Making a review of the latest LEGO Disney Train And Station model is a rare opportunity. This set is what all LEGO Disney fans around the world have all been waiting for. After a long wait, the new train has been launched. Even though it still features the popular mouse as well as his friends that are in tow, it is still regarded as a brand new train. The arrival of this set is worth being celebrated. An added feature to this set is a steam power unit that does not carry passengers. This part is called the 'locomotive'.
I will do well to provide a detailed review of this LEGO Train including some of its amazing features and the build. I will also let you know my thoughts about this set. Now, without wasting much time, let us get down to business.
Different Reactions of people
When the release of the LEGO 71044 Disney Train and Station was announced, there were mixed reactions within many people. I, personally, including many other fans, was delighted at the release of this wonderful model. We were pleased with the station building, locomotive, and its width (8 studs). But there were some other people that did not show excitement was that LEGO tied this train to Disney IP. Another reason is the structure of the train. They preferred the previous structure to this recent one.
Some fans even claim that there are errors in the making of this train, saying that Disney completely missed it. These are the different reactions of fans. But, the whole truth of the matter is that many more people are in love with this beauty.
Now, let us proceed to the prototypes and inspiration behind this LEGO Disney Train.
Prototypes and Inspiration
The inspiration behind the model of the train in this set is the locomotives as well as the cars that moved around the DRR (Disneyland Railroad) at Anaheim in California. To be precise, it was built to replicate the DRR 1 (C.K. Holliday).
It was in the year 1955 that Walter Elias Disney (WED) Enterprises created the actual C.K. Holliday train. This locomotive was made to look just the locomotive of Lilly Belle. The Lilly Belle was the original steam locomotive that was operated by Walt on the railway of his home – Carolwood Pacific.
In turn, the Lilly Belle was made to replicate the CP 173 which was a very popular design. By coincidence, this CP influenced the design of many other Virginia, Truckee, and CP locomotives. On the other hand, there is an open-air car that is made to replicate pone of the five 'Holliday' Blue train cars. There are seats facing the side of the car and stripped walls with the blue and white colors. Since the year 1966, these Holiday cars have been working on the railroad of Disneyland.
The new LEGO Train features an observation car that replicates the Lilly Belle owned by the Retlaw-1 set that was replaced officially by the Holliday car after retiring in the year 1974. A big renovation was made on the interior while the exterior was repainted with a new color. To date, the railroad trains of Disneyland still make use of it.
Disney built almost the whole railroad trains of Disneyland and all of them have a gauge of 3 feet even the E.P Ripley and C.K Holliday locomotives, and many cars as well, if not all.
Let us now talk about the packaging of this Brick toy which includes the box and its contents.
The Contents In and On the Box
The LEGO Disney train and Station 71044 is packaged in a big box that looks very attractive to the eyes. The design on the box features the building, powered up, the train, and all the features.
Inside the box, you will see bags with different numbers i.e. 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18. You will also find 4 curved track stacks and another box that has a plain white color. There are also bags in the second box (white) with different numbers as well i.e. 1, 3, 4, 5, 10, 13, 15. Still in the white box, you will find stickers and books that contain instructions sealed in one bag. There is also a straight track in the smaller box, drive wheels, the motor, the hub for powered up, large plates, and couplers.
As we mentioned before about finding books that contain instructions, there are four of them. The first one has instructions on the tender and locomotive, the second is about the Holliday Blue car, the third talks about the observation car (Lilly Belle), while the fourth discusses the station building.
Some pictures and short texts in paragraphs explaining how Disney love trains including the locomotive of C.K Holliday are all on the inside page of the first instructions book. What about the Minifigures?
There are five different Disney Minifigures that are featured in this LEGO set. Here is the direct order of how they are built:
• Mickey Mouse
• Minnie Mouse
Goofy plays a very important role in this set. This is the first time he will appear as a Minifigure. As for Mickey Mouse, he is clothed with the bandanna and overall of an engineer. There is no doubt that the torso looks more like a cartoon, but as for the legs, they are very realistic as they have black prints that represent shoes.
Both Dale and Chip are designed to put on realistic uniforms of the conductors. On the torso of the chip, you will see that he wear a coat to cover his vest. But as for Dale, this feature is not included, making them look realistic. Both Dale and Chip are created with the latest leg length that is not as tall as the normal one, but they still have the ability to move to make a walking pose.
As a female, a beautiful red skirt and blouse that is designed with polka dots (White) are used to dress Minnie. This makes the character look iconic. Minnie’s skirt is made with fabric and can be found in the second box that is white in color.
All the main Disney Characters are featured in this set except Donald Duck. I was really surprised to notice that he was missing. Now, let us move ahead to the build.
In this part, I will be talking about the details of this special set and how I went about the build. I will also tell you some of the interesting techniques that I realized while I was building it. Let us begin with the Locomotive and tender.
Tender and Locomotive
Instead of making a rigid connection of the cab, boiler, and frame, the wheels (drive wheels) work independently as a bogie as well as the decorative cylinders and pilot wheels. The pilot wheels make use of Technic while the drive wheels rotate on a turntable – 4x4.
There was much fun while constructing the pilot truck. It makes use of the new red wheels, and in between, a Technic and wheel holders.
I caught sight of the limiters on the two trucks of the locomotive. This is a very interesting feature that I noticed. This protrusion is very simple as it sits inside a pocket, controlling the way the truck turns. Hence, the trucks will not have to turn up to 180 degrees when the locomotive is under control. Placing the locomotive on the track/rails is very easy.
On the pilot truck, there is one piece of a cowcatcher lying on a plate, 1x8 precisely; hence, the pilot beam measures 8 studs wide. On every end of the beam, you will find flag poles, but without flags attached to them. To me, I would have loved to see the flags on them just as they were included on the pilot of some Disney locomotives such as C.K Holliday. Between each wheel, you will find aesthetic cylinders that do not perform any duty except for starring at. This part is 10 studs wide.
On the smokebox, there are 2 separate boiler supports that are on all the sides close to the plates of the builder. To make this locomotive complete, there is a spark chimney arrestor that looks classy.
The neatness of the two domes can be well seen. When completed, the dome is shaped like a flute with the help of a round brick (2x2).
On the boiler sides, cab walls, and number plate at the front, they have stickers placed on them. This makes the locomotive look coherent. When complete, it will look very awesome.
The interior of the cab features little backhead detail. A hinge is used to mount the roof of the cab to enable an engineer or even Mickey to stand inside. To aid an easy connection with the tender, there is a coupler made with a magnet and placed at the back of the truck (driver truck).
To construct the tender is not difficult at all, it is very easy. It is found on the top of the train motor that is powered up, having magnetic couplers attached to both ends. On the different pairs of tiles measured 2x4, stickers with the “Disney Railroad” inscription are placed on them, making it look realistic and beautiful. You will find the hub of powered up sitting inside the tender walls. It leaves a little space where the wire of the motor can pass. There are black parts on the top of the hub, making it look like a bunker of oil, hiding the ugly hub’s white. There is a hinge on the power button which allows you to easily turn it on and off.
For me, I feel that the tender front needs to be improved. This tender is filled with a lot of wall panels. I think it would be really nice if they had put a little footplate for the placement of a fireman. But, their decision to make it the way they made it is still nice because it made the packaging of the wire very neat. But, if there was an extra decking added to the tender, it still would be nice.
Let us move to the next one.
The Car – Open Air
As we have mentioned earlier, this car is made as a replica of the Holliday Blue car. The seats in the open-air car have a reddish-brown color, it has a red frame, and the car is designed with white and blue color. Red tiles are used for the visible floor and the number of seats in the car is 14. The roofs come are constructed in 2 eight-stud sections that open, allowing the easy placement of minifigures inside.
The whole wheels of the car are made with plastic and they all have magnetic couplers. No sticker is placed on any part of the wheels and nothing is printed on them, leaving the wheels plain.
The Observation Car
Red tiles and plates are used to cover the floor of the observation car, making a space where trucks can be easily and freely attached. The parts of this car are neat including their colors. A nice chair that has a reddish-brown color can be found in the interior of this car including a teacup, teapot, arrangement of flower, and a table. There is a bench seating located at the car’s rare.
There is an observation platform that is built with black rails and the top is dark green. It also has a drumhead with the ‘Disney’ inscription on it.
The wall on the right-hand side can be removed to view the interior and place minifigures inside. As usual, the wheels of this car are made of plastic and the trucks also have magnetic couplers.
The station has many features. This part of the set is detailed with an exterior platform. The first floor has features 4 doors and a very neat placed on the top of every door. Every corner of the station is tiled with an alternating pattern. The interior looks very good as there are realistic details in it including many beautiful posters. You will also find an umbrella box, a clock, and a scale for baggage. Moving to the center, you will see a counter where tickets are sold including an arrangement of a flower. Waiting passengers also have a bench where they can sit.
The interior also features a chandelier, a trash receptacle, boards, and many more. The building also has a sticker with the Disney Railroad inscription. This set has a clock tower, a small Disney castle, the locomotive sticker of both C.K Holliday and Walter Disney, a micro model of C.K Holliday and Walter Disney’s locomotive.
The completed building looks really amazing. This particular LEGO set is spectacular and I can recommend it to anyone. It will be a wonderful addition to your LEGO collection.