Railway lamps include a series of lightbulbs used in railroad fixtures and equipment and well as those on the locomotives themselves. Bulbs and lamps made for the railroad industry are varied, but they all must be manufactured to tough performance requirements. Railway bulbs need to be bright and reliable as they can be subjected to a wide range of weather and environmental obstructions, including fog, rain, snow, smog, and more. The bulbs and lamps also need to be tough enough to endure any impact from small debris kicked up around the tracks.
Specific types of railway lamps include locomotive headlights, ditch lights, train marker bulbs, signal lamps, inspection lamps, and more. Railroad lamps can also include many different types of bulbs that are used in the interior of trains. These bulbs are used in engine rooms, board panels, and as various cab lights.
OEMs will source railroad bulbs in bulk for direct incorporation into equipment. For replacement and maintenance purposes, it’s often necessary to purchase lightbulbs individually or in smaller quantities. In such cases, identifying the bulb type and manufacturer will make the purchasing process faster and easier. Usually, a small part or serial number is printed directly on the bulb’s base. Even without this detail, an experienced industrial bulb supplier or distributor can provide assistance in identifying the bulb or comparable replacement for a specific railroad lamp or fixture.
Leading manufacturers of locomotive lamps include GE, Sylvania, and Eiko. It’s not always possible to purchase railway specific lamps directly from the manufacturer. Instead, an authorized lightbulb distributor will offer them to independent buyers.
How many lumens is a train headlight?
Most locomotive headlights will output over 6000 lumens, although this can vary based on the age of the bulb. GE PAR56 bulbs are used as headlights on trains and locomotives and will provide 6200 lumens when initially installed, which is roughly five times brighter than a conventional 100-watt incandescent lightbulb.
What do train signal lights mean?
Train signal lights function like traffic lights on streets and roadways. They are used as a means of informing engineers, conductors, motorists, and railroad personnel of various train and track conditions. Train signal lights provide essential communication to ensure the safe and efficient operation of locomotives.
How do I get replacement railroad bulbs?
Light bulb manufacturers will seldom sell bulbs directly to individual buyers. Usually, bulbs are only sold in large quantities to OEMs. Replacement bulbs for railroad and locomotive applications can be purchased directly from authorized bulb and lamp distributors. These providers can also assist in the bulb identification process and may also be able to suggest alternatives and upgrades for railway bulbs that are being phased out in favor of more efficient options.
What is a ditch light on a train?
Ditch lights are small but bright lights arranged in a specific configuration on a train that allows for clearer night visibility. This helps in the triangulation of the train’s position, and in a way that is more effective than the headlight that’s positioned in the center front of the train. In the past, ditch lights would flash, but this is no longer a requirement.