7822 - Railway Station
In 1980, the LEGO Train line was refreshed and re-launched into what has become known as the grey era. Among the many supplemental sets was this beautiful railway station.
Every train layout needs a main railway station, and this one is big. It is somewhat unusual in that it uses lots of grey 6x28 plates instead of regular baseplates. It has entry steps, a ticket office, a waiting area, luggage doors, and a huge bridge crossing the track to a second platform, an idea later reused in set 7937 from 2010.
The design style is somewhat similar to the bus station 379, and combining these two sets looks pretty good. In fact, my guess is that LEGO started this set as an experiment somewhere in 1978/1979, trying to adapt the existing railway station sets to the new minifigs (which were introduced in 1978). This would make 7822 to be the very first design for what is now know as the grey era. There are several clues for this theory, including:
For all sets, the grey era catalogues and booklets always and without variation feature the A-models only. The single exception to this rule is this set 7822, which is more than once represented by alternative builds, including the B-model (here, here and here) and other variations (like this one and this one in the background). The 1980 main diorama even contains 2 variations without displaying the A-model. LEGO must have been considering these alternative designs, settling on the final A-model 7822 only just before the release of the grey era.
The set somehow looks more 1970s than 1980s. The overall design, the unusual use of the 6x28 plates as base plates, the black row of bricks underneath the roof of the main building, and details like the sticker of the clock and the translucent "station" brick, have a lot in common with sets like 148 from 1975 and 379 from 1979.
Also, the design of the benches, with a full brick underneath in a different color as the chairs differs substantially from the benches on the platforms of sets 7710 and 7740, which are open underneath and in the same color.
The instructions booklet of 7822 is the only booklet of the grey era not to use the silvery grey color on the title page.
Railway station 7822 was available from 1980 to 1982, and was succeeded in 1983 by railway station 7824.
This B-model of the 7822 railways station is not an actual B-model as it is not included in the instructions. But as it is featured not only on the back of the box but also in several publications (here, here and here), it is presented here anyway. The model comes with entry steps, a luggage hall, a shelter on the platform, and an upstairs waiting room.
Packaging (3D scan)
click to view the 3D scan