View Full Version : Wattage of head light

Yvan-Martin Levesque
November 17th, 2001, 12:27 AM
Does anybody around here knows the power (in watts) of the light bulb use as head light on locomotive. I know this can vary from engine to engine, but I need a rought idea.

Yvan-Martin. :confused:

Big Al
November 17th, 2001, 05:26 AM
The majority of 2nd generation or earlier locos use 32V DC 200 watt Par 56 bulbs. The newer units use 74V DC 350 watt Par 56 bulbs. You can't tell the difference unless you look at the back of the bulb or on units that have been changed over to the newer bulbs there is often a "74 Volt Only" stencil near the light housing.

Not a good idea to put the lower voltage bulbs in the higher voltage system, usually resembles a strobe light before it explodes.

Yvan-Martin Levesque
November 17th, 2001, 07:03 AM
What does mean "Par 56 bulbs"??

I work for the CBC. We use 600 watts spot on our camera and this is way lower than the head of loco...

Please bring some light on my interogation :confused:

(Sorry for the poetry :rolleyes: )

November 17th, 2001, 01:01 PM
It is all in the reflector. A normal car headlight is less than 100 watts.

Big Al
November 18th, 2001, 01:07 AM
Par 56 is the size of the reflector. I believe light bulb industry standards refer to the PAR size for the size of the reflector. The wattage is determined by the size of the filament. The filament is designed to operate at a specified voltage. Some automotive applications also used Par 56 size assemblies but were only 55 watts at 12V DC. There is also the Candlepower output of a light source which I believe is the intensity of the light at a specific distance. I have heard that locomotives equipped with 2 headlight bulbs and 2 auxilary (ditch light) bulbs have a candlepower of 1 million. (250,000/bulb) I do not know the technical formula to figure these values, its just what I've learned in my RR career.

November 18th, 2001, 09:29 PM
The rating for the bulbs we use on our 1915 Baldwin Mike is 43 watts. Hope that helps smile.gif

Yvan-Martin Levesque
November 19th, 2001, 05:18 AM
Yes, this helped me a lot!! smile.gif

It also give me an idea: I will try to put the most powerful bulb I can on my SD45 (G scale) and use a good reflector :D

Yvan-Martin :cool:

I heard that the rule to follow for an engineer who see something (an animal) on the tracks is to shut off all locomotive's light. To avoid the animal "freezes" on the track (because wild animals tend to look at the source of light). The engineer must also blow the whistle.

Urban legend or reality?? :confused: :rolleyes:

November 19th, 2001, 08:29 PM
We don't have that problem too much on the Yreka Western, even though we have to go through lots of cattle grazing land. I have found that just opening the cylinder cocks as we approach gives them 'lil dogies a serious need to get out of the way! :D

November 20th, 2001, 05:00 AM
Bill, when my wife and I rode the Stampede Pass trip on 4449 a couple of years ago, I figured the reason they called it Stampede was that was what was happening with the herds of livestock. When they heard that steam and the whistle, they took off, big time. Then it dawned on me, that like people, there were many generations of animals who have never heard nor seen a steam locomotive! Panic time for them.
I'm sorry Martyn, I know this doesn't help your original question at all. :(

Yvan-Martin Levesque
November 20th, 2001, 06:25 AM
No problemo, Fitz!

About 2 years ago, VIA Rail #15 hits over 20 cows on the tracks (the incident happened around 2:00 am).

The cows were as usual in the field. Normally, they nerver goes to that field. The farmer uses a home made crossing to cross the tracks from one field to the other. That night, the gates stayed open :(

Gess what happen... The cows tried to reach their "normal" field. :(

The engineer on VIA 14 (The Ocean) was held responsible for having not closing his head light on the loco. smile.gif or :(

14 cows were killed. The train stopped for two hours. One cows stayed under the front up to Montreal, 500 km (300 miles) farther. The smell was disgusting and they didn't clean the loco. CN's official were held responsible for that (An old man told me he saw this train at St-Lambert, on the southshore of Montreal. He said many persons waiting for passenger on the train (the train doesn't take passenger at St-Lambert, just detrain them) were sick of what they saw).

That's why I asked if any rules or orders are given to the engineer in such case...


November 20th, 2001, 09:53 AM
Yvan-Martin, another apology from me for getting your name wrong. There are many people with similar names here, and when one posts a reply, the original message is not there to make sure you get names correct.
That incident that you described sounds pretty bad. How long was the one cow under the train? The smell must have been quite bad.

Yvan-Martin Levesque
November 27th, 2001, 10:55 AM
Sorry Fits to took so long to answer you...

The cow was under the leading engine since the hit at St. Fabien, until Montreal, some 500 km (300 miles) from there. And for about 10 hours.

The smell did came from the cow,s remaining beeing push on the track (and switch and piece of equipment) and ballast.

Not very funny for all the passengers waiting the train at the 8 remaing stops... :(