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Rating-4-glossy
Trains
Trains-Logo
Years:

19662011

Subthemes:

4.5V
12V
9V
RC / Power Functions

Related themes:

World City
City
Factory
MY own TRAIN
Creator

This article is about the theme. For the set, see LEGO Train.

The very first train set, 323 Train, was released in 1965, without any track. It had ordinary road wheels. It was released only during that year, because in 1966 the LEGO Group introduced the first sets with track and battery powered motors.

LEGO 4.5V Trains were first introduced in 1966. They had blue rails and white sleepers (standard 8 x 2 plates), and the locomotives used the standard 4-wheel drive LEGO 4.5V motor unit. The wheels were flanged train wheels with rubber rims for traction, that were pushed into the motors. The batteries were carried behind the engine in a tender, or in a battery box built into the engine in the earlier sets. Since 1969, there was also a 12V train program, which used additional conductor rails mounted between the standard 4.5V rails, and 12V motors contained in the same housings as the 4.5V motors, but with additional metal contacts attached to the bottom of the housings. This first period of the 4.5V and 12V trains, sometimes called the Blue Era because of the rails colour, lasted from 1966 till 1979.

The second era (1980 - 1990), also called Grey Era, is characterized by dark Grey ties (sleepers) and light grey rails. Wheels were red or black. Both 4.5V (battery powered) and 12V (DC powered using add-on centre conductor rails) sets were available during this era, too. By real model train fans, this time is considered as the greatest era of LEGO Trains because of the rich availability of many automated accessories like Remote Controlled Switch Tracks (7858, 7859), Remote Controlled Signals (7860), Remote Controlled Road Crossing (7866) or Remote Controlled Decoupling (7862) - those remote controls could be combined with the Transformer / Speed Controller to a large extendible keyboard for controlling all functions from one central position. In addition to this the world around the trains could be illuminated by some electric lights (7867) - for a bright flair even beyond the rails.

Trains12V-9V

Leaflet explaining the transition from 12V to 9V made between 1991 and 1993 (in French)

The introduction of 9V-trains in 1991 marked the end of the earlier two voltages. This third era is characterized by integral moulded dark Grey rail/tie assemblies with metal conducting rails. Later the former outstanding standard Trains theme was integrated in the LEGO World City theme line. The 9V era was finished with a special experts model of the Factory line called Hobby Trains in 2006.

In the same year LEGO Company introduced the new completely different RC system. These trains get their energy from batteries on board and are controlled via a Infrared remote control. For these trains, new non-electricity tracks (7896, 7895) were introduced. From now the Trains theme became part of the LEGO City theme line. In 2009 the special edition engine Emerald Night was released which had lovely designed details like new steam train type wheels. With the set came many new Train Accessories based on Power Functions including Power Functions Rechargeable Battery Box, Power Functions IR Receiver, Power Functions IR Speed Remote Control and Transformer 10VDC.

In 2010 the change from the unpopular first RC system to the more efficient PF system was be completed with the introduction of the very first completely Power Functions based train sets.



Not mentioned here are DUPLO Trains and the Monorail-system.

Passenger Trains and Wagons

First LEGO Train

Non Powered Push Trains

Non Powered Rail Trains

4.5V


12V


9V

RC / PF


Cargo Trains and Wagons

Non Powered Cargo Trains

4.5V

12V

9V


RC / PF


Locomotives


Other Railway Vehicles


Buildings

4.5V

12V

9V

RC / PF


Tracks

4.5V


12V


9V


RC / PF


Motors

4.5V

12V


9V


RC / PF


Other Accessories


MY own TRAIN


Idea Books


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