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Thread: A common mistake in US diesel locomotive lighting specifications?

  1. #1

    Default A common mistake in US diesel locomotive lighting specifications?

    I believe that a widespread error has perpetuated itself in many US diesel locomotive sim models--particularly those from SLI/TrainSimulations and often copied into other payware and freeware models. It is this--and if anyone can document that I'm incorrect, I'm OK with that, too: I have yet to see a prototypical photo of a recent generation EMD or GE US locomotive (for, say, the last 25 years or more) that shows a locomotive with a rear truck light. Note that the major purpose of the "truck light" is not to illuminate the truck, but to allow the engineer or conductor to be able to see the ground at night to determine if a locomotive is moving or not.

    I have been removing the rear truck lights from my locomotives as I find them, as I don't believe that they are accurate and it also reduces the light count per locomotive by 2. Again, if anyone can point me to photo evidence that I'm incorrect, I would welcome it. I've looked at hundreds of prototype locomotive photos, however, and I've yet to see evidence of rear truck lights.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Hanover Park, Il., USA.


    I railfan a lot, and see all the major and many small railroads here, and aside from the Metra Engines, don't believe I ever see them on the freight power. I have been removing any .eng entry that has them as well for quite some time.

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    I just looked at a lot of photos. They do seem to only be the on the front truck except if it is an end cab switcher such as a SW1200. Then it is on the rear truck only. I don't think it is just for the engineer since most of the units I looked at also had them on the fireman side too. I know that most of the units I looked at were not equipped with dual control stands.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SW MO


    It's been a while since I worked for a railroad (1986) but I remember step lights on all four corners of all engines and lights on the ends of the hoods lighting up the passage between engines (drop steps).
    These lights weren't controlled. If the engine was running the lights were on.
    Covered wagons (f-units) also had engine room lights on all of the time.
    The toilet light was on all of the time too.
    Safety First.


  5. #5


    Step lights are on all four corners. Truck lights are on the conductor's (fireman's) side and engineer side, almost always ONLY on the front.

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