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NS class 600 “Hippel”

Diesel Shunter Locomotive
260 pieces, 1 minifig

Fouke Boss
October 2023


When designing the grey-era train sets, LEGO drew a lot of inspiration from the real-life trains around on the European railroad tracks. For the first wave of sets in 1980, LEGO specifically took a good look towards Germany. All 1980s steam engines, starting with 7750 and 7810, were modelled after the German steam engines, with their characteristic black-and-red colour scheme. The flagship 12v set 7740 was modelled after the very famous German Trans Europ Express "Rheingold", shunter locomotive 7760 celebrated the German v60. Later on, LEGO turned towards France and the Train Grande Vitesse for 7745.

With the colour scheme of 7710 closely matching the (still current) Dutch Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) livery of blue-and-yellow, LEGO must at least have been aware of what was happening on the tracks in the Netherlands as well. In this series of designs, I hypothesize what LEGO could have come up with if they had taken their inspiration from the Dutch railways of the time. First up: the NS class 600 'Hippel' as an alternative for the 7760 diesel shunter locomotive.

NS class 600

During World War II, the British War Department ordered a batch of 14 British Rail class 11 diesel shunter locomotives, 10 of which were sent to the Netherlands for post-war service; these were later taken on by the Dutch Railways (NS) as NS class 500. Pleased with their performance, the Dutch Railways ordered 65 additional locomotives which were taken into service between 1950 and 1957 as NS class 600. On introduction, these locomotives were painted olive green; in the 1970s they were repainted into the then-current livery of yellow-and-grey.

The model was nicknamed 'Hippel' or 'Bakkie', and was equipped with flashing lights (first blue, later red) for improved visibility while crossing roads. NS class 600 served as a shunter locomotive on many Dutch railway yards, including the Port of Rotterdam. They were taken out of service in the early 2000s.

The LEGO version

With the 1980s grey-era design principles in mind, this is the design I came up with. The model is of equal length and height as 7760 and uses similar windows, ladders and shutters. The model uses a yellow-and-light-grey colour schema that was available in 1980, although it was used by LEGO only later on in 1985 for the wagon of 7735.

The diesel engine design inside the shutters was inspired by the engine of the 1986 Model Team 5580. The model is equipped with working front and back lights and has the yellow-and-black 7760 stickers applied to the light prism holders.

The NS logo stickers are available from Red connector rods would have been perfect, but they were only ever available in light grey.

Comparison to the original 7760

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