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4549-1: Container Double Stack
Published 2 months ago
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The inventory is ~97+ accurate—major deviations include a MOC assembly to replace the unique 6x34 Split-Level Train Base. I omitted the uber-rare Crane Grab manipulator, as I couldn't come up with a decent replacement. All other molds had analogs, etc.

I found the matching 'Octan' decal parts, but the rest of the decorations I replaced with different, "same color/same era" decals.

=MISSING PARTS=
1. https://rebrickable.com/parts/2972/vehicle-base-train-6-x-34-split-level/
2. https://rebrickable.com/parts/2648/crane-grab-jaw/
3. https://rebrickable.com/parts/2649/crane-grab-grip/
4. https://rebrickable.com/parts/6556/window-1-x-4-x-3-train/
5. https://rebrickable.com/parts/6546/door-1-x-2-x-3/
6. https://rebrickable.com/parts/3491/plate-special-2-x-5-with-towball-socket/
7. https://rebrickable.com/parts/3651/technic-axle-and-pin-connector/

=MISSING DECALS=
1. https://rebrickable.com/parts/973c28h01pr0019/torso-with-red-chevron-and-train-logo/
2. Sticker Sheet: https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=4549stk01&

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=LEGO USA SHOP-AT-HOME DESCRIPTION=
Source: https://images.brickset.com/library/view/?f=catalogues/c93sahhe&p=33

"LEGO City needs lots of supplies to keep the citizens happy! Help these 2 rail workers load cargo on and off the Cargo Train with the heavy duty crane. Use the truck to transport supplies to and from the railways. 446 pieces. $49.50"

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This set no. 4549 'Container Double Stack' (or 'Road 'N Rail Hauler' in North America) was the largest of three new LEGO "Trains" released in 1993.

All three '93 sets featured various additional railway carriages for two brand-new 9V Electric "Trains" that LEGO introduced in 1991: a passenger Metroliner and 'Load-N-Haul' cargo train.

The 'Container Double Stack,' designed by Torben Plagborg and Bjarne Juhl Larsen (who also co-developed the entire 9V "Electric" system), featured some unique LEGO parts, quirky mechanisms, and excellent decorations.

>>CARGO PLATFORM
The railway carriage had a one-of-a-kind 6x34 Split-Level Train Base. This part #2972a was exclusive to '93 "Trains," only used in one other set, Metroliner 'Club Car' (where a lowered center section became an extra sleeper's compartment). In the Cargo Platform, lowered floors fit an additional "layer" of stackable containers.

>>MOBILE CRANE
The Mobile Crane is arguably the most impressive ground vehicle. A full-size extendable Technic beam crane arm has an unusual locking mechanism: a double stand rests on two exposed 1x4 "vertical" hinge tiles (part #4625). Switching between five notches on the hinge tilts the crane's arm higher or lower. What a brilliant solution! (It reminded me of old-fashioned loungers).

The cabin has a very unusual, "beefy" and rugged look—with twin wheels in front, two rear bumpers, and a transparent blue 4x4x4⅓ Helicopter Windscreen (part #2483), expected in Town aircraft but rarely, if ever, used in "modern day" ground vehicles! Note the heavy usage of both 1x2 "grilles" and profile bricks in the chassis front. (See a Torben Plagborg trivia below for explanations, haha).

The crane manipulator was another "period piece," a five-part Crane Grab assembly (part #2648c01) that debuted in the iconic '91 set no. 6542 'Launch & Load Seaport.' (Clocking at over 1000 pieces, it was the largest-ever "Town" build). Unfortunately, the part is absent on Mecabricks.

After the 'Container Double Stack' in 1993, the Crane Grab only appeared once—in the "Trains" Cargo Station two years later. (LEGO also released a couple of "Crane Accessories" service packs in '93-95).

>>TRAILER TRUCK
Just an ordinary "Town" vehicle, more or less, with a flatbed trailer fitted for a 4x16 container; nothing unusual about the design or construction.

>>CONTAINERS
Although they all came empty, the 'Double Stack' featured an impressive total of four Containers, a pair each of 4x8 and prolonged 4x16 boxes. They featured different and curious branding (which I mostly had to substitute), including a yellow LEGO logo, standard "Trains" emblem, and Octan—a fictional petrol company introduced in 1992. (And, curiously, also heavily featured in the third and smallest "Trains" set in 1993, 'Octan Rail Tanker').

The fourth container carries a so-called "Cargo" logo—a yellow box against a blue globe with yellow arrows—one of the recurring (and unnamed, unlike Octan) LEGO "Town" services that occasionally appeared in other sets throughout the 1980s and '90s.

=THE AUTHOR=
https://brickset.com/sets/designer-Torben-Plagborg

Torben Plagborg joined LEGO in the mid-80s, and after creating a few excellent LEGOLAND "Construction" sets, he co-authored the new 9V "Trains" program—including the entire electrical infrastructure (Transformer and Speed Regulator unit, new railway tracks, etc.) and most memorable models.

Plagborg also designed some of the most common and functional LEGO System individual parts, which are still widely used:

☒ 2x2 Corner Brick (Part #2357) and Plate (#2420)
Since 1987

☒ 1x2 Profile Brick (Part #2877)
Debuted in '91

☒ 1x2 "Grille" Flat Tile (Part #2412a/b)
From 1987 till '97 (first version, without a bottom lip)
Since 1990 (current generation)

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=MORE "TRAINS" BY TORBEN PLAGBORG=

4547: Metroliner's Club Car (286 parts)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/7l2BPrOqv0N

4537: Octan Twin Tank Rail Tanker (171p)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/Vyvnk6y4al3

4558: Metroliner ('91)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/b82xKmJ1a1z

4543: Railroad Tractor Flatbed ('91)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/VzvM7b9V2Jp

4536: Blue Hopper Car ('91)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/1k2q10n12E0

4544: Car Transport Wagon with Car ('94)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/79a8nKRrj8w
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