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A Note from the LEGO Train Wheels Team

You might remember that at the end of last year, the LEGO trains design team released a video, explaining the changes to the LEGO train wheel system and responding to some of the concerns raised by the LEGO fan community. You can watch the video and read the details about the changes here: Changes to LEGO Train Wheels Discussion. Too briefly recap, starting with the #71044 LEGO Disney Train & Station set, we no longer get metal axles with LEGO trains, instead, they have a redesigned all plastic assembly. LEGO train fans.

Since the video was released, the LEGO train design team got further feedback from the LEGO fan community, and released another statement about LEGO train wheels. You can read it below.

First of all, we want to thank you for sharing the video in your communities. We’ve seen it on your online channels, and it’s been exciting to follow, as well as receiving community reactions and questions.

We are happy to read that the video helped shed some light to some of the questions we received before making the video. With the video, we answered the question about the reason why we changed the wheel. We’re grateful to read that you appreciate some of the new features, as well as the support from you around the new element material coming from sustainable sources. We also see that the video motivated some new questions, and a chance for us to further elaborate.

First of all, we want to highlight that we’ve changed the material to a material from sustainable sources, but this doesn’t mean that the material we have used in the past puts children at risk. It is the first important step out of many on the journey towards the LEGO Group using sustainable materials by 2030.

In the video, we explain parts of our testing procedure that we hope gave some interesting insights. Unfortunately, we cannot share detailed information about the scientific tests because it’s company confidential information, but we can assure you that we take tests of trains and train wheels seriously. The intention of the wheel test in the video was purely to have visual content, and we underestimated the signal it might have sent to community members that this is how tests are conveyed. Now we understand that you’re very interested in scientific test results.

Though we cannot share all details, we do want to open up test lab door and can share the following: We’ve been through 3-4 different design prototypes of the wheels, and several different combinations of materials, to find the wheel that was the best in efficiency and the best in overall performance. Further, we can share that multiple tests have been conducted for each iteration, and that the duration of each of these tests was a full week.

Some of you asked about future elements and functionality. Unfortunately, we cannot reveal any specific details about future product and/or element designs, but just like train wheels, we are moving…

Thank you for taking an interest in our work.

So far, the new train wheel assembly is only available in two sets; the #71044 LEGO Disney Train & Station, and the #70424 LEGO Hidden Side Ghost Train Express. If you don’t have them already, you can check them out at the Online LEGO Shop.

What do you think? Have you had a chance to try out the new LEGO train wheel system and compare it to the previous one? Do you have a preference? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below! And if you have any questions for the LEGO train design team, feel free to post them as well, and I will make sure to forward them on your behalf.

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Giza May 21, 2020, 12:13 PM

    This sounds like marketing talk to me. We all know the metal axles were better. But I understnad they are trying to save cost and I appreciate that they are at least trying to make the new system as good as possible.

    • kingcobra May 21, 2020, 12:41 PM

      I agree with Giza. This is marketing talk. It doesn’t matter to me too much, as I only run my trains periodically, but I heard it’s a pretty big problem for those who continously run trains at conventions.

  • Daniel May 21, 2020, 12:19 PM

    I just want them to make more trains. What happened to the old train packs where you could buy an engine and cars separately? Those were the good old days! Now we get a generic passenger and cargo train every few years and that’s it. I would love to see the Maersk and the Emerald Night rereleased!

  • brickmaster May 21, 2020, 1:26 PM

    I don’t think this change really matters to ordinary fans. And if it makes trains cheaper to produce, all the better. The new system has more attachment points and better integration into the whole Lego system. So those are some other plusses. As long as the wheels run reasonably well, I don’t mind the change.

  • LEGOJeff May 21, 2020, 4:45 PM

    I came to appreciate the changes. I never liked how the train parts were odd and could only be used for one thing. But I know this is a concern for those who run their train regularly. Supposedly the plastic parts wear down after much use.

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