As you may have read – see Best of times, worst of times and Train rolls (into the sunset) – my Quest for Inter-City train has been completed. The train I have been building, 7740 Inter-City Passenger Train (12V), was one of two LEGO passenger train sets released in 1980. The other was the 7710 Push-Along Passenger Steam Train. Both 7710 and 7740 included a locomotive, tracks, small station platforms and two passenger wagons each. (There were also 4.5V and 12V freight trains and stand-alone locomotives that year, it was quite an exhaustive launch with Brickset listing a staggering 28 LEGO Trains sets new for 1980 – in comparison, 1991 launched the 9V LEGO Trains with 12 sets and 2006 launched the RC LEGO Trains with only 4 sets.)
I had the 7710 as a child and featured its locomotive earlier in the 1980 LEGO Trains upgrades story. Now that the 7740 Inter-City Passenger Train is done, I was able to pose the locomotives next to each other. Below is the yellow/red 7740 Inter-City Passenger Train locomotive next to the black 7710 Push-Along Passenger Steam Train locomotive. This picture really tells the story of my reaction to the 7740 Inter-City Passenger Train better than any words would… it is absolutely huge! This was evident from the first moments of building and now that the train is done, with all the weights and wagons, it is even more so.
Not that this really should come as a surprise to me. The LEGO train baseplate, which the 7740 Inter-City Passenger Train introduced to the world and which is still used with slight variations in modern LEGO trains, is 6×28 – where as the 7710 Push-Along Passenger Steam Train uses a 1980s LEGO Trains near-exclusive 6×16 train base. The 7740 Inter-City Passenger Train also spills a stud-length over the front and rear edges, so the locomotive is really a little over 6×30 in size, plus the bumpers – roughly twice the length of the 7710 locomotive. Their two wagons have the same base sizes, 6×28 vs. 6×16, so the overall size difference between these trains is considerable. (Afterwards the 6×16 train base was only used in one wagon set in 1991, the 4536 Blue Hopper Car, which seemed like a move to unload old parts as the base was meant for 12V locomotive motor upgrades, but in the wagon it was used cleverly for an underneath hatch.)
The length of the 7740 locomotive is not the only thing that surprised me – the second thing is its weight. With the 12V train motor and two 2x6x2 train weights, plus all the regular bricks that go into the fairly detailed build, the 7740 locomotive weighs 576 grams or 20.3 ounces. Compared to this, the push-along 7710 locomotive (which lacks motor and weights) at 153 grams, 5.4 ounces, feels feathery light. The 7740 locomotive weighs almost four times as much. As a result, the 7740 locomotive feels almost unlegolike, picking it up seems like you could really hurt someone with it. (If Brickset is accurate, there is a total of 786 pieces in the whole 7740 set and 447 pieces in 7710.)