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General Building Tips


In the real world, steam cylinders on opposite sides of a train engine are arranged 90 degrees out of phase. This assures more even power delivery and assures the wheels are never at 'dead center' location when starting from rest.

In the LEGO world, if you model this, your train will run smoother too. The picture below illustrats the connecting arms on each side of a model. The offset hole is rotated 90 degrees, one side from the other. Step by step instructions for building this assembly are available here (adobe acrobat required).
Near Side and Far Side quartering comparison


Getting your train to run through curves and switches can be a bit frustrating. The following illustrations will provide some sample wheel configurations to help you get started.

Two Flanged Wheels 8 studs apart


Three Flanged Wheels

Not Good
(Although it can be made to work)

Flanged-Blind-Flanged Wheels


Flanged-Blind-Flanged-Blind Wheels

Notice how the blind wheels 'float' above the curved rails.


Integrate trucks into a larger design

Example: 4-8-4 wheel arrangement

Steam Cylinders

Building with Big Ben Bricks allows you to model connecting arms and working steam cylinders on your train models. There is no one right way to do this. The following pictures illustrate one way you can adapt into your models:

A four wheel truck with steam cylinders and connecting arms - instructions available here