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How i got started with lego trains

How I got Started with Lego Trains

I started building LEGO trains by building the refrigerator car
from the instructions in Jacob McKee’s “Getting Started With
LEGO Trains” book. This is still the basic design for the current
refrigerator cars I build, but I changed the side details to better
accommodate my stickers.

I have always favored box cars, so I adapted the refrigerator
car design to build my custom freight cars. This freight car was
intended to be a less costly design that also looked a little more
contemporary, while the refrigerator car was meant to have a
more classic look. This allowed me to go to a much cheaper sliding
door, which is also more readily available. I would prefer to
use a black door, but due to cost and availability, the gray door
is a compromise.

Next, I started looking at what to build, and I saw that people
seemed to like gondolas, so I first created a MOC gondola on a
6 x 28 train base. I didn’t find this design to be very popular, and
the gondola always seemed a bit too large to me, so I took the
design and adapted it to the shorter 6 x 24 train base. This design
lowered the cost and seemed to be a hit. I have to admit, I
was a bit surprised, but happy. This design is not really based on
any Santa Fe designs, but I tried to give it some real detail on the
ends, which I felt was not very well done on other MOC gondolas
I have seen. I also chose to use reddish-brown LEGO parts, because
I always imagine gondolas to be rusty and well used. The
reddish-brown brick selection allows you to capture that rustic
look, but still look good.

My latest MOC was inspired simply by the fact that it seemed
that the rest of the world, unlike me, is crazy for grain hoppers.
I still prefer box cars, but I started looking around for a Santa
Fe grain hopper design, and found exactly what I hoped for. I
don’t think reality could have provided a better design for me
to recreate as a LEGO MOC. It was also very fortunate that LEGO
came out with its large space shuttle set a while back, and that
they went on clearance at all the Targets about a year and a half
ago. This created a massive surplus of the required parts at super
good prices! I couldn’t believe my fortune. So I ordered the parts
I thought I would need and wanted to try using, and after getting
my first couple of BrickLink orders, sat down to build. With
a picture of the real grain hopper in hand, and a pile of parts in
front of me, the design came together in about 2 to 3 hours; it
felt like it almost put itself together. This has been the design
that I think really started to get my trains noticed out there, so
needless to say, I’m really pleased with it.

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