Those yellow flashing lights on engines

Forgive me but I have a question on engine lights. I noticed that some modern-era model engines have a yellowish-orange flashing light on the roof. It looks somewhat like an orange flashing light that you might see on top of a van or truck that's out doing electrical or road maintenance work. I think school busses have them now too, but they are more of a brilliant white color.

So here are my questions:

  1. What is this type of light used on these engines called?
  2. Are there specific engine operating rules for using this light (i.e. is to be lit at all times or only when the engine is in motion, in yard switching operations, etc).
  3. If multiple engines are joined together in a train, should all of the engines in the consist have this light on?

I have never seen this orange light on real engines, but unfortunately, I don't see too many engines in these parts.


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Same answers as the last time you posted...

Reply to
Big Rich Soprano

No, not necessarily the same answers. There are numerous categories of flashing lights on the tops of engines. Strobe lights were previously mentioned but my first thought was "rotary beacon" although I wouldn't classify them as "modern". Railroads such as the CNW (rest in peace) used these extensively on both freight and passenger engines. They were also used on the cab cars of their bi-level commuter trains when the engine was in the "push" mode of operation.

If you want to model these beacons you'll need specific electronics to mimic the flash pattern. Many DCC decoders provide this feature and are best used with a bulb rather than an LED. There are non-DCC solutions available from companies such as Richmond Controls. You'll want to "dress up" the bulb with a rotary beacon casting such as the one from Details West (#106).

Reply to
Chuck Stancil (Logic Rail Tech)

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