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Walthers Track Bumpers—Don’t Waste Your Money

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, December 13, 2021 10:10 AM

I have run full bore into a walthers bumper and only had a derailment but these were the one you build gel super glued in place.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, December 13, 2021 10:03 AM

riogrande5761

I picked up two Tomar bumpers some years back when a hobby shop went out of business along with a few other things.

Since I will need more, I'll probably go with the Peco Hayes bumpers.

 

I started out using the Altas bumpers but decided they looked too bulky and have used both the Walthers and Tomar bumpers. I really like the looks of the Tomar metal bumpers when they are weathered properly. As shown above, they need to be insulated. I've even used wheel stops in a few places. I can't remember but they might be Tomar products as well. No reason to limit oneself to one type of bumper.  

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Posted by tstage on Monday, December 13, 2021 12:24 AM

MisterBeasley
I never run any locomotive on any of my stub-end tracks at more than yard speed.  I also try very hard to have sidings flat and level, so I don't get runaways.  A gentle bump at the end of a track is all I ever expect, so a light adhesive suffices to hold a bumper in place.  I use the Walthers bumpers from the kit, so I assemble them myself, paint them and weather them, and I've never had one fall apart,, either.

I'm happy that my modified bumpers will handle both the light tap, as well as the runaway at full throttle - with no apparent harm to either locomotive or coupler.  Everyone has to decide what works best for them...

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, December 12, 2021 7:30 PM

I bought seven or eight Tomar bumpers about three years ago. I ordered code 70, and the packages all said code 70 on them. The rail was code 83. I hope they've fixed their packaging error by now...

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, December 12, 2021 4:12 PM

I never run any locomotive on any of my stub-end tracks at more than yard speed.  I also try very hard to have sidings flat and level, so I don't get runaways.  A gentle bump at the end of a track is all I ever expect, so a light adhesive suffices to hold a bumper in place.  I use the Walthers bumpers from the kit, so I assemble them myself, paint them and weather them, and I've never had one fall apart,, either.

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

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, December 12, 2021 2:53 PM

I picked up two Tomar bumpers some years back when a hobby shop went out of business along with a few other things.

Since I will need more, I'll probably go with the Peco Hayes bumpers.

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Posted by kasskaboose on Saturday, December 11, 2021 8:02 PM

My train mentor suggested using track ties put in an "X" shape at the end of each track in the yard.  Interestingly, I found this tread discussing track bumpers, and some also use unwanted rail ties: [Link to other forum thread removed by moderator because it violates current forum rules.]  Something to consider?

 

JPD
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Posted by JPD on Saturday, December 11, 2021 3:39 PM

I have now replaced all the Walther's bumpers with Tomar bumpers and are pleased with them. Now what to do with the Walther's bumber's. Would a railroad build bumpers a head of time, or purchase them from a manufacturer, and then ship them out in gondolas or in other cars? I just put them in a gondola and they look like a good load to carry, but is this accurate?

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, November 22, 2021 9:22 AM

JDawg
Once, a loco running at 130 smph smacked into to the plastic. The coupler off the loco and the bumper was a loss, but the 200$ plus loco was saved. I'll gladly sacrifice the bumper to save the loco.

Me too!

Back when I had my switching layout in the master bedroom, several times locomotives were saved from a trip to the floor by a sturdy bumper.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by JDawg on Monday, November 22, 2021 9:18 AM

I use peco 'hayes' track bumpers for my hiddenstaging. Once glued to the rails, they have the full strength of the plywood base behind them. They have saved a couple of runaway locomotives from "leaping"to the floor. Once, a loco running at 130 smph smacked into to the plastic. The coupler off the loco and the bumper was a loss, but the 200$ plus loco was saved. I'll gladly sacrifice the bumper to save the loco, not that I have to all that often. Wink

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, November 22, 2021 3:15 AM

Lastspikemike
I use an exacto knife to trim flashing or burrs off styrene. More accurate control.

Using an exacto knife to remove burrs is fine, that is unless the assembly that you are cleaning up has a tendency to collapse in your fingers as the OP's bumpers did. Using a file is much safer.

Dave

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, November 21, 2021 8:53 PM

Don't know about the RTR ones but the kit ones are fantastic, I gel super glued them in place after building, one took a real hit when I made a mistake thinking a track was dead and it was live, derailed a few cars which was better than hitting the floor but the bumper was no worse for the wear.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, November 21, 2021 8:10 PM

Lastspikemike
Et tu brute?

You really just don't get it... the OP was asking for help. This was not an invitation for you to aggravate additional people or spout off where you have no experience and should be quiet.

Mike, thank you for stating the facts.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, November 21, 2021 8:08 PM

JPD
I would not trust these bumpers to stop a locomotive going at a moderate speed from blasting through the bumper to the floor. 

JPD, 

Even though LSM likes to spout off about that which he does not know... the answer I provided you will be very effective at stopping a locomotive from blasting through a bumper and ending up on the floor.

If this is your primary concern, the Altas code 83 bumpers are very effective when fastened through to the subroadbed, and will stop a train.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, November 21, 2021 2:07 PM

I also use a couple of packs of the kit form Walthers bumpers.  They look and work fine.  They don't overpower a scene, but rather fit right in.

I do have a subway station on a dead-end track.  Since it's not visible, the station is wired with detectors to illuminate a LED when a subway train is in the station at the end.  Nevertheless, the very end of the track is a piece of foam rubber to protect the train and particularly its coupler if I should overrun the station.

 

 

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Posted by Water Level Route on Sunday, November 21, 2021 1:57 PM

Lastspikemike
Et tu brute?

Ah, but there was no betrayal, only a need for refocus and speaking to that which is true.

Lastspikemike
The OP had  bump stop disintegrate when stroked with a file. I'm fairly sure nailing it down wouldn't help. 

He did, but a Walthers one.  He was being offered an alternative with a way to make it robust.  I didn't see where he was told to nail down the Walthers one, did you?  

Lastspikemike
Thanks for the locomotive bogging down scenery tips.

Glad I could help you out.  Would hate to see you rely on one of the less than stellar choices with one of those beautiful Rapido engines.

Mike

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Posted by Water Level Route on Sunday, November 21, 2021 12:32 PM

Lastspikemike
rofl

More of your professional sarcasm?

Lastspikemike
The OP suggests that even nailing down one of these Walthers Hayes bumpers wouldn't work.

Did you even read his post?  He never said this.

Lastspikemike
I'm not sure nailing down an inappropriate passenger station bump stop is a reasonable method of preventing models leaving the layout.

Who said it's inappropriate?  Did the OP ever specify these would be used outside of a passenger facility?  What says these are passenger station specific anyway, outside of you guessing?

Lastspikemike
For locomotives it is pretty easy to just gap a rail

Completely agree.  Then again there's always the potential for momentum generated by flywheels (not to mention a keep alive like you mentioned) to carry them quite a distance.  You could counter that by gapping quite a length of track, but if you want to be able to run normally on that length of rail it defeats the purpose.

Lastspikemike
for most rolling stock a track bumper just marks the end of track for an operator

What??

Lastspikemike
More robust and realistic looking things like scenery would be a better and more reliable method. 

Yup.  Model lakes, parking lots, flat terrain, and roads stop trains cold. ConfusedMore specific would have been more helpful to the OP.

Mike

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, November 21, 2021 9:39 AM

tstage

 

 
Lastspikemike
Relying on these to stop models leaving the layout is not smart imho.

 

As is? - I would agree.  However, my reinforced version did stop (cold) an old Athearn BB F7 at runaway speed.  And there was no harm to either the F7 or the modified Hayes bumper after the test.

Tom

 

He is just disagreeing with me because that is all he knows how to do... it is sad.

The OP asked about stopping trains, and I showed a bumper that when, as I said, is nailed all the way into the subroadbed, atually will stop a powered train and prevent it from kissing the floor.

I was trying to help the OP with his desired goals. Lesser people just want to start low-information arguments.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by tstage on Sunday, November 21, 2021 9:27 AM

Lastspikemike
Relying on these to stop models leaving the layout is not smart imho.

As is? - I would agree.  However, my reinforced version did stop (cold) an old Athearn BB F7 at runaway speed.  And there was no harm to either the F7 or the modified Hayes bumper after the test.

Tom

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, November 21, 2021 9:06 AM

I purchased a pack of these years ago and haven't had the problems you have. I don't know if they are using cheaper plastic now to save money. It's also possible yours got damaged during handling somewhere along the line. If something were dropped on them, it could weaken the plastic. Mine are primarily for appearances. I find them to be more realistic looking than the bulky Atlas ones although I've used a few of those as well. I've also used the Tomar wheel stops in places. Whatever I think would look right in a particular location. 

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Posted by tstage on Sunday, November 21, 2021 8:47 AM

hon30critter
I think there may be a bit of confusion about exactly which Walthers track bumpers we are talking about. Several posters have referred to the Walthers track bumper kits ($14.98 for 12) that have been available for years. I believe the OP is referring to the newer Walthers preassembled track bumpers ($9.98 for 4). I have several of the kit version and, like others have said, they are pretty solid (assuming the right glue was used of course).

My suggestion to the OP would be to contact Walthers directly and tell them about his experience with the prebuilt bumpers. Walthers is generally not a company that sells junk. I'm sure they would want to know if a customer is experiencing problems with a product.

Dave

I did note the difference.  That's why I listed the different PN in my reply.

And I agree that contacting Walthers is a good suggestion.  How else are they going to know there is a possible issue with their product if no one says anything?

Tom

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Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, November 21, 2021 3:33 AM

hon30critter
I think there may be a bit of confusion about exactly which Walthers track bumpers we are talking about.

Good spotting Dave, cos I was going to say that I had no problem with my kit ones, Walthers Part # 933-3511
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

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Posted by NVSRR on Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:24 PM

 A prototype version. 

I have a bunch of new bumpers from walthers but havent tried them yet.  Will have to look tomorrow

 

SHane

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:16 PM

For a secure train-stopping bumper... it is hard to beat the Atlas "Code 83" bumper with four nails going all the way into the subroadbed.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, November 20, 2021 9:15 PM

I think there may be a bit of confusion about exactly which Walthers track bumpers we are talking about. Several posters have referred to the Walthers track bumper kits part #933-3511 ($14.98 for 12) that have been available for years. The OP is referring to the newer Walthers preassembled track bumpers part #948-83109 ($9.98 for 4). I have several of the kit version and, like others have said, they are pretty solid (assuming the right glue was used of course).

My suggestion to the OP would be to contact Walthers directly and tell them about his experience with the prebuilt bumpers. Walthers is generally not a company that sells junk. I'm sure they would want to know if a customer is experiencing problems with a product.

Dave

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, November 20, 2021 5:04 PM

This thread got me wondering about the status of bumpers on my layout, so I did a quick inventory, keeping in mind that there's two more towns, each with several industrial sidings, yet to be built.

The count revealed 19 Walthers bumpers in use, with another four stored in the crane yard at Lowbanks.  Most of the in-use ones are simply sitting at the ends of industrial sidings, not glued in place.

The Tuckett Tobacco factory, in Mount Forest, has a pair of cast-metal bolt-on types (not yet painted) at the end of the siding.  I have another two pairs of those on hand...

Here's one of the Walthers bumpers at GERN Industries...

...while it has a bit of ballast and ground cover stuck to it, it's simply sitting there, not glued in place.

Here's another one at GERN...

...it may or may not be cemented in-place, but it's likely that the scenic material heaped on part of it will keep it where it is.  There are 19 Walthers bumpers currently in service, plus another four stored at Lowbanks

Here are a couple places using the always-dependable heap of dirt and gravel as a bumper-stop...

...and there's another dozen in use on this layout.

Here's the four more spare Walthers bumpers in the crane yard behind the engine shop in Lowbanks, along with four from Peco...

I also have two pairs of cast-metal Hayes-style bumpers, not yet in use.

There are several places on my layout where careless operation might put cars on the ground, and a couple where it might put cars and/or locomotives on the floor.  Since I'm the sole operator, I'm also the sole repair guy...bin there, dun that.

Wayne

 

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Posted by snjroy on Saturday, November 20, 2021 3:54 PM

I bought two sets in kit form. Worked for me and the price is right.

Simon

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, November 20, 2021 3:38 PM

JPD

I do not want you thinking that I would purposefully run a train at high speed into any bumper. But I have grandchildren and visitors who might do so accidentally. I am not willing to risk my equipment on these flimsy bumpers.

In the past I used Tomar Industries Bumping Posts, they are a lot more expensive, but as they are made of soldered metal, they are strong and easy to install as long as you remember to isolate them from the rest of the track. I guess I was penny wise and pound foolish. 

I have to respectfully disagree. I have around two dozen of the Walthers bumping posts, and I love them. They are not as fragile as you indicate and when glued to the end the tracks, they perform well.

I started out some years back with Tomar Industries bumping posts but, as you say, they are way too expensive, especially if you need a lot of them. And, since they are conductive, you need to isolate them from the powered tracks. Kind of a pain.

Rich

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, November 20, 2021 3:36 PM

I bought a bunch of those bumpers when they first were available as kits. I found them to be rather robust.

In the places where I needed them to actually stop an errant car I drilled a small hole in the crossmember and used a long track spike to hold the bumper in place.

I did notice that when Walthers sourced their injection molding to countries in Asia, they began to use a very poor grade of styrene. Most of their earlier styrene Cornerstone kits were made in Denmark. I first noticed this when attempting to glue parts from their refinery piping kit. I'll bet the styrene is loaded with more recycled junk.

https://www.walthers.com/track-bumpers-4-pack-kit-brown

If you are truly looking for something to STOP the movement of trains past a certain point you'd be best served by making your own and drilling into the sub roadbed for secure anchorage.

 Bumper_Stop-Timber by Edmund, on Flickr

These days I'm looking for more for appearance than functionality. I like the looks of the Peco Hayes bumper:

 Hays_2 by Edmund, on Flickr

 Chem_pave1 by Edmund, on Flickr

These won't stand up to anything more than a light tap, though.

Good Luck, Ed

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