It has been three years since LEGO released a new Cargo Train. This year's set is special for two reasons: first LEGO has unveiled a new Powered UP, Bluetooth enabled, power functions system, and secondly, this year's 60198 Cargo Train has about 30% more parts than any comparable LEGO train set.
Read on as I describe this newest cargo train in the LEGO Train Network.
The front of the box shows the cargo train stopped at a siding with the crane car unloading the two small shipping containers. A security guard is nonchalantly talking to the train driver while a villain is lurking behind the locomotive.
There is a diagram of the recommended track layout and an image of the new Powered UP handset.
Back of the box shows the train all connected together. It has several images showing some of the play features and some more information on the new Powered UP power functions system.
The side of the box shows that when the locomotive is connected to the rolling stock, the train measures 83cm (32.6 inches).
The instructions are split into six booklets and come in a bag that also protects the sticker sheet.
There is a reasonable number of stickers on one sheet.
The parts have been divided into twelve numbered bags.
There are six minifigures in the set. The minifigure parts have been seen in several sets so there is nothing new about their attire.
The train driver and crane operator are wearing the olive green LEGO Rail Train System overalls. They both wear a high-vis orange vest. The train driver is wearing a red baseball cap while the crane operator is wearing a hard hat that includes her hair.
The forklift driver is wearing an orange and blue overalls. He has a grey-blue hoody underneath his work wear and a radio in his back pocket. He has grey protective gloves.
The security guard is wearing a stab-proof vest over his white uniform. He has a radio in his back pocket and a cable up to a remote microphone. He wears a green baseball cap.
The track controller wears a pale blue and orange overalls. She has an ID card clipped to her pocket and a pen on a lanyard around her neck.
The build is split into discrete building steps that links the booklets and numbered bags. I'll take you through each build component.
Book 1 - Forklift
Book 1 with bag 1 builds the yellow forklift and a pallet of money and gold bullion. In my opinion, this forklift is significantly better than the red forklift found in 60052 Cargo Train as it is brick-built and does not rely on big moulded parts.
However, I do believe that the forklift should have had a couple of control levers.
The pallet contains a cargo that includes bundles of money with twelve gold bars.
Book 2 - The security van
Bags 2 and 3 build the security van. The chassis is made from the parts in bag 2.
The van is completed with the parts in bag 4. This is what the van looks like without stickers. Images with stickers applied can be found at the end of this review.
The van has an interesting way of loading the cargo: the whole side of the van hinges open.
Also, there is an opening between the driver's cab and the security area.
Book 3 - The rail crossing and buffer stop
The set includes a basic level crossing.
The buffer stop (sometimes called a stopblock) is provided for the dead-end-siding.
Book 3 - The locomotive begins
The remainder of the book 3 and the parts in bag 5 start assembling the locomotive body.
The locomotive is double ended so most steps sees equivalent building steps taking place at both ends.
Book 4 - The Locomotive
Book 4 along with bags 6 and 7 completes the locomotive.
An interesting change due to the new design of the battery box is that the battery box forms an integral part of the locomotive body. This is because the power cable plugs into the end of the battery box rather than on the top (as seen in the former Power Functions battery box).
A red boat-stud presses onto the on-off switch and the status of the battery can be easily be checked by viewing the LED light
The completed locomotive.
Three brick-built logs fit tightly between the stanchions. A freighthopping minifigure is hiding between the logs. The minifigure has a pair of binoculars.
The crane chassis is made from parts in bag 9. The flat-car is supported by two outriggers that also includes two orange warning lights.
The crane is complete using parts from bag 10. The outriggers have been retracted into the chassis.
The crane boom telescopically extends.
Book 6 builds the container flat-car and the signal tower.
Bag 11 makes the flat car and two small shipping containers.
There is one red open-sided container and a transportable vault.
There is a snowmobile on a pallet in the red shipping container.
Bag 12 makes the signal tower.
The signal tower has a coffee machine for the signal operator. The signal can be changed by rotating the lever.
The finished model
The finished electric locomotive is the best part of this set. There are many designs of similar locomotives in the real world.
This is the first LEGO locomotive to also include the green freight logo. This image has only been seen on trucks and forklifts in earlier City Train sets.
The crane car has a safe working load of 12 tonnes. You can see some engine gauges when the grey doors are opened.
The crane boom rests on the orange warning light above the operator's cab.
There is a transportable vault. It has a keypad and safe tumbler on the security doors.
The snowmobile has the logo from the Arctic theme of sets.
The new power functions, Powered UP, consists of three units: the handset, the battery box and the train motor. At the moment, there is not any Powered UP parts for sale at Shop.LEGO.com.
There are two immediate changes that are apparent with this new system: the battery box cable points have been moved to the ends, and there is no need for an IR Receiver.
The handset pairs with the battery box via a Bluetooth connection: Simultaneously holding down the green buttons on the handset and the battery box for more than two seconds will automatically cause a paired connection.
The train motor also has a shorter cable than the former train motors. There is less spare cable twisted inside the train.
I think that LEGO should supply a small Phillips screw driver for opening the battery box. The screw head is recessed further than previous battery boxes and the screw driver needs to be very slim.
I deliberately tested the Powered UP functions as I wanted to test the batteries endurance. After over two hours, the train was still running at a reasonable speed. The train motor runs faster than this train could cope with. The handset has ten incremental speed settings and anything over setting five caused the train to derail off the curved tracks.
I will re-run this test for my review of 60197 Passenger Train when the dining room table is not needing to be cleared for the evening. I will also install a former Power Functions train motor and IR Receiver to compare performance.
Here is a video by from Sariel's LEGO Workshop that takes an in-depth test and comparison of LEGO Powered UP vs LEGO Power Functions.
I have two views on this set: one as an adult who looks critically at the train set while I can also see it as a child's toy.
I like the green locomotive. It is a refreshing design and adds a new look to the modern City train network.
It is also good to see a signal tower and a siding buffer stop included in the set.
There are some features of this set that I didn't like.
I thought that the rolling stock and vehicles were somewhat of a let-down. It seems unrealistic to use a crane car to load and discharge cargo from flatcars and wagons. The crane car would be better served as a recovery crane following a train derailment. It would need to have a safe working load at least ten times the current rating of 12 tonnes.
The security van seems to be very unsecure with a large side-opening door and that the cab allows access to the secure freight compartment.
The forklift should have had some control levers.
On the flip side, I believe this set has plenty of play potential for younger LEGO fans.
There is a villain who is attracted to the bullion that is being carried in the portable vault. This vault could also be lifted off the flat car by a helicopter. The other freight container has a snowmobile that could be used for a quick getaway.
This set has the largest amount of train track of any LEGO train set so it is a self-contained set or would add significantly to your existing LEGO trains.