Without a doubt, everyone is aware of the trinity of geared steam locomotives: the shay, the heisler, and the climax. However, even some of the greatest railroad aficionados will fail to mention this geared-hybrid locomotive: the Davenport Duplex locomotive.
In essence, the Davenport was designed as a hybrid mix between a conventional “rod” locomotive and a geared locomotive. There are two configurations: a duplex and a fixed frame locomotive. Featured in this article is the duplex design, pictured above. The boiler, cab, and tender rested on a single frame, which was powered by two independent trucks, complete with both steam cylinders and a sealed, oil tight, gearbox.
Rob Hendrix of LifeLites has taken inspiration in the Davenport design and created one in the brick for his second EVER steam locomotive MOC, and has done a fantastic job at it:
This locomotive, D.K. & S. No. 3, serviced the Doniphan, Kensett, and Searcy Railroad in White County, Arkansas in 1913. Rob has managed to capture the spirit and vivid detail of the duplex Davenport in his model.
The model uses BlueRail Bluetooth control and sound, LifeLites, and an 11.1 volt LiPo battery powering one L-motor.
For me, the best way to build is to have an end goal in mind. Putting bricks together is great and all, don’t get me wrong. But if you don’t know where you want to end up, how do you expect to get off on the right foot?
That said, there should be some thought that goes into a model before the building process is begun. I usually start a model with extensive research on the prototype. For the purpose of this article, the example model will be a Pennsylvania Railroad BM70m baggage-mail car.
Sunday Afternoon Tea Train to Tetley: A Diorama by BrickBaron
Outside of the world of LEGO® Trains, I’ve always has a bit of love for well done G Gauge trains and train layouts. It’s the whimsy that always seems to find it’s way into them. With the scale itself being so large, the modelers tend to pick relatively small trains to model to keep things manageable. Thus the trains take on an almost caricature like quality that brings out the fun in model railroading. That is exactly what you find here in BrickBaron’s scene, Sunday Afternoon Tea Train to Tetley.
A common trend when designing an L-gauge layout is to attempt to pack as much track as possible into a space. We all like to show our trains, and, unlike buildings or scenery, we need track space to do so. Often we set up our railway yards as display areas, where visitors to our layouts can see the scope and variety of our creations. This works well until we get to our favorite part, moving the trains.
A standard ladder yard design works great as a display case. Trains are lined up in long even rows, waiting for their turn to run out onto the mainline. A problem arises, however, when you want to build up a new train consist from cars parked in the yard, especially if they are not already in the order needed. In order to shuffle cars around, it’s usually necessary to pull something out onto the mainline, where it could obstruct, or “foul”, the train that is running on that track.
Enter the A/D track. By adding a single Arrival/Departure track to our yards, we can eliminate fouling the main. The A/D track is a simple siding that sits between the mainline and the yard. This track can be used as an area to build up and then stage trains until they are ready to go. Cars can be shuffled around without interfering with any trains that are running around the layout. When it’s time to swap trains, the switches on both ends of the siding are thrown. The train on the mainline comes into the siding (the Arrival) while the train in the siding goes out onto the main (the Departure). The arriving train can then be broken down, if necessary, and shuffled back into the yard.
For small layouts with only one or two trains, an Arrival/Departure track may not be necessary. For larger layouts with busy mainlines, however, an A/D track can really help improve operations, keeping the mainline running while work is being done in the yard. For visitors to the layout, there is no break in the action, and for operators, there is more fun and less “Hand of God” shuffling of cars. Adding an A/D track is one small step in moving from “LEGO Display” to “Model Railroad”.
One of the regular features we wish to provide here at Brick Model Railroader are articles to inspire builders. We’re not just LEGO® Train fans here at BMR, we’re fans of trains and railroading in all their forms. From scale model trains to full size, and from collecting books and RR paraphernalia to visiting museums and tourist railroads, we have a wide range of experience and knowledge in trains and railroading which we hope to use to help builders find that next project, and to increase the enjoyment of the LEGO train hobby.
This being the first of such articles, I wanted to highlight something that has been a regular source of building inspiration for me, and show how it has shaped what I build. Here is part 1 of my article on Finding Inspiration in Strasburg Pennsylvania.
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
One of the great rail fan joys of living in South Central Pennsylvania is that you are not far from one of the best railroad museums in North America: The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. And when you’re a LEGO train builder looking for inspiration on what to build, why not go to where the real trains are? Especially when that museum has more than 100 historic locomotives and railroad cars that chronicle railroad history in the state of Pennsylvania. The museum is located in Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and is a hot bed of railroad history, and home to numerous railroad and train themed attractions. Which we will cover more of in part 2.
Normally I would not write about my own, older models here on BMR unless it was to highlight something i felt was worth noting. So bear with me here, but since many of my MOCs are modeled on equipment at the museum, I thought they would provide a nice tour of the great exhibits there, and an example of how real world inspiration can shape your model.