Lego Review City Cargo Train Set 60052

The Lego City Train Set – 60052

This is the perfect first Lego Train set

Could this be the perfect Lego set?  I think it might be, at least for the 2014-2015 Lego model year.  The City Train Set has a railroad with a complete track, several train cars, including a powered locomotive, a truck, a bunch of minifigures, and a loading station.  There are lots of great things to build, and a lot of play-a-bility once you have everything together with the supplied Lego remote control.

Lego City Train Set Box
Lego City Train Set Box

This Lego train set is big – you get over 6 pounds of Lego bricks in the big blue box for set number 60052.  There are a bunch of labeled bags, and a lot of easy to understand instruction books.

I’m not really sure where to start with the review of this set, there are so many awesome things to talk about.  I guess I’ll go in the same order as the build.  As I mentioned there are SIX instruction books, some smaller and some full size, and each one describes how to build a different component.

The Truck

This truck is designed to carry lego pallets
This truck is designed to carry lego pallets

The Truck, which is described in Instruction book #1 took 14 minutes to build and was pretty straight forward

The nifty little green cargo truck that comes with the Lego City Freight train is designed to move around the new palate style that Lego has used for this set.

The truck is a standard 6 stud wide build, but doesn’t use any pre-made frame pieces, as the wheelbase is longer than most Lego cars and trucks.

There is a black flatbed with 2×2 jumper pieces at the front and back which attach to the 8 stud long plates that are the new palate system.  That way the truck can carry anything that is loaded onto the freight train.

The green cab has two doors and the roof lifts off for easy minifigure access.  It is possible to put 2 Lego minifigures inside, but it would be very crowded.  There is a blue windshield, and a unique green sloped piece for a hood.  Most of the build is familiar, if you have built a Lego car in the last couple of years.

The Locomotive

I never put stickers on my Lego blocks
The Lego City Cargo Train Locomotive

Building the Lego City Cargo Train Engine took 52 minutes.  Not bad for a first time build with integrated power functions.

If you start to do any research on Lego Trains, you will quickly learn that one of the biggest debates among the builders is that of scale.  In real life, Locomotives are big.  How does a Lego builder create that sense of scale and proportion when building a model?

I don’t think I can answer that question, but I can tell you that to my untrained eye, this engine looks like a train engine.  Not some old fashioned black train from the western days, but a modern, American diesel pusher that you might see going down the tracks today.

This 6 stud wide build is pretty long (32 long) and taller than 2 minifigures on top of each other.  In fact it is closer to 3 minifigures tall.  It needs to be to be able to pull long trains of cars and gear, and although this set only comes with 3 extra train cars, I know it can pull a lot more.

The bright blue build  is  mostly traditional but has some SNOT (Studs Not On Top) building techniques on the front back and sides.  This gives it a nice clean look which I really like.  There are yellow/golden accents on the nose, cab, and sides which remind me of some train company, but I just cant think which one.  And the black rail along the side hints of a walkway, but really is too narrow for that.

The cab is pretty big.  A minifigure can easily fit inside, either through the large doors on either side, or by opening the roof which is on a hinge.  There are two 1×2 printed tiles for controls, and a single red chair for the conductor.

Moving back, the rest of the train is where the power functions are located.  There is room for the battery box, and an IR receiver too.  You will notice three round discs on the top of the engine.  The middle one has a button which turns on and off the power functions, and behind the last one the IR receiver is mounted so the train can get remote controls and go forward or backward with 6 different speeds.

Only the back 2 wheels are powered though.  You could probably add another set of motorized trucks to the front for increased capacity, but in my experience this one set is plenty strong enough.

The Cattle Car

How cool is a Lego Longhorn?
How cool is a Lego Longhorn?

This may be the easiest build of the entire set.  But it is tied for the best Lego railroad car in my book, and it only took 14 minutes to build.

First of all this is the smallest Lego train car.  It also doesn’t hold any of the new palates that I mentioned earlier when talking about the Lego Train Truck.

But what it does have is a Longhorn bull.  Complete with horns.  As an AFOL who lives in Texas this is super cool for me.

Surrounding the 6-stud wide cattle car is a fence like structure.  the middle of each side flips down to become a ladder to climb inside.

Once inside you find the steer, some lego bales of hay, a drinking tough and a little red lego bucket.  Pretty neat, and lots of stuff to play with.

The Cable Spool Car

Two green rolls of electrical cable are loaded on this Lego car.
Two green rolls of electrical cable are loaded on this Lego car.

I understand the need for this car, but for me it is my least favorite.  By far this is the easiest and simplest car to build and only took

The flatbed Cart is very easy to build, and took only a few minutes to assemble. Just put the trucks on, and a few 2×2 jumper plates and you are pretty much done.

The spools take a few extra minutes to assemble but are only made of a few pieces so they go together quickly.  They look good, but I don’t see them as very useful.  They are fun to play with tho.


The Flatbed Car

The Lego flatbed car with a forklift and Octan barrel.
The Lego flatbed car with a forklift and Octan barrel.

Building this was easy, it is somewhere between the cow car and the spool car in complexity.  Still simple in design, but extremely flexible this long flat railcar matches the engine in color and style.

It uses the same blue bricks for the body of the car, but then alternates to a yellow railing (instead of black like on the engine) for the end pieces.

There is a cool little detail in the middle of the car that looks like a step or maybe some kind pf piping for hydraulics.

On the top are 3 sets of the same 2×2 studs that the truck and the cable car use to hold palates.  This way you can put whatever you want on the car.

In this case there is a forklift, a barrel of oil and a wheelbarrow.  Each sits on a 4×8 plate and can be interchanged on any position on this car, or on the truck, or the other car.

The forklift is a cool little build, with a cage on top that opens to put in a minifigure.  There are two levers to control it, and a tilting forklift mechanism that has a little elastic band to keep it up in the air.

The next item is the Octan oil barrel.  Also on top of a brown palate, this is a fun little build using interesting pieces in an unusual way.

Finally there is a simple minifigure wheel barrow  it sits in two jumper pieces on top of the hold it in place.

The Crane Terminal

The loading crane from the City Train Set
The loading crane from the City Train Set

The purpose of a freight train is to move freight from one place to another, and every town needs a place to unload the goods coming in from a far away place.

Starting with the actual building, which goes very fast.  A simple brick construction with a window and a door, the back is open for access to the minifigures.  There is a chair and a desk and a computer to control the crane.

The crane rides along individual track rails, the old school kind) and travels easily in both x and y axis.  There is a simple spool at the very top which you can turn to lower the hook that grabs onto the wheelbarrow, or the forklift, or anything else it can lift.

There it can move it onto a set of red stands or onto the truck.  There is lots of room for the truck to drive in and park next to the railroad tracks, too.

The Lego railroad track

The track for the Lego Cargo train measures XXX wide and YYY long.  It can be arranged in a bunch of different ways.  There are 8 straight pieces and 20 curved pieces, and 2 points or y-pieces (also called turnouts).  The standard way to put this together is in an oval with a turnout either inside or outside the oval to bypass the crane station.  See the video for the most compact way to put the track together.

Be sure to pick up your Lego City Cargo Train before it is retired using the link at the bottom of this page.

How many pieces are in the Lego City Cargo Train set 60052?

This set has 887 pieces, and as usual I got about 10 extra small pieces.

How many instruction books are in the Lego City Cargo Train set 60052?

Lego City Train Set Instruction books
Lego City Train Set Instruction books

There are a lot of things to build in this set, and as a result there are a lot of instruction books.  There are a total of six.  5 little ones and one bigger one for the engine.  Each instruction book builds a different feature as is outlined above in the different sections.


How long does it take to build the Lego City Cargo Train set 60052?

It took me about 3 hours total to build this set.  But I still play with it everyday.  It is a fundamental feature in my town videos.

How many minifigures are in the Lego City Cargo Train set 60052?

This set comes with 4 minifigures:

  1. the Train Engineer
  2. A lady crane worker
  3. The truck driver
  4. A workman

See the photos or the video for a complete description of the different minifigures in this set.

Does the Lego City Cargo Train set 60052 come with any stickers?

Lego City Train Set Stickers
Lego City Train Set Stickers

The locomotive as I built it has no stickers.  I never put them on my sets (with only one exception).  This set comes with a small sticker sheet to be places around the crane and engine.

If you ask me, I think Lego should not include stickers.  I know it saves them money because printed Lego blocks probably cost more than making a sheet of stickers.  I just think that either you print a piece or you don’t.  No halfway with stickers.

How many batteries does the LEGO cargo train take?

The battery box holds 6 AAA batteries, and the controller takes 3 more AAA.  Total number of batteries for the Lego Cargo Train = 9 AAA.  I like to use rechargeable batteries.

What is the best piece(s) in the Lego City Cargo Train set 60052?

LEGO POWER FUNCTIONS!  If you have never used them before they are awesome.  Not only can they control the train, but they can also control other thinks like making the Fairground Mixer rotate via Remote control.  There is a battery box, an IR receiver, a remote control, and a motorized wheel assembly.  Three of the 4 sit inside the Locomotive.  It’s awesome that you can control the train from across the room and make it go forwards or backwards with 6 different speeds.

Should I buy the Lego City Cargo Train set 60052?

Yes.  It is the best way to get started with Lego, if you are young or old.

What theme or group is the Lego City Cargo Train set 60052 a part of?

The Lego Cargo Train is part of the Lego City series.

Does the Lego City Cargo Train come with a parts separator?

No, this set does not come with a parts separator.

How experienced a Lego builder do you need to be to build The Lego Cargo Train

The age range for this set is 6-12, which is perfect. The builds aren’t too difficult, and there is so much to play with once you have it built.  Lots of fun.

I’ve done all the hard work for you, and found the best place to get the LEGO set 60052, the City Cargo Train

click here to find the best price on Legos


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