Milton Train Works

Milton Train Works™

Custom kits and custom models

A proud member of

MTW-3002-bu Custom "Doodlebug" Gas Electric Railcar

Blue with yellow trim

Blue and yellow Doodlebug, instructions cover shot

This handsome custom kit builds a mid 20th century US prototype Gas Electric railcar. It does not follow any specific prototype but I was trying for the much beloved "doodlebug" look.

If you're wondering what the heck a doodlebug is... Some references are at the bottom of the section. However, it's a nickname for a gas electric or diesel electric railcar (a single unit train). It's not clear how the nickname originated, but it may have something to do with how "cute" the prototypes are, and with their tendency to "waddle" on poorly maintained trackage.

These were developed by several manufacturers at the behest of lines who were tired of the expense of a full steam train (with at least 5 crew, lots of operating expenses, etc...) on lightly patronized branch lines that they were petitioning the ICC to abandon anyway.

Doodlebugs have historic significance, because their early development (in the teens and twenties) led several of these manufacturers (notably GE and EMC, later the EMD division of GM, and for a time the largest loco manufacturer on the planet, although now eclipsed by GE) to try their hand at diesels based on the experience they gained. And the diesel is arguably the single most important railroading development of the 20th century.

But that's not why I did one. I did one because they're so darn cute. I know you'll enjoy building this model and operating it on your layout.

Some of you may have seen a red version of this model at the '99 MindFest. That's the original prototype model, built in the early spring of 1999. I also built a very close copy for the GMLTC and it's been exhibited at some of their shows.

Some of you may have seen a black and blue version of this cute gasser on the ready track at the recent Pacific NorthWest LEGO® Train Club (PNLTC) Guinness World Record breaking attempt. I had taken my 'bug out to Seattle to show off, and they loved it and asked me to build a copy... so we did one in the colors available. Black doors and blue windows... but with some trickery in the baggage area due to lack of parts.

It's been a favorite of mine since I built the first version almost two years ago, and now that Soccer buses make train windows readily available, and now that Lego Direct (Shop At Home) makes blue and grey doors and windows available, it's practical to bring it to you, the connoisseur LEGO® hobbyist.

Head on view

Some of the features of this gas electric railcar include:

Passenger area interior
  • Detailed interior, including
    • off center engineer seat and control stand
    • authentic (?) Winton 201 gasser with generator, drive pulley, air cleaner, and other doohickies that may not be quite right but look cool,
    • bathroom and seating for 5 passengers in the main passenger compartment
Roof details

Roof details

image from instruction source

As with all Milton Train Works models, you get a fantastic set of instructions, featuring cropped views, cutaways, rotations and other nuances to make this a fast and fun build. These instructions, while not TLG quality, are thorough and accurate, and will allow you to quickly and correctly assemble this set. You will receive a high quality printed or photocopied set of instructions, as well as all the required parts to create one unit.

These instructions were created with MLCad, an LDraw compatible CAD modeling program especially designed for use with LEGO® and compatible elements. After the painstaking transcription, I checked the instructions for accuracy, generated the parts list and printed them on my HP 2100 Laser printer, ensuring that you get the sharpest instructions offered by any limited run custom LEGO® kit producer on the market today. (color instructions available for an extra charge, inquire)

3/4 view or 'builders shot'

Other colors may be available depending on parts availability. Please contact me if you're interested. Black with yellow trim would be easy if you could accept grey engine compartment shutters. (however, the cost will be a little higher)

This doodlebug contains around 487 total parts, a new high for a Milton Train Works kit. Bidding on the first production unit (on eBay) will surely be described as "fierce".

Doodlebug References:

  • A Brill 1926 Gas Electric owned by the Pennsylvania RR (large image, and it's towards the bottom... there are some cool electric locos above it though!) from the PRR historical site
  • "What are doodlebugs?", a view from the fans of Sperry rail maintenance equipment.
  • an N scale Union Pacific doodlebug from the Western Depot hobby shop.
  • a present day Florida tourist line, with palm trees, the Mt. Dora line.

side view


  • The pictures of the model have black doors. That's due to the blue doors not being here in time for the prototype model photos.
  • The render shows the front windshield as trans dark blue, but it is trans light blue. L3Lab conversion problem, I think.
  • The render shows the engine control panel (on the back wall of the cab) as being white, but it's grey with black, yellow and green gauges, this is due to not having the right LDraw decorated slope and choosing a close one.
side view

Side view

nike air max 2016 for sale online under armour curry shoes for mens womens aiddas outlet store online images of stephen curry 1 shoes Ua Speedform Eastbay Jordan Retro Collection Adidas Superstar 80s Blush Pink best price for adidas neo outlet authentic adidas yeezy 350 boost authentic adidas neo adidas nmd release date Under Armour Boys Curry adidas neo daily stephen curry shoes reviews New Balance 580 Foot Locker Amazon under armour curry 2 authentic nike free run for cheap origianl air jordan 11 shoes Curry Shoes Foot Locker genuine adidas neo wholesale

See my coming soon page. Your suggestions welcomed!

Confused about the MTW product numbering scheme? This page answers your questions!

Not sure how to pay for your purchases? This page talks about payments!


LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Company, which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.


MTW, Milton Train Works,, and the Milton Train Works logo are trademarks of Milton Train Works and Larry Pieniazek. All other text, images, and trademarks that appear under the domain are the property of Larry Pieniazek unless specifically noted.

The Milton Train Works web site is hosted by Northstar Computer Systems.

Boilerplate Stuff…

Comments? suggestions? Flamage? Mail me!
Backgrounds courtesy of Fibblesnork™ (Copyright held by by Todd Lehman)
Raytraced background scenery courtesy of Bram Lambrecht.
See disclaimer.
See our privacy policy.
This website features a Blank Page in accordance with to the recommendations of the TPILB-Project.

Back | Home