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I was always fascinated by train designs as a child. Trains and locomotives of various kinds have also appeared in novels, movies, etc. And I also had visions of taking the bright red Hogwarts Express train to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for an adventure. Looking at the white smoke from the locomotive chimney and hearing the low whistle, I felt like I was about to embark on an extraordinary journey. Later I became curious about the history of locomotives and found that modern trains were called steam locomotives in the beginning, and the inventor of the steam locomotive is controversial, some people think it was Richard Trevithick, and more people think it was George Stephenson. One thing we can be sure of is that the invention and operation of the steam locomotive marked the dawn of the “age of the train” and greatly expanded the range of people’s activities. Although steam locomotives with low thermal efficiency were gradually replaced by other locomotives with high thermal efficiency, it remains a timeless classic among many railway fans.

Steam locomotives had served mankind for 180 years, and the end of their service left many with a sense of nostalgia.

DR 18 201
Image via Wikipedia

A wide variety of locomotives have been invented in the past two hundred years, including the famous Big Boy, Challenger and so on. But today I’m going to talk about DR 18 201 that impressed me a lot – a German steam locomotive with unrivalled speed. Germany had already established its own railway lines in the early 19th century, and the early steam locomotives were mainly used for military warfare and made a great contribution to this. The early German locomotive manufacturing was always closely related to war, and the German military thought was also reflected in the manufacture of German locomotives. After World War I, many locomotives built between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century were still preserved in Germany. Later, new locomotives were built to meet the demand for larger locomotive loads. Although internal combustion locomotives had already appeared in Germany in the 1920s, the carrying trains were still mainly hauled by steam locomotives because of the very high cost of fuel at that time.

Image via Wikipedia

While the Big Boy is known for its massive body weight and the Challenger for its amazing horsepower, the DR 18201 is the fastest operational steam locomotive in the world. The express Locomotive appeared in 1960-1961 as a conversion of locomotive 61 002. Streamline style was the most popular design style in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s, and some parts of the DR 18 201 also came with it, which effectively reduced driving resistance and fuel consumption, accelerating its speed for a modern feel that symbolizes high-speed movement. With the sound of a whistle, the wheels turned rapidly and DR 18 201 sped along the railroad like a swift and fierce beast. The DR 18 201 was used in its early days for test runs and working as an express train before being converted into a heritage locomotive in the 1980s, mainly for hauling heritage and special trains. After that the locomotive went through several stages of being out of service, back in service, out of service again, sold, and put back into service again. Now DR 18 201 is still in operation and needs a complete overhaul every three years!

Besides me, my family is also crazy about steam locomotives. We often sat together and talked about our favorite steam locomotive. Although I haven’t had a chance to see the operation of DR 18 201, I was very lucky to receive a Christmas gift from my brother – a building blocks set of the DR 18 201 (MOC-76695), which made me super surprised and excited. Now I can’t wait to open the package!


A simple graphic carton is used for packing the set. I found 1,568 parts are packaged in different types, which is really nice, and the instructions are on a USB flash disk that allows you to access them on any device and enlarge them at will, making the assembly much easier. You can immediately tell that the bricks are predominantly black, green and red, which shows accurate color reproduction. The instructions are detailed and easy-to-follow, alowing me to build the model easily for about 6 hours. And then I found out the assembled model looks no different from the one in the picture. Whether the color scheme or shape are highly restored to the original DR 18 201 locomotive, which greatly surprised me. I didn’t expect much from the restoration at first, though. Unlike many static models, it can be displayed dynamically. It simulates the original running state of DR 18 201, which makes me more excited. Driven by power supply from the battery compartment, the model can be controlled through the switch on the compartment. It’s a nice addition to other train sets, completing the whole scene for better display effect. I flipped the switch and watched the assembled DR 18 201 (MOC-76695) moving in front of me, as if I could feel how the world’s fastest steam locomotive was working hard to serve the human race.

Now I would like to know what steam locomotives/train models (MOCs) people like. And I think there must be other locomotives with their own unique features besides the famous ones.  Leave a comment below the article so that we can talk about them or their peripheral products (toys/models/books) together. ^^

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