High-Speed City Express

LEGO Classic: LEGO 7745 High-Speed City Express
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LEGO Classic
Place: Poland
Joined: 2015, jan 21
Seen: 4d 16h
2015, jul 6 21:54

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Catalog entry
 Trains are one of the oldest structures occuring in Lego sets. Starting from 1966, Lego released many sets of trains. They became better and better and when in the early 80s lots of city sets were released, passenger train could not be missing! This is obviously not the first set of passenger train, but it is undoubtedly unique. Set was released in 1985, which was a breakthrough in the town sets. In the same year first 6392-1: Airport was released as well as many other sets from Town series.
This is an excellent composition consisting of three rail vehicles, one train and two passenger wagons. Wagons are connected to each other by magnets, which is also brilliant. There is no need to especailly connect anything, simply push them close to each other and they automatically join up by magnets. There are separate sets of wagons, such as for example the post wagon from 7819 or a wagon with crane 7817. There are more sets like that and maybe in this case they do not fit with passenger train, the mere fact of using this method of construction is brilliant. Each train is designed in the same way and has the same magnetic coupling. These magnets have also been used to connect many spaceships or spacecrafts elements from Space series.
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Catalog's presentation from 1985
The train presents good and has been used few times in catalogs and leaflets during couple of years. Most of the presentations can be found in this review. Generally, you can create interesting layout with usage of trains. Presentations rarely contains one track with one train. Typically, you will notice a number of tracks, several trains and several stations. Nevertheless, each train is unique and at the same time they all have similar sizes. There is no problem to join all the trains from the same period in one presentation. All stations of the 80s have also been designed according to a certain patterns. Substrate black, gray base, buildings in the red and white. Roofs are usually black. Therefore, all interacts with each other without a problem.
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Presentation from 1985 - at the back of the instruction

Rail vehicles

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Machinist's cabin
The first railway vehicle is a train. The whole structure is a bit square, but it was natural at the time. On the front is quite big machinist cabin, and right behind it is a large engine. You can open the door and look inside. Four pairs of doors are available.
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The engine
The engine is obviously a dummy made of bricks, but at the bottom there is a normal electric motor hidden in the wheels! I will explain how it works exactly in the section below, I will focus on vehicles here. That's not all, because the train is equipped with front lights that are not dummy. It is a true diode connected to the motor with cables layed at the base of the train.
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Front lights
This set is one one of the few that I still have from childhood. I have this set with a box from more than 20 years and to be honest, the diodes and motor work so far. Apparently it is possible, if you get very high quality product! Everything works fine, despite the passage of almost three decades!
The second vehicle is a passenger wagon.
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Passenger wagon
Special brick is available here - sink with tap. Rare part, not really seen in other sets, in this case very nicely complements the interior of the vehicle. Wagon offers four seats on the left side. Luggage compartment has been cleverly positioned just below the roof. It does not take extra space and is easily accessible after removing the roof element. Four suitcases can fit here, exactly as the number of passengers. Every passenger has a window available for themselves and half of the table.
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Passenger wagon outside
From the outside, the passengers are fully visible and it looks pretty good. The proportions and the appropriate height has been well chosen.
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The restaurant
The last vehicle is a wagon with a restaurant. It has a machinist cabin, as the train can go in reverse and the end of the train takes over the control. The restaurant has two seats and a table for chef. Two blue cups are available only. No food though, do this chef serve only drinks? In those days there were no detailed food bricks available yet. Nevertheless, couple of bricks imitating food could be added here. It feels like something is missing here, a little too empty compartment.

All vehicles have a roof attached. Roofs are not hinged, you need to detach brick to get inside. This is a minus, but I suspect that roofs with a width of 6 studs could be problematic if they were open on hinges. Maybe that's why the designers opted for a normal brick attachment. However, every roof has a slight groove in the middle of the bottom edge at two sides, just enough to hook a nail. The machinist cabin has an ordinary roof on hinges though.

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Catalog's presentation from 1988

Other elements

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Train station with employees
In addition to the main element of the set, which is a train, there are included other necessary parts such as rails and a small station for passengers. The station has two lighthouses and four seats. At the station there is a timetable with the cities and times inscribed.
10 figures are included in this set!
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In this case, there are seven passengers. Three women and four men. It is interesting that neither one figure does not have a decoration on the chest, all have single-color sweatshirt. One figurine of a woman has non standard hair with pigtails and one man has rare wide gray hat. In addition to the passengers there are three train's workers. Two figurines of machinists and one chef to handle the dining wagon.
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Source: Brickset.com 1988eu3.pdf Catalogue 1988 EU III: Page 22 and 23: Trains


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Straight rails
A straight track element consists of six bricks. Two straight rails, internal power bus and three underlying bricks  connecting everything in the stable element.
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Curved track is similar, but you have to remember that the rails have different sizes, as the inner rail have to be smaller. It is easy to distinguish between an inner rail from the outer, as the outer has grooves and inner is smooth. This set contains a small set of railways consisting of 6 straight and 16 curved tracks, giving you the possibility to create a simple closed circle. This is not enough if you want to lay rails inside the city. However, it was not a problem back in the release days, because tracks could be purchased separately, eg. straight from set LEGO-7850-1 and LEGO-7854-1.
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Curved rails
You have to remember that the train of this set is 12V and must have additional internal circuits for power, which were sold in a separate package.
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Why so? Since the previous trains were not powered in this way, and had motors mounted inside the vehicle. There was no need for additional internal bus, the outer rails shown in the set LEGO-7850-1 were enough.
As for the present, tracks can be bought at auction services for example. There are many rails available, you just have to remember about additional 12V power internal bus. Straight rails are usually more expensive, like 5x more than curved ones, because as it comes down to it, you mainly need straight rails, not curved. You can not do many curves, because the train won't be able to pass through it. Must be at least one straight rail before changing direction on the track, otherwise the train will stop or tip over.
That's not all, internal 12V rails can have sockets for connecting external devices such as the lantern lamps. There are also track splitter available eg. set LEGO-7856-1. There are a lot of possibilities.

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Source: Brickset.com 1990uk.pdf Catalogue 1990 UK: Page 22 and 23: Trains

Electric? How?

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The engine
This is another brilliant idea, because the engine draws a current of 12V directly from the track by four pins protruding from the bottom of six-wheeled chasis with the electric motor. Engine drives only the two middle wheels, the other four are for stabilization. Railways, of course, are not harmful or electrocute, the voltage is very low. The best thing is, that you don't need to directly turn on the train. You simply have to turn on the transformer that passes the current through the tracks and a train automatically begins to go! Electricity is also used for train real lighting diodes on the front and rear. The train on a straight track can move really fast! However, small hills could be problematic. The first wagon, the train, in addition to the electric motor built in wheels has two 2x6 weight bricks as well. The vehicle itself is quite heavy. It was probably the intention to adhere well to the track and do not accidentally fell off, but on the other hand, it generates a fairly large burden for a motor to pull. This is not a problem when you will avoid any high hills in your railway construction.
Well, we have a track, we have a train, but how to power it up? Here is a problem, because this train set has no transformer included! You will need additional set 7864-1: Transformer-12V with transformer, which is a power supply that gives you ability to change the intensity of transmitted electricity! It is a very nice thing, because you can regulate the speed of the train, using the black rotating controller. There is a second slot in the transformer, which provides stable DC. Additional lanterns connected to it will not flash when you reduce the speed of the train. As always, everything has been carefully planned!
Below you can see the train moving in the Aeropolis scenery. Animation loading may take a while as it weighs approx. 30MB. Patience may be needed.
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Train on the move
At the end I present Aeropolis scenery with reviewed Train.
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The train on the way

Alternative constructions

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Alternative station
 There is one alternative design with instruction included! It is a locomotive with the train station, which has two lampposts. Two 2x2 LED bricks were placed at the top of the them. Those were originally used to light the front and rear lights of the train. Cables from LED can be connected to the transformer and give the cool lighting effect at night.

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2015, jun 24 13:08 (42 months, 12 days ago) by Rogdush
2017, feb 6 15:53 (22 months, 19 days ago) by Rogdush
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