time tackling the Bavarian D XII locomotive in its natural habitat. Before getting into the train itself, please take a moment and appreciate the German countryside laid out in this impressive scene. The impressive mix of fields, brambles, and reedy water leads to a carefully constructed incline topped with the train tracks. Building this hill at a bevel along the track’s curve, and with a clean slope of pieces merging the angled plates into the hill’s underside, the whole ordeal is impeccably clean! And make sure to give the scene a hard look to appreciate all the brick-built wildlife populating the scene, as well as the stud-reversal technique Peter used to make that gorgeous bridge.
But as in all of Peter’s scenes, the train is the real star of the show. You’ll have to forgive me for not knowing all the lingo, for I’m no LEGO ferroequinologist. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the form of a well-recreated locomotive. Clad mainly in black, this engine sports highlights in gold, with a set of brown and red-paneled water tanks on either side of the boiler. I always appreciate Peter’s detail to the undercarriage: a symphony of bars, clips, and minifig accessories perfectly replicating the real thing.
When I say meals on wheels, you probably picture a burger van. But Dicken Liu has other ideas! Where these crazy LEGO chicks are going, they don’t need roads – only rails. Which is probably a lot more restrictive when it comes to delivering food actually, not to mention expensive. And the maintenance costs will be astronomical. Seriously, where’s the business case here?! This is what happens when a marketing team is given unlimited access to the purse strings. They come up with mad ideas like this and need to hire builders like Liu to make it come to life.
Props to them, to be fair – he’s done a great job with such a whimsical design. Despite the bright colours of the train, the way the track is done caught my eye. Rather than using existing LEGO track elements, these rails are built using brackets and tiles, and it looks great. The cooking car even has an interior too! Although suddenly this looks a lot more sinister than it did at first glance, with chicken minifigures cooking whole chickens with tridents, feathers and all…
Unofficially, LEGO trains occupy the L-gauge in the model train community. And it’s in this scale that the Melbourne LEGO Train Club presented their recreation of the Newport Railway Workshops. With pictures provided by Alexander (narrow_gauge), this stunning creation just made its debut at the AMRA 2023 Model Railway Show in Melbourne, AU this past weekend. The workshops act to maintain and refurbish trains, as it has for well over a century. And MLTC did quite the job shrinking the campus down to minifigure-scale
While normally a red caboose would mark the end of the train, Mike Sinclair is back at the L-gauge, this time with a glorious cattle car. Working with a single color, Mike lets the bricks’ native texture do the work of breaking up the creation. Perfectly positioned tiles mimic the wooden slats on the side of the car, with black trim providing the hardware. And the scene around this heifer hauler is just as spectacular as the main subject. Track ballast dappled with light gray 1×1 round plates and a perfectly-crafted stopblock set the scene admirably.
Builder Pieter Post has a history of some excellent LEGO railcar productions, and this pair of scenes adds two more to that list. First up is a rail weigh station, featuring a beautiful hopper car in brown. Here, his wonderful technique relies heavily on jumper plates to create the reinforcements along the sides of the car. I also applaud his use of brackets and cheese slopes to get the perfect clean slope up the sides of the hopper. The surrounding vignette is almost as detailed as the car, showing a daredevil railworker falling from a ladder while trying to change a lightbulb. What an unlucky fellow!
He’s almost as unlucky as the night watchman in Pieter’s other scene. Featuring a boxcar clad in dark green, the creation employs some brilliant tiling technique to provide a smooth, slatted look. The use of depth to break up the sides of the railcar, just as on the hopper car, is truly inspired. Hopefully the bandit in this scene doesn’t give the guard too much trouble…
Trains are always cool, but I feel like LEGO trains are even better! Builder Justus M. presents to us this green train, inspired by the set 79111 Constitution Train Chase. Personally, I much prefer this train to the one in the set. The color blocking is better and I really like the less blocky lines to the whole thing. I also enjoy the addition of the extra little light on the front of the train. This is a build that I’d love to see added to with train cars and more tracks! Part of the fun of seeing builds taken on from LEGO sets is that they often bring out an inner beauty that just needs a little love to shine. This is a prime example of that.
LEGO train creations are typically large and full of highly realistic details. But this scene by 1saac W. proves that you don’t need a pile of parts to make a great train. The mostly monochrome collection of brown and gold parts has a steampunk vibe, and the addition of a clockwork clock is a nice touch. Look closely and you will also see a pair of passengers getting ready to board. I wonder where they are travelling?
This gorgeous scene of a steam engine at sunset is brought to us by Flickr user Pieter Post. Whether this is simply an alias or not, it’s a very apt name, as this build looks straight out of a postcard! The star of the show, the train, is masterfully done. The custom striping and numberplates elevate the detail without taking away from the excellent brickwork. The scenery is also delightfully colourful and nicely offsets the more muted colours of the train and ground, as well as mirroring the sunset in the background. Can you name a more picturesque scene? Answers on a postcard please!
In 2013, Sérgio Batista built a model of a Portugese steam train for the annual Octrainber contest. Now he’s back with a warning of what can happen if you leave your LEGO locos out for too long! The same model of engine has been consigned to a siding, and nature has done its thing. The rusty metal is accomplished to great effect with a smattering of browns, greys and dark oranges. The plants, on the other hand, bring a nice touch of colour to offset the earthy tones. There’s something quite wistful about an abandoned steam engine, isn’t there?
If you prefer your trains a bit more brand-spanking-new, take a ride to our train archives!
We recently took a look at Blake Foster’s cyberpunk locomotive engine, but why stop there? Blake has posted some of the cars for this futuristic freight train, and each is just as worthy of our praise.
This flatbed car, and the massive cargo-container that it’s hauling, make terrific work of tiles to create a comfy space for hobos of the future to ride. And those angled ingots give a wonderful industrial detail.