LEGO Railroad Designs by David A. Karr

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This page describes model railroading I did with LEGO. At this writing, it's rather old-style stuff--pre-electric, in fact.

Steam locomotive

I built a number of models of steam locomotives in the 1970's. In 1994 I retrieved the one example of these that had never been broken up. I believe this model sat around on one shelf or another fully assembled for at least 15 years. Aside from dirt and yellowing of the white bricks (used very extensively in this model), the bricks have shown little harm. There's one white 2x2 that shows moderate warping, but it has very old styling, and I believe it's one of my cellulose acetate bricks from 1963. (The dirt you see in the images is what was left after complete disassembly for cleaning, an overnight soak in soap and water and a thorough scrubbing with toothbrush and rags--the ``before'' photos, which I haven't shown, are much, much worse. I used to attribute this to 15 years of exposure to New York City air, but according to LEGO lore, it was more likely the years of exposure to UV light while the train sat on an open shelf that did the damage.)

This locomotive was intended for my old 3-brick-high figures (which I co-invented before LEGO produced minifigures as a special part), but it turns out it works even better with the modern minifigures, even without modification, as can be seen in the pictures.


Steam locomotive with Passenger Car

As an exercise to see how much the innovative LEGO parts of the last 20 or 25 years have helped a builder like me, in the summer of 1995 I reworked my locomotive model using mostly new pieces. The new parts I used are mostly not highly specialized, but I was pleased with the opportunities they afforded. I also took the opportunity to make the locomotive over in a more interesting color scheme.

I've shown the train on the old non-electrified track (blue plastic rails) that LEGO sold in the 1960s.


Last updated Mon Sep 29 00:57:18 EDT 2003 .

From David A. Karr's LEGO Collection, by David A. Karr