Classification light question.

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by myltlpny, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    I did a search through the forum, but couldn't find the answer to my question.
    I recently won a brass SD-45 on eBay that I'm in the process of painting for the Burlington Northern and converting to DCC. The model has classification lights on the nose and rear of the long hood. I'm going to set the classification lights up on their own function. The question is, how were they used? Were they always on? Were they directional?
    I'm using grain of wheat bulbs directly in the lens openings with the appropriate resistors. A friend of mine detailed a circuit for the lights. I just need to know how they functioned so I know how to wire them up.
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Uintah Dave

    Uintah Dave Member

    Model Railroader has an article on the last page of the current (July 07) issue and has had other articles in the past about classification lights.
  3. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Generally class lights were on only the unit that the train orders were for. So if BN4545 is on the train orders, it's class lights would be the only ones on for that train. With that being said, white was for extra trains, not listed on the timetable. Green meant that there was a second section of a train listed on the time table. Red was for protection much like red markers on a caboose. If a unit was used as a pusher or helper and the very end of the train the lights would be turned to red. Once railroads quit running freight trains on a schedule all were considered extra so all trains would run with white lights or white flags. The FRA removed the requirement for class lights in the early 80's and railroads quit maintaining them. So if you are modeling after 1983 you won't really need them. The rules were changed for helpers also so that the rear headlight on dim would work for a rear end marker.

  4. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    Thanks, Greg. I think that answers my question. I think I'll run all four lights as white on their own function, this way I can turn them on or off depending on my mood.
  5. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    Ah the beauty of DCC. :) Besides the class lights on, the number boards would be lit also on both ends. Trailing units or units not specified for train identification wouldn't have the class lights or number boards lit.


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