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Of the 3 Amtrack Lionel passenger cars in question-16048,6411 and 6403 only the the 16048 has 2 rail pick ups,the others only 1.Is it only because of the additional pick up that the 16048 shines much brighter?And if so can a additional pick up assembly be added to the 6411/6403?The trucks do have an additional hole to add pick up assembly.

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@Ironman56 posted:

yes it is,on further inspection the car with the brighter lights has indeed been rewired direct with 2 wires per pick up.so if i decide to upgrade other 2 cars i will have to look into adding a pick up and update the wiring accordingly.TY for your wisdom TG!

Great! Just remember the bulbs are wired that way to extend the life of each bulb . If you want to for a small amount of money you could upgrade to LED strips. They have places to cut them shorter solder the wires to the  strip, no fancy electronics needed. Available on Amazon

CT CAPETRONIX Warm White LED Strip Light,16.4 Feet 24 Volt LED Light Strip, 3000K Super Bright LED Tape Light

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@Ironman56 posted:

yes it is,on further inspection the car with the brighter lights has indeed been rewired direct with 2 wires per pick up.so if i decide to upgrade other 2 cars i will have to look into adding a pick up and update the wiring accordingly.TY for your wisdom TG!

Remember the bulbs will not last as long on bright, Lionel wired them that way (dim) to extend the life of the bulb. Another option is to install LED light strips cheap and no expensive add ons required. They are sold on Amazon by the roll have self sticking tape installed and can be cut to the desired length at the cutting points. Then just solder the wires from both pickups and it’s done (make sure the hot rail is the same connection n both sides of the strip. I have included a few pics of the installation in larger cars.

CT CAPETRONIX Warm White LED Strip Light,16.4 Feet 24 Volt LED Light Strip, 3000K Super Bright LED Tape Light

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@ADCX Rob posted:

Well, they are surely still wired in parallel, not series. MPC was pretty cheap with their lack of collector assemblies on these cars. Even basic starter sets like PRR Flyer(caboose) and Polar Express(cars) all have 2 pickups, and 2 wires to each since at least 2004.

You have to remember when these are being made, MPC was still struggling to make a go as sales tanked. It also was easier to wire it this way to protect bulbs and yet make it work. Single collectors became common and worse yet was the thin cooper bent to make contact with the roller.

Last edited by ThatGuy
@Ironman56 posted:

TY all for the useful tips.LED conversion makes the most sense,although bright lighting inside cars looks impressive,a soft  glow looks OK too! And with many of my rolling stock having i/s lighting I will concentrate first on the planning of an new expanded layout.Wish me luck(and patience)

If you choose the LED route they are nice and bright!

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