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Walthers Track Bumpers—Don’t Waste Your Money

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JPD
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Walthers Track Bumpers—Don’t Waste Your Money
Posted by JPD on Saturday, November 20, 2021 1:25 PM

Yesterday I received the Walthers Track Bumpers, part 948-83109, I had ordered. I went to install them today. I noticed a burr on the top of all of them. I took a small file and with the first stroke, and it was not a hard stroke, the bumper fell apart. I tried gluing it back with SuperGlue, but it would not hold. I then tried using Plastruct Bondene and it would also not hold. I tried gluing another one to the track ties and it would not hold. I do not know what kind of plastic this is, but whatever it is it is flimsy and does not handle glue well. I would not trust these bumpers to stop a locomotive going at a moderate speed from blasting through the bumper to the floor. 

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.

 

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Posted by selector on Saturday, November 20, 2021 3:10 PM

I recently purchased a package of those, or I think it's the same ones.  I will be assembling them soon.  I guess maybe something like Parr adhesive/sealant should work, or maybe Aleene's Tacky Glue.  But, if they don't stand up well, they're kinda useless.

In years past I have crafted the often seen timber and gravel ramps or bumpers.

 

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, November 20, 2021 3:25 PM

JPD,

15 or so years ago I picked up the 12-pk kit of the unpainted Walthers track bumpers (PN 933-3511) and assembled them with Testor Liquid Cement.  (Plastruct Plastic Well would be a better choice.)  Using CA, I reinforced the bottom side with two strips of 10x10 scale lumber (so that they fit in-between the ties) and they actually work and work quite well.  They are also removable:

I used a Athearn BB F7 as my test locomotive and it stopped it cold at runaway speed.  If you're interested I have a how-to tutorial for making them working bumpers.

Tom

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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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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 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 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 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 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

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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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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An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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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

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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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 Lastspikemike on Sunday, November 21, 2021 8:55 AM

SeeYou190

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

 

Aren't these modelling a particular railroad specific type of passenger station end of track hydraulic or spring bumper? I use them clipped in only and they work to arrest a rolling car but not a powered locomotive. They look out of place anywhere outside a passenger car facility. Once our layout starts getting scenicked they're gonzo.

A freight yard prototype track bumper will not stop a locomotive and probably not a string of cars. The Hayes or the cast iron rail stops are surely for only low speed rolling freight cars. 

I have all four types and would not rely on any of them to arrest a model on its way to the edge of the layout. I just bought a pack of the Walthers preassembled units. I find the kit version uninspiring to build. I have one Peco version not yet assembled. Neither of my layouts is far enough along to need these yet. Woodland Scenics Foam nails (large T pins) work very well. In fact an ordinary dress makers pin partially stuck into the roadbed between the rails is effective enough practically speaking.  

Relying on these to stop models leaving the layout is not smart imho. Scenery appropriately constructed or physical barriers such as acrylic or hardboard at table edge will work 100% of the time. 

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

Alyth Yard

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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 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

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

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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

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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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, November 21, 2021 10:50 AM

SeeYou190

 

 
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

 

rofl.

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

I'm not sure nailing down an inappropriate passenger station bump stop is a reasonable method of preventing models leaving the layout. For locomotives it is pretty easy to just gap a rail....for most rolling stock a track bumper just marks the end of track for an operator. More robust and realistic looking things like scenery would be a better and more reliable method. 

Edge of layout physical barriers are fine because our layout has to end somewhere. 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, November 21, 2021 10:51 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

 

So does a gap in one rail,

unless you had fit a keepalive of course....

Alyth Yard

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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 Lastspikemike on Sunday, November 21, 2021 12:43 PM

Et tu brute?

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

Thanks for the locomotive bogging down scenery tips.

The post about the Atlas bumpers was just friendly banter with my forum buddy who always descends into the pit eventually. I infer it's just a personality problem.

Alyth Yard

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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 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.

 

 

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

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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

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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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

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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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 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 Lastspikemike on Monday, November 22, 2021 8:36 AM

hon30critter

 

 
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

 

I find that the knife method has the advantage of confining the force needed to trim off the flashing to the balancing force resulting from the need to hold that piece of the model in your hand. Safety automatically requires that you use just enough force to trim off the plastic. Filing is a different process and most often you cannot balance the required force. 

It may be that even using just a knife will cause the model to break. I have noticed plastic bits falling off models recently. These bits seem to have been glued with just a spot of CA instead of a solvent type cement we would more likely use to assemble styrene.

Not sure if that explains the separation of parts but I use plastic solvent glue to repair these. I used solvent glue to build a Walthers Hayes bumper but I haven't tested it yet for robustness. 

Alyth Yard

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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

JJF


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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

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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