Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

1950's era yard lights?

6939 views
17 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,159 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, February 6, 2014 9:52 PM

tgindy:

Thanks very much for the links!

The first video was interesting. The LEDs that were formed into the loop shape certainly are close to the early yard lights in the Altoona photos. I'll have to think about those lights. They may be from an era that is earlier than I am modelling but thats OK! I hadn't seen the loop style lights before, at least as far as I can remember.

The second video was a very interesting exercise in using what's leftover from other projects. I am making my own signals and I have already acquired all the poles, ladders and platforms that I need from Tomar, but the suggestion to not throw anything away is good.

I went through all of the 579 photos from the Altoona yards and area. I saw a couple of examples of yard lights from the early diesel era but they weren't quite what I had in mind. There were certainly lots of examples of the earlier hoop style lights.

Much appreciated! The old photos were really entertaining!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    May 2005
  • From: Westcentral Pennsylvania (Johnstown)
  • 1,496 posts
Posted by tgindy on Thursday, February 6, 2014 12:12 PM

hon30critter

It has always been my intention to make my own from scratch. I was just looking to see if there was anything out there that would give me an idea of what they should look like.

Our OO friends in the United Kingdom do good work:

Scratchbuilding yard lights for OO Guage

How to Scratch Build Model Railway Yard Lamps from Scrap

Pennsylvania Railroad Photographs have some historical pictures, if you take the time to look for them, at the Altoona and Harrisburg Yards.  The circular light (top) fixture outlined in the 2nd YouTube video above is protypical here in "the states."

Conemaugh Road & Traction circa 1956

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,159 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 11:22 PM

hobo9941:

It has always been my intention to make my own from scratch. I was just looking to see if there was anything out there that would give me an idea of what they should look like. As you say, there doesn't seem to be a lot out there in the way of lighting for smaller yards, but tstage's single pole lights are close to what I want.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • 993 posts
Posted by hobo9941 on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 9:59 PM

There's just not a lot of choices available for what you want. You will probably have to make your own, using some of the available shaded lights, and a pole of your own making..

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,159 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 7:06 PM

Cedarwoodron:

My search turned up very little as well but thanks for taking the time.

I'm sure the Tyco models were based on prototypes but my challenge is that I want relatively even lighting over the service facility and parts of the yard like the RIP track and the caboose service area. The steel towers are on the tall side and I suspect that LEDs mounted in them would not cast much light at track level. I want to use LEDs so I can reduce the size of the lamps themselves to something more realistic than the Tyco units. Even if the LEDs did cast enough light, it would require several towers to cover the areas I want lit. That would not be realistic based on what I have seen. Prototypical towers apparently covered large areas.

Having said that, I am now considering a couple of towers for the yard itself where I had not planned on using the single poles. One at either end of the yard pointing towards the center of the yard would probably look OK and be more realistic, even if they don't cast a lot of light. Fitting them in might be a challenge. given the current track plan.

Thanks for your input everyone! You have helped my wee mind focus.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Tampa, Florida
  • 1,481 posts
Posted by cedarwoodron on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 6:37 AM

Dave: I just did a search on both Google and Bing images for older outside industrial lighting and did not find a great deal of anything. The model light towers- a la the 1965 Tyco ad referenced above- would have probably been designed from real- world analogues back then. certainly, such styles could have been made earlier in the 1950s as well, as microwave towers from the 1950s appeared to be of similar construction.

 

Cedarwoodron

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,159 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 12:27 AM

Tom:

Thanks for the close up shot. The scored styrene does indeed look very realistic.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

Moderator
  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
  • 16,590 posts
Posted by tstage on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 11:58 PM

You're very welcome, Dave.  Here's a pic of a single pole I scratchbuilt a couple of years ago.

I really like how well the razor saw technique works for creating the grooves in the styrene to simulate a weathered pole.

Granted the 1.7mm incandescent bulbs are a bit oversized.  The 1.2mm look better and more realisitc but I could never get a consistent diffused beam with bulbs that small.  Some bulbs were fine; others cast the light in a concentrated crescent shape.

Maybe those warm SMT LEDs would work better in this situation.  At least with the incandescents you can dial down the voltage (e.g. 50%-55% max.) so that they will last longer.

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,159 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 11:04 PM

Dave Nelson:

Thanks for the link to the Tyco catalogue.

For some reason I have it in my mind that steel towers would only be used in large yards so the Tyco ones don't appeal to me. The size of the lights themselves also seem to be way out of scale, in fact if I can be honest, nothing looks more toy like to me than those light towers. No offense intended Dave!

I think I am leaning towards something close to Tom's (tstage) single pole lights.

Dave

P.S. I just finished cutting the parts for 48 street light poles - four pieces per light pole. Now I have to get out the soldering iron! It has reminded me of how incredibly boring assembly line work is.

 

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    March 2002
  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
  • 11,145 posts
Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 9:01 PM

For several years the Tyco catalog - yes, Tyco -- showed a choice of industrial/yard type lights that I recall even some very serious modelers used on their layouts.

They'd now be swap meet items and I cannot say they are commonly encountered.

You can see them in this page from the 1965 catalog:

http://www.hoseeker.net/tycoinformation/tycocatalog1965pg01.jpg

Dave Nelson

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 6:53 PM

A purchased a DVD recently that shows the Rio Grande yard in Minturn, Colorado just before Uniion Pacific closed down the Tennessee Pass route.  A yard light tower at one end appears to be 100 feet tall, if not more!

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,159 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 12:42 AM

I just found the recently posted pictures of Tom's (tstage) yard lights which I couldn't find when I first posted the thread. They were right under my nose had I bothered to go back and read his post carefully!Dunce

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com/id44.html

That is close to what I want but I would still like to see other options if anyone has anything to offer.

Tom: Thanks for the very clear instructions!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,159 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, February 3, 2014 10:31 PM

Hobo9941:

Thanks. I have seen those lights. My problem is that they are too big for the size of my yard and service facilities. I am modelling a small yard and a small service facility so your lights would be out of proportion to the rest of the details in the yards. They suggest (at least in my mind) a much larger operation.

What I have in my mind is a glorified street light - taller then the regular street lights of the 1950's, and perhaps with two lights. Before I fudge the lights I thought I would see what was out there in the real world and what other modellers have done. One goal of mine is to operate at night so I want several lights to generally illuminate the service/yard facilities. Putting several of the large towers in would be distracting IMO.

Anyhow, thanks for your response.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,159 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, February 3, 2014 10:10 PM

Dave:

The light tower is impressive but it is way too big for the size of my yard and service facilities.

Thanks

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2002
  • From: Jersey City
  • 1,925 posts
Posted by steemtrayn on Monday, February 3, 2014 9:56 PM

https://maps.google.com/maps/svpw?url=https:%2F%2Fmaps.google.com%2F%3Fie%3DUTF8%26ll%3D40.735007,-74.03896%26spn%3D0.001681,0.002626%26t%3Dh%26z%3D19%26vpsrc%3D6%26layer%3Dc%26cbll%3D40.73491,-74.038975%26panoid%3DDiTBDFnc1E9anQzLp0nBXA%26cbp%3D12,303.86,,0,-20.4%26output%3Dembed&hl=en&gl=us

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • 993 posts
Posted by hobo9941 on Monday, February 3, 2014 9:11 PM

You can still find these yard lights often in the Walthers sale flyers. I have one on each end of a double ended yard. They are available in single and double heads.

Engine service lights. Sorry the photos are blurry. Photography isn't my thing.

  • Member since
    December 2007
  • 993 posts
Posted by hobo9941 on Monday, February 3, 2014 9:07 PM

 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 14,159 posts
1950's era yard lights?
Posted by hon30critter on Monday, February 3, 2014 2:06 AM

Hi everyone:

Does anyone have pictures of typical 1950's switching yard or engine service facility lights? I know that someone just posted a picture of their scratch built yard lights but I haven't been able to find the post. I am currently building a bunch of street lights and I thought I might as well do the yard lights at the same time.

Thanks

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!