I purchased an MTH PRR Operating Handcar (seen here: http://www.mthtrains.com/content/30-2574  and I (and my 2 year old son) love it.  We've only been using it on the loops we've built and occasionally will use our finger as a bumper to reverse the direction.  I'm looking at putting up a point to point section of track for this to bounce back and forth on, like a trolley. It's worth noting that I only have Lionel Fastrack (and a lot of it), but I don't have any bumpers.

 

My question: Is there a Lionel Fastrack bumper that is recommended?  It appears that the FasTrack Lighted Bumper is a bit fragile (from what I've read) and may not be intended to actually be used as a bumper (more for aesthetics, then function).  Seen here:

 

There's also a FasTrack Earthen bumper, but it doesn't look like that will work because the reversing button/switch on the Handcar needs to be pushed past/inside of the 'flush' line of the outside (non-movable) bumpers on the car.  The Earthen bumper is pretty flat across, so it won't push the reversing button far enough before hitting the car bumpers.

 

I'm trying to avoid either fabricating something or buying a different kind of track.

 

The older style spring loaded bumpers (seen here: Diecast Metal Bumper  seem to be when I need, but they are not designed for FastTrack.

 

Any advise would be appreciated.

 

Thanks!

Original Post

We have a point to point section on our new Fastrack modular layout and decided to give the lighted bumper a try. Upon examination, it appeared to be fairly sturdy. However, the proof is in the pudding as they say. We are bringing the layout to a show this coming Saturday. I'll let you know if the bumpers survive.  

 

 

IMG-20131103-00090

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I think the Earthen one would do the trick, the part that sticks out past the wood is pretty low, should clear the low part of the handcar.  I'll be really surprised if the lighted bumpers are working at the end of the show, they are very fragile, especially the light part!

 

Earthen Bumper

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Get a Fastrack transition section.  Fastrack to tubular.  The tubular section is long enough to mount the old red metal bumpers Lionel has made for 50 years.

 

John Allen

Originally Posted by oldpartsmaker:

Get a Fastrack transition section.  Fastrack to tubular....  

and another option is to use the Gargraves bumpers. We use these on our club's modular layout. They have literally taken a beating...

I have 3 lighted bumpers on my small under the bed layout and my son and I have hit them rather hard an several occasions.  Every once in a while the light will go out, but a flick of the finger brings it back.  But then, I did rewire them for accessory voltage and not track voltage.

I have four of the lighted bumpers, only one remained working, and that's without abuse.  The other three I had to actually run wire to the LED and reassemble them to get the lights to stay on.

 

If you examine the construction of them, they are really chintzy!

Originally Posted by JustLuckey:
The older style spring loaded bumpers (seen here: Diecast Metal Bumper&nbsp seem to be what I need, but they are not designed for FastTrack.

 

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks!

No, the older (#260) bumpers aren't specifically designed for FasTrack.  But it's easy enough to modify a piece of straight FasTrack to accept them.  I've done this, and it works just fine.

 

How about building a bumper of wood or scraps? Make a flat face and glue it or nail it to the track or table.

 

John Allen's suggestion of putting a Lionel 260 Bumper on a FasTrack transition section is good. Quick, easy and permanent.

The MTH hand car won't work on the earthen bumper. I used one of the rubber feet you put on the bottom of a coaster or whatever so you won't scratch a table surface.  You can find them at any home improvement store in the hardware Dept. The larger size stick out just enough to activate the reverse. They self stick but will loosen up after a few hits so I just glued mine on. The rubber ones give a little more cushion than just hitting a hard surface. 

 

 

Last edited by Chris Lonero

The width of the 4 wood "posts" on the earthen bumper ARE too wide for the flush end of the car.  If you glued a small wood square to the front of the 4 posts, it would work perfectly... speaking from experience.

 

The square need to be about 1/2" x 1/2" and glued so the the flush area at the top of the handcar clears it, as well as the two side flush areas.  A round rubber bumper works well too and "cushions the blow".

 

Also, put a screw in the earthen bumper, or it may bump out of position.

 

Ed

I'll second what John said. My experience is the same the Fastrack lighted buffer stop (sorry bumper) is a not massively sturdy. There are two on our layout and one light is playing up. I have a dedicated line for items such as the gang car. I have used the earth bumpers for that.

 

Nick

Chris,

 

That rubber bumper glued to the center boards of an earthen bumper will work perfectly, as long as it's not glued on too high.

 

Ed

 

 

bumper

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Last edited by eddiem
Originally Posted by eddiem:

Chris,

 

That rubber bumper glued to the center boards of an earthen bumper will work perfectly, as long as it's not glued on too high.

 

Ed

 

 

Exactly Ed.   Just line the car's reversing mechanism with the center of the bumper and your good to go!

 

bumper

 

I found that to make the MTH handcar mechanism reliably switch directions, the handcar has to go at a fairly good clip essentially banging into the bumpers.

 

This is probably more effort than you want to put into it, but I installed magnets on the track near each end to electrically reverse the direction.  The handcar now reverses before reaching the end-of-track bumpers.  The reversing "electronics" can be as simple as a DPDT relay which performs the same function as the bump-and-reverse mechanism (a DPDT switch which reverses the polarity of the voltage applied to a DC can motor).

 I took two nails, put one in on each side of the track, and stretched a small but wide (and thick) rubber band at the appropriate height across the track to intercept the button on my trolley. Works fine.

Originally Posted by tr18:

We have a point to point section on our new Fastrack modular layout and decided to give the lighted bumper a try. Upon examination, it appeared to be fairly sturdy. However, the proof is in the pudding as they say. We are bringing the layout to a show this coming Saturday. I'll let you know if the bumpers survive.  

 

 

IMG-20131103-00090

How is your modular layout constructed? Do you have plans that you could share?

Originally Posted by Trainman9:
Originally Posted by tr18:

We have a point to point section on our new Fastrack modular layout and decided to give the lighted bumper a try. Upon examination, it appeared to be fairly sturdy. However, the proof is in the pudding as they say. We are bringing the layout to a show this coming Saturday. I'll let you know if the bumpers survive.  

 

 

 

How is your modular layout constructed? Do you have plans that you could share?

We used the Lionel/LCCA Modular specification.

 

http://lionelllc.files.wordpre...oad-manual-ver-2.pdf

 

 

Originally Posted by tr18:
Originally Posted by Trainman9:
Originally Posted by tr18:

We have a point to point section on our new Fastrack modular layout and decided to give the lighted bumper a try. Upon examination, it appeared to be fairly sturdy. However, the proof is in the pudding as they say. We are bringing the layout to a show this coming Saturday. I'll let you know if the bumpers survive.  

 

 

 

How is your modular layout constructed? Do you have plans that you could share?

We used the Lionel/LCCA Modular specification.

 

http://lionelllc.files.wordpre...oad-manual-ver-2.pdf

 

 

What are the dimensions of each of the modules you constructed? It looks like from the photo you have two or more rectangular sections. Is that correct?

Originally Posted by Michael Hokkanen:

 I took two nails, put one in on each side of the track, and stretched a small but wide (and thick) rubber band at the appropriate height across the track to intercept the button on my trolley. Works fine.

That's an interesting solution, and it offers some shock absorbing qualities as well.

 

Just want to report that we took the layout to the Metca show in Howard Beach on Saturday and the Fastrak lighted bumpers performed flawlessly. The bumper car was running almost non-stop for 4-5 hours so the bumpers took several hundred hits each. They were rock solid and came out in perfect shape.

 

Originally Posted by Trainman9:
Originally Posted by tr18:
Originally Posted by Trainman9:
Originally Posted by tr18:

We have a point to point section on our new Fastrack modular layout and decided to give the lighted bumper a try. Upon examination, it appeared to be fairly sturdy. However, the proof is in the pudding as they say. We are bringing the layout to a show this coming Saturday. I'll let you know if the bumpers survive.  

 

 

 

How is your modular layout constructed? Do you have plans that you could share?

We used the Lionel/LCCA Modular specification.

 

http://lionelllc.files.wordpre...oad-manual-ver-2.pdf

 

 

What are the dimensions of each of the modules you constructed? It looks like from the photo you have two or more rectangular sections. Is that correct?

The layout has six modules in total, four corners which are 30"X30" and two straights which are 45"X30"

I like the lighted bumpers, use them on my trolly line. Have not experienced a lighting problem so far, I probably will in a few minutes. My problem is the part where the springs are, it breaks off. I know the trolly is running to fast but it needs the speed to push the bumper to reverse.

 

Brent

Sorry, I've been absent from this topic since I originally posted (stomach virus had my out of commission for a few days).

Anyhow, based on the feedback, I purchased the Lionel FasTrack Earthen Bumper and plan to make a minor modification to get it to depress the reverse switch in far enough.  The Earthen bumper was not only more durable, it was also a good bit cheaper.  Thanks for all that replied!

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