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Small lights for engines

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  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Libby, MT
  • 79 posts
Small lights for engines
Posted by ctclibby on Sunday, November 22, 2020 9:29 AM

Hi All

Have been thinking on installing SMD Leds on some of my diesels. I currently model pre 1980 stuff and would use soft white which to me mimic's incandescent bulbs somewhat. A little more yellow would be better, so paint or stain may be in order. I do not know what they are called and are probably used for safety sake.

I have looked at a bunch of prototype night shots for examples although there does not seem to be a standard of what to put where. Note that those pix were not dated, so I have no idea if they were there or not way back when.

From what I have found so far, there are lights just above the leading truck facing down illuminating the truck and nearby area, yet none on the trailing truck. Also, there seem to be lights on the front and rear at the top of the body corners along with the middle of the front and back porch close to the deck. Step lights are on a few.

Does anybody know if SD/GP9's or 40's had these lights in my time frame? Sure, I know that it is my railroad and I can do what I wish. Just want to keep somewhat prototypical if possible.

Thanks!

Todd Hackett

 Libby, Montana 59923

 I take only pictures then leave footprints on railroad property that I know is not mine, although I treat it as such...

  • Member since
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  • From: Canada
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Posted by cv_acr on Sunday, November 22, 2020 11:03 AM

ctclibby

From what I have found so far, there are lights just above the leading truck facing down illuminating the truck and nearby area, yet none on the trailing truck.

 

Ground lights. Actually the key detail of this light is that it's under the CAB, so the engineer can look down and visually confirm that the engine is actually moving at night and not just spinning wheels when trying to pull something at slow speed.

This is why there's never one on the trailing truck...

 

ctclibby

Also, there seem to be lights on the front and rear at the top of the body corners along

 

Classification lights. These display white or green signals at night to indicate whether a train is operating as an extra or in multiple sections under timetable and train orders operating rules.

White flags (by day)/lights (by night) - train is operating as an "extra", not on the timetable, authorized by train order.

Green flags (by day)/lights (by night) - regular train with additional "section(s)" authorized under the same timetable schedule following behind. The last "section" of a regular train displays no signals. (If there's only one train, then the first section is also obviously the "last" section, and displays no signals.)

  • Member since
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  • From: Libby, MT
  • 79 posts
Posted by ctclibby on Sunday, November 22, 2020 3:11 PM
Thanks Chris Light under the cab makes complete sense. Classification lights didn't even dawn on me....have them working on my cabeese too. Any idea as to time frames when ground lights started to show up? todh

Todd Hackett

 Libby, Montana 59923

 I take only pictures then leave footprints on railroad property that I know is not mine, although I treat it as such...

  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 11,121 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, November 22, 2020 3:21 PM

Yes, I've seen those "fan-shaped" lights used on the early Geeps and SDs. Some roads that had MU end steps added these lights there, too. I've seen the step lights on some units, not on others.

 WM_195 by Edmund, on Flickr

When the "pointy" hood ends came along it seems EMD came up with several designs to set the end platform light into a "cutout" and others had slotted light lenses on either side of the prow.

 ATSF_3223 by Edmund, on Flickr

The early Geeps and SDs with the flattened nose has just the small "dot" for illumination.

 MEC_564_Portland_2-70 by Edmund, on Flickr

 

I've seen a few roads use those fan-shaped lamps mounted high on the hood sides so they illuminated the walkways and some of the engine room doors, too. 

The lighting options seem to be road-specific so working from photos is your best bet.

Good Luck, Ed

  • Member since
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  • From: Yorkton, Sk, Cnd
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Posted by wvg_ca on Sunday, November 22, 2020 5:03 PM

a little wipe of Tamiya clear / translucent yellow or amber will give a more realistic look to SMDs

  • Member since
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  • From: Canada
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Posted by cv_acr on Sunday, November 22, 2020 10:05 PM

ctclibby
Thanks Chris Light under the cab makes complete sense. Classification lights didn't even dawn on me....have them working on my cabeese too. 

Caboose lights are Markers, not classification lights.

Classification lights are the white/green signals displayed on the lead loco per timetable/train order rules above.

Markers are the train's "tail lights" and (generally) display red to the rear.

Note - the rulebook definition of a "train" is engine(s), with or without cars, with markers attached. i.e. it's not legally a complete train without some sort of marker. (A red flag or light hung on the rear coupler will do in a pinch.)

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  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Monday, November 23, 2020 12:28 PM

ctclibby
Have been thinking on installing SMD Leds on some of my diesels.

Even small LEDs will create a lot more light than would be needed for ground lights, so you'll need to limit the power they'll receive.

These warm white small LEDs, from BC Robotics emit enough light, even with resistors installed...

...to illuminate this back-up light...

I don't think these are actually considered to be ground lights (perhaps more for safety at in-plant crossings), but all locos at this company had them, as this long exposure night-time view shows...

Wayne

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