Just like our big sister from which we draw part of our inspiration (and part of our name), the Brick Model Railroader will have a recurring item where we (re)-visit layouts. For inspiration, to draw inspiration from, but also to showcase all the great stuff that has already been displayed across the world and had an impact on the Lego Train Hobby. Without wasting any more time, we would like to present our readers with the first showcased layout: Ararat 1972.
I mean, just look at it. You wouldn’t say from a distance that this is build with Lego bricks, do you? So let us dive a little bit deeper in this layout and learn why this is such a great piece of work.
Germany has always been one of the more respected Railway countries in Europe. Their transport system, combining ICE, IC and Regional trains with busses, trams and metro’s, has always been a fan favorite in Europe, definitely if your country shares their longest border with them. But even the Germans had some issues with the profitably of certain routes. As a solution, in 1950 the Uerdinger Schienenbus was introduced. In the year that the first ones are becoming 67, and thus reach (future) legal retirement age in Germany, Florian (Flogo) has managed to recreate one of them in our beloved bricks.
After having seen several old-school trains here on Brick Model Railroader, it’s now time for some contemporary models, like this Pesa Dart. It is owned by PKP Intercity, part of the Polish State railways, designed by Mateusz Waldowski.
Poland is a very interesting country when it comes to modern motive power to model. Thanks to the privatization of several repair & service workshops after 1989, a vivid train manufacturing industry has been set up. Just as back in the days, you can now see on Polish rails again EMU’s, DMU’s and modern locomotive power, all made domestically. The best known one is currently Pesa, and the most recent addition in their fleet has been a 160km/h EMU for PKP Intercity.
I Scream Clone and his son (Trainiac) decided to try their hand at building a narrow gauge railway. Originally built for the April 2016 Sydney Brick Show, the steam engines and coaches were based off a failed LEGO Cuusoo design by Concore, the diesel design was all ISC and his son!
Some of the most interesting railway subjects to model can turn up when you start digging into all the experimental and prototype designs that have been tried over the years. Such is the case here with this set of 1914 Prussian, electric demonstrator train equipment by Falk Schulz (a.k.a. bricknerd of Flickr).
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.
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.