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Erie P-1 "Triplex" | by Shuppiluliumas
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Erie P-1 "Triplex"

It's been about 5 years since I built my original Erie Triplex. I think the original looked the part, and was a good effort for me for the time, but it never worked the way I hoped it would. I felt like it was time to try again. Here is my result.


I wanted a large locomotive that could pull freight slowly. The actual Triplex could only sustain speeds of about 8 mph. To recreate that here, each set of drivers is driven by an L motor, heavily geared down.


Besides the function, this model features my first attempt to represent Russia iron in Lego. The boiler sheeting of many locomotives of this era was made of a raw iron, hammered and worked in to give it a very smooth, shiny finish. The Triplex rolled off the line like that, and I really wanted to try and capture that look.


The real Triplex was, simply, an attempt to put as much pulling power into a locomotive as possible. The prototype was built in 1913, and was, as far as I know, the largest locomotive ever built at that time. And they were powerful; so powerful that they would pull apart couplings and frames on the wooden rolling stock of the day. Rather than head up trains, they were mostly used as pushers to assist regular freight trains up steep grades, a job they were well suited for. Erie had three of these engines, and kept the last of them in service for nearly 20 years.


As for my model, does it run? Well, here's a video. And yes, it does negotiate all standard Lego track configurations.

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Taken on August 17, 2010