City of New Orleans

23 June 2015
By

At BrickWorld 2014 I came up with an idea to build the City of New Orleans train in LEGO.  The plan was to take the song and create vignettes based on different verses.  At this year’s BrickWorld I debut the layout.  Here is what I came up with:

Riding on the City of New Orleans
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail
All along the southbound odyssey
The train pulls out at Kankakee
And rolls along past houses, farms and fields
Passin’ trains that have no names
Freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles

Chorus
Good morning, America, how are you
Say, don’t you know me, I’m your native son
I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans
I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done

Dealin’ cards with the old men in the club car
Penny a point, ain’t no one keepin’ score
Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
And feel the wheels rumblin’ ‘neath the floor
The sons of pullman porters
And the sons of engineers
Ride their father’s magic carpet made of steel
Mothers with their babes asleep
Rockin’ to the gentle beat
And the rhythm of the rail is all they feel

Chorus
Night time on The City of New Orleans
Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee
Half way home, and we’ll be there by morning
Through the Mississippi darkness
Rolling down to the sea
All the towns and people seem
To fade into a bad dream
The steel rails still ain’t heard the news
The conductor sings his song again
The passengers will please refrain
This train’s got the disappearing railroad blues

Final Chorus
Good night, America, how are you
Say, don’t you know me, I’m your native son
I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans
I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done
Repeat Final Chorus
Oh, good night, America, how are you
Say, don’t you know me, I’m your native son
I’m the train they call The City of New Orleans
I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done

By Steve Goodman, lyrics modified from the Wayback Machine.

I was able to use some really old parts including a gear from a Samsonite set as well as my oldest classic minifig set.