My Nerd Sense is Tingling, Part Two

Shipping Containers

I'm not a huge math nut, but I do dabble in the numerical arts from time to time.

The Maersk train set, #10219, contains shipping containers larger than any official LEGO containers to date.  I remember it caused quite a stir among the 6-wide crowd at the time.

Well in my new job I have a lot of exposure to shipping containers, so I've learned alot about them.

The #10219 containers are 6x16 and are 5 and 2/3 bricks tall, with an extra plate on top and bottom for connecting them to other containers.

A typical 20 foot container is 8'x20'x8.5'.

8 wide Trains, as I build them, are about 1:48 scale, and I use a rule of thumb of 8 studs to 10 feet.

Multiplying it out, 8' wide becomes 6.4 studs.  Close enough to 6 studs for me.  20' long becomes 16 studs exactly.  8.5' becomes 6.8 studs tall, and when converted to brick height, knowing that bricks have a 5 bricks to 6 studs height ratio, becomes 5.66 bricks tall, or 5 and 2/3 bricks.

Meaning that LEGO has made their new shipping containers almost exactly 8-wide scale (as far as I build, anyway).  That isn't to say that those who have decided to go other routes are doing it wrong.  I just find this to be incredibly fascinating (if not completely nerdy).

For the curious, here's a handy conversion table:

  Feet Studs Bricks
Size/Type Length Width Height Length Width Height
20' Dry Van 19' 10 1/2" 8' 8' 6" 16 6
5 2/3
40' Dry Van 40' 8' 8' 6" 32
6
5 2/3
40' High Cube 40' 8' 9' 6" 32
6
6 1/3
45 ' High Cube 45' 8' 9' 6" 36
6
6 1/3
20' Refrigerated 19'10 1/2" 8' 8' 6" 16
6
5 2/3
40' Refrigerated 40' 8' 8' 6" 32
6
5 2/3
40' HC Refrigerated 40' 8' 9' 6" 32
6
6 1/3

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3 Comments

  1. Dominic Perna May 17, 2012 at 10:49PM

    like you, i love intermodal but the line that i personally like is CSX

  2. Marc Lawrence May 18, 2012 at 5:58AM

    Ooh thanks., This saves me some conversion time as I was planning the similar things this summer.

  3. Steve Jackson December 22, 2012 at 8:46AM

    Aha. I knew this thread was here SOMEWHERE.

    I just built the TTX double-stack set 10170, plus a couple of custom containers, and tomorrow it will get to run around the track at the meeting. It's neat - 20.5 inches long. I'm now working on the Maersk. So another addition to the project list: try to hack the TTX up to 8-wide and build new containers. Thanks for the conversions, Tony!

    (So an 8-wide one would be in the neighborhood of two feet of car.)

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