Bumpers vs wheel stops

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by mentor63, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. mentor63

    mentor63 Member

    Does anyone know when a bumper would be used rather than wheel stops? Are either used at the end of the tracks in a round house/repair shop? I am interested as they would most likely be used in yard areas or industry spurs. Thanks,

  2. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

    Union Station in Washington, D.C. has bumpers at the ends of all the upper level tracks. I can't remember seeing bumpers or stops anywhere else.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Probably a function of the speed that end of track could be approached at, the function of the track, and the amount of damage that might be caused. Most of the spurs I see in yards have wheel stops as do open tracks around turntables. Dead-ends in passenger stations usually have bumpers. I think the trestle feeding the coal supplier used to have a bumper at the end. A yard that ends 20 feet above a city street would probably have bumpers; one ending at a cornfield might have wheel stops.
  4. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    What designs for bumpers and wheel stops? Specificly, what about earlier steam era? Perhaps around 1900? I seem to remember seeing rail bent to form a fit up around the wheel. More like a large wheel stop than a bumper.
  5. mentor63

    mentor63 Member

    I am thinking more transition and modern era. Thanks for the inputs. Sounds like there is some latitude in which one to use and the idea would be to use wheel stops in low speed, lower value areas and use bumpers where more stopping power is require. Thanks, Gary
  6. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    I've seen things like the Up in town here pile gravel at the end of the line on a stub in the yard..
    I've also seen the DME jack the rails up at a angle in the yard in tracy Minn. on stubs there..
  7. scubadude

    scubadude Member

    When I was a kid at Ft. Bragg, NC I remember seeing the rails curving straight up on a concrete block, similar to a ramp like skateboarders use...
  8. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Here's a picture of a stop I photographed for some reason in Red Wing MN. Its at the end of a siding that seems to see some use despite the weeds at the end.
  9. mentor63

    mentor63 Member

    That photo reminds me that I like yellow bumpers and wheel stops, but figured I needed to make them rusty to be realistic. This photo seems to say just the opposite. Thanks Ralph, Gary
  10. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    I would think bumpers...

    ...as I've seen them used are at the end of "terminal" tracks (tracks that terminate, end) where you really don't want a train to travel any further- like at a a passenger terminal and freight yards. The wheel stops are portable- movable devices used to keep the wheels of a car in check so it can't roll away through a switch from a siding and such. Corrections are appreciated.

    That's my 0.02¢- for all here- no charge, cash only:eek:

  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The paint should be good on a wheel stop. The only time a bumper or wheel stop is ever used is in the case of an accident or mistake. The train crew should bring the car to a stop and set the brakes before the car touches the bumper or stop. Mark, I've never seen a wheel stop installed between a siding and a switch, but that doesn't mean that they are never used that way. All of the wheel stops or bumpers that I have seen are installed at the end of a stub siding. I think I have an old issue of a Railroad Model Craftsman somewhere or it may be a Model Railroader that has an article with pics of various bumper designs and wheel stops used by the railroads. If I remember correctly, there were pictures of dirt piles at the end of the tracks, stacks of ties at the end of the tracks, wheel stops, and various designs of bumpers. The bumpers included everything from rail bent up and braced with more rail and welded, to concrete. It seems that if a railroad had something that would work laying around when they needed to install a bumper, they would use it.
  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I saw pictures of a British yard where most of the buffer stops (bumpers) seemed to be reduced to piles of wood.
    I think the wheel stops are friction mounted -- the bolts tighten a casting around the rail head. This may be to allow a little bit of slide if they are hit by a car. Note the couple of feet of rail behind the wheel stop.
    British terminal stations had spring loaded or hydraulic buffer stops mounted on the track ends -- there were usually platforms running across the end of track.

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