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What would tempt me is an A4 Class like the Mallard.
Unless they do an electric powered loco (like the croc engine) I'm guessing they are back to an old steam loco.
LEGO could do a lot worse than put out something similar to Carl Greatrix' superb Mallard model below....
I would like to "one up" that by suggest that Lego put out an Expert Hogwarts Express. A new movie in the works and with the success of Harry Potter World at Universal Studios; I think it would be a must have for EVERYONE!!!
Or maybe something with a funky wheel arrangement like a Mallet or Garratt type. Added benefit would be that these are better at navigating the narrow Lego curves.
A Big Boy like this would be amazing.
If they do or do not do a steamer I doubt it will be because #79111 was out.
But...it was just a suggestion as are all of yours. I am not a huge steam engine fan. I am more a modern train guy, but I like the Emerald Night.
This is absolutely one of my favorite themes, even though finding space to display them, let alone run them is a huge chore. Nevertheless, whenever we have kids over (and especially boys) they ALWAYS gravitate toward the trains I have set up. That's a pretty universal thing as the #4563 Load and Haul Railroad I had as a kid was my absolute most played with set. (Amazingly I found that I never applied the stickers for that as a kid...I hated them even then!)
I don't know what the next train will be, but I know I'll buy it. The addiction is strong with this one...
As you know, the railroad was a huge reason why the North won the Civil War. I know you would absolutely love a Civil War era Steam Engine.
I want a really futuristic or at least modern train. Maybe something like a Japanese bullet train. Oh, and I want it to have doors, so minifigures don't have to lift the roof off everytime they want to board the train.
And forget the Civil War era steam engine, I just want one of these bad boys!
A classic steamer would be my pick too, just not another Hogwarts please.
As for what could realistically be coming next, a trolley/cablecar would be welcome.
I was going to suggest that. Maybe a little Polar Express action?!!!
I know that a Winter Village train is massively unlikely after the Holiday train but I'd love something that looks fitting with the Winter Village, so either a nice Red or Green Steam engine would suit me down to the ground.
Of course they could just do the train on it's own, but I think if they didn't include power functions they'll get the same level of criticism they had this year over the size of the Santa's workshop set. If they include power functions I can imagine a lot of complaining about the cost.
-slightly off topic but carrying on thoughts-
After 2 years of fairly heavily critised sets for the Winter Village theme I image that next year they will probably aim for something a bit 'safer' in being more traditional for a Christmas Village. I think probably an eatery of some sort, most likely a Cafe/Coffee Shop, I'd love to get a Winter Village Tavern, even if they have to call it Winter Village Inn to avoid the alcohol focus and make it more of a B&B but I'm not holding out hope.
-back on topic
It's nice to think there might be a pattern and that would mean a steam train is most likely, but to be honest I think we often look for patterns in what TLG do that aren't there.