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Lighted Track Bumpers

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  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Tampa, Florida
  • 1,480 posts
Lighted Track Bumpers
Posted by cedarwoodron on Friday, October 16, 2020 12:48 PM

I have a 2 track Walthers engine house and wanted to put bumpers at the track ends. Many of us have the old Atlas track bumpers or the similar Life Like ones. They look nice but I have read that they are "unrealistic" in appearance. 

So...I took 2 atlas code 100 bumpers and removed the attached track also cutting off the excess plastic track at the front end of the bumper platform as well as narrowing the sides to fit within the track where they were going to be located. I smoothed the cuts with 400 wet/dry paper. There is a video on YouTube about lighting track bumpers using 560 ohm resistors and 3 MM leds of various sorts. I used 5mm flat top LEDs with an internal conical diffuser at the top and 1000 ohm resistors. I glued a 7/32 styrene tube in the rear hole at the top of the bumper, recessed 1/32 which enables the 5mm led to seat proud of the hole yet allowing for gluing in place. Each led lead is soldered to  either rail and is lit by track current. I painted ( before soldering) the bumper safety yellow and printed a very small "caution" decal to place on either side of the bumper. The bumper was then glued to the track ties.

Now, that old unrealistic bumper looks a lot more credible!!!!

Cedarwoodron

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Good ol' USA
  • 9,411 posts
Posted by AntonioFP45 on Saturday, October 17, 2020 8:05 AM

Cedarwoodron,

that sounds intringuinly cool!

Years back, on my former shelf layout, I used the 70's era Atlas track bumpers and I think that I still may have them boxed up in my closet.

Can you post photos?

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,311 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, October 17, 2020 9:38 AM

I'm sure there are prototype examples of lighted bumpers, but they still seem very Lionel-like to me.  Inside an engine house, I would go for overhead lights and bumpers painted yellow or safety orange.

I had a subway station that I really couldn't see into, so I used magnetic relays to light LEDs on the control panel when the subway train was at the end of the track.  I used strips of soft foam to protect the end walls and the trains in case I over ran a bit.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 9,545 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, October 17, 2020 9:41 AM

I would love to see a photo of the finished result.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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