When boys grow up, their Matchbox, Gameboy and Lego normally end up in the attic of the parental home. Bence Gerlicky, a 17-year-old at high school, may be almost grown up but he has never really given up his passion for Lego, and is building detailed models of iconic public transport vehicles from the little plastic blocks. His masterpiece is a sleek yellow CAF tram, as seen in Budapest.
Gerlicky spent almost 180 hours creating the almost two metres long Lego model tram. This includes the extensive planning phase that needed to be done before the actual work began. Obviously there were no prepared building instructions and he had to find out with the sweat of his own brow how many and which blocks he needed for what.
Finally he used 10,000 blocks, of which 9000 were regular Lego blocks, to build the true-to-scale replica of the CAF Urbos 3 tram. Gerlicky had to build some of the parts himself in order to replicate each detail, from the power supply to the interior of the vehicle.
The final cost, not including man-hours, was HUF 300,000-350,000.
The shiny yellow Urbos vehicles manufactured by the Basque producer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) are the newest horses in the stable of the Budapest Transportation Centre (BKK). Financed by EU funds, they began to replace the trams commuting on lines 1, 3, 17 and 19, which had been ready for museums for a long time.
When BKK found out about the young Lego architect’s craft project, they offered their support and invited him to visit the trams in the service park, and even provided him with the tram blueprints.
Gerlicky finally unveiled his work at the BKK headquarters in November, where BKK director Dr. Kálmán Dabóczi congratulated the student personally. Dabóczi took the opportunity to announce that BKK is inviting all creative young people to participate in its competition to build Lego versions of iconic urban transportation vehicles, such as the trolley buses or the historic Földalatti.
The best works will receive a prize and be added to the collection exhibited at the Transportation Museum.
Gerlicky is already working on his next project, to build an Alstom metro train as used on lines M2 and M4 in Budapest. Finally, the young man wants to accept a dare and build the tram model KCSVB-6, which will be transporting passengers on the streets of Debrecen soon.
His true-to-scale Lego CAF tram was on display in the main building of the Budapest Transportation Centre and now this small masterpiece is on permanent display in the Budapest Transportation Museum.