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My father-in-law asked me last year if I could build him a cool Lego train to go around his Christmas tree. So I did. It is an American 4-4-0, based on various photos and models I have seen. And I had to add some train cars to it too, to make it extra cool.
And since it turned into such a big project, I did a production run of 10 additional, (numbered 101-110) which are for sale - email me. Sets numbers 102-105 and 107-109 are still available as of January 6th. It was a pretty fun project, and I am very pleased with this functional, attractive and durable train. Hopefully the inlaws will be too, come Christmas.
The train is a Horseshoe Bend Rail Road 4-4-0 American steam engine with tender, boxcar, hopper car, passenger car and caboose. It is fairly typical of a late 19th century train serving a branch line, with a mixed freight and passenger consist, except I didn't do a mail car. Horseshoe Bend Rail Road is my own invention - I live on Horseshoe Bend Road, near the now defunct (ghost town) of Horseshoe Bend, which is on Horseshoe Bend Ranch, across the street from me. The tracks never made it to Horseshoe Bend, thus the death of the town I suppose (though there are a lot of other nearby map-dot ghost towns that the tracks did go though). The "Circle JC" logo of the train is the brand of Horseshoe Bend Ranch. The JC of the logo stands for Jesus Christ, so it is a great reminder on a Christmas train!
Some of the features include:
- Big Ben Bricks wheels (www.bigbenbricks.com) on the engine (not just drivers and front wheels, but also spark arrestor on smoke stack, and decorative front on boiler
- PegLight (www.peglight.com) for the front headlight - a superbright LED
- Light in the firebox in the engine
- Engraved Bricks (www.brickengraver.com) for the Engine number plates, Tender sides, Passenger car nameplate and Caboose logo.
- 9V motor in the tender (the set comes with 16 straight and 16 curved tracks, plus transformer and such - everything you need for a loop around the Christmas tree).
- Engine boiler uses dinosaur neck ring pieces for the smokestack and dome - thanks Jeremy Rear for the idea.
- Engine is detailed in the cab with a removable room.
- Tender has firewood for fuel (more common that coal out here) and a water tank.
- Boxcar has a removable roof sections, and includes a cargo of Christmas presents.
- Tender has a cargo of Christmas trees.
- Passenger car features a removable roof, seating for 6 and a stove for keeping warm.
- Caboose features two chairs, table, stove for heating coffee and a ladder to the copula, plus an end light.
- Thanks Steve Barile (though I don't think you are the first) for the grabiron idea for the caboose and the steps idea on the passenger car.
- I included an engineer (Jake), a conductor (yellow Knight Bus driver), a Santa to ride in the caboose and a family with a boy, girl, mom and dad.
- Printed directions go to 65 pages! Thanks to Virtual Lego for teaching me all about it, and to everyone at ldraw.org for the many programs and help (I had to design a couple of rather complex pieces in L-draw for the first time, such as the Dinosaur Neck Ring).
- The box is branded on the lid with the actual branding iron of Horseshoe Bend Ranch.
- The wooden box features 2 levels - a bottom level with divided compartments for track, transformer, minifigures and directions, and a top padded level which safely cushions the train in storage if you don't want to take it apart.
- Thanks to my family for their patience in this project!
Enjoy the model! Buy one for you, and for your inlaws! And if you have any questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
||Here is the train all stretched out.|
||Here is the inside of the box. The bottom layer stuff is set out on the lid of the box.|
||Here is a front view of the engine and tender.|
||Here is a rear view of the engine and tender.|
||Here is the Box Car.|
||Here is the Gondola|
||Here is the Passenger Car.|
||Here is the Caboose.|
||Here are the people.|
I hope you have enjoyed the Christmas Train! Be sure to check out my Roller Coaster and other creations.
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Last Updated April 28, 2010 -
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