Model Train Delivers Fresh Coffee

Model trains are good fun, though few of them serve any purpose beyond amusement or authentic railway simulation. [ProjectAir] decided to put his model train to practical use by having it deliver fresh espresso, and faced plenty of difficult challenges along the way.

It sounds simple, but the practicalities of the task proved difficult. After all, even a slight wobble is enough to tip a coffee cup off a small train. Automating everything from the railway itself to the kitchen coffee machine was no mean feat either. Plus, the aim was to deliver coffee from a downstairs kitchen up to an upstairs office. This meant finding a way to get the train to climb a steep staircase and to carry the coffee over a 20-meter journey without losing the caffeinated beverage in the process. That required the construction of a fancy train elevator to do the job — an impressive accomplishment on its own.

The final system is a joy to watch. Having a train roll into the upstairs workshop with a fresh brew certainly beats having to go all the way downstairs for a cup. Just don’t think about the fact that moving the coffee machine upstairs might have been a quicker solution.

25 thoughts on “Model Train Delivers Fresh Coffee

  1. What fun, and definitely an achievement doing it 00. Reminds me of the old model railway that used to be at the bottom end of Interlarken West Station. That had a fabulous 0m gauge model railway, and a cafe that served everything by model train.

    1. With respect, I rather doubt the inspiration came from a somewhat obscure Czech film from the 1970s. If a film was involved, the Wallace and Gromit film “The Wrong Trousers” seems like a more probable source. A model train set is famously featured in that film, and is used as a delivery vehicle.

    1. This was my annoyance as well. It seems like it was something never designed to actually be kept up let alone used.

      The train delivery mechanism is a fun idea but why does it have to be so obviously short term. Put the train somewhere it can exist long term, use some kind of tank car to deliver the coffee with a spigot. Things can be fun/artsy and practical. Artsy things that get torn down and never used just feel so wasteful.

      1. This wasn’t inspired by the inventor from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, was it? He’d built a Rube Goldberg machine to deliver cooked breakfast to the table in the morning, including juice, toast, and a pair of fried eggs for each person.

  2. Great job – on idea is us a power reducer for your 12volts supply, instead of using the lego gear system. I use these (there are several different models and they are cheap). You can regulate the voltage easily, espec. if you want to raise or lower the speed of your elevator. John – Havelock NC USA

  3. Here in Australia, a Fast Sushi franchise,
    ” Sushi Train” has been using LGB G gauge Locomotives ( Steam and Diesel ) with Flat Cars to deliver saucer size plates with Sushi Selections around a oval Preparation Island, with Clients seated around Outside Oval Track.
    Been in operation for some 15-20 years.

  4. LONG time ago I remember being in a Diner somewhere long lost in memory as to where it was, that had a model train running around delivering people meals to their tables. The owner or cook or whomever was responsible, apparently loved these, and built the inside to make it so that each table was served this way, trains and whistles everywhere with bridges and everything that went along with a model train, it was SO cool ! Diesel models and steamers too, passenger and mixed freighters. Served items were loaded on flatbed cars. My granddad was a railroader for 43 years when he retired from the BNSF, and I lived with him for many years so trains were a big part of my life. He was a well traveled man and knew all the places that had stuff like this around the country and made it point to take me as a child and show me this stuff. How I miss him.

  5. We had may still here a Pizza King with drinks by rail since 70-80’s time. The train ran in a plexi enclosure along the wall with magnet reed switches on the table service doors. I assume this made it safe from intervention, the train would stop if a door was open. It was the bigger gage not HO, the 3 rails stuff I had when I was quite young.

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