top of page

"How to" Series

Tools and Materials


  1. Walthers 12-pack of HO track bumpers (Walthers PN: 933-3511)

  2. 10 x 10 Scale lumber: Cut to 5/8" lengths

  3. Cyanoacrylate (CA) adhesive

  4. Razor saw/miter box

  5. Track template: 3" or less piece of sectional track

  6. Tweezers




You might be asking yourself, "How strong can these things really be?" Well, I decided to test out the design using the following setup:


  1. (1) Modified track bumper - Placed on layout mainline

  2. (1) Athearn Santa Fe "Blue Box" (BB) F7 diesel* - Set 8-10' linearly from track bumper

  3. (1) Bachmann EZ Command station throttle - Set at 100%



Q: Why did you pick the Athearn BB F7 for your test?


A: Good question.  I chose the Athearn BB F7 primarily for its heavy construction and to take advantage of its "inertia tendencies" - i.e. it's both heavy AND fast - AND the fact that, if the F7 went crashing to the floor during the testing, I wouldn't cry too much.


Test procedure: Athearn BB F7 was propelled head-on into the modified track bumper using the above settings.


Results: The modified track bumper stopped the speeding F7...COLD!...with no ill-effects or stresses to either.

Working and movable Track bumpers: Step-by-step instructions

Step 1 - Using a razor saw and miter box, cut a piece of 10 x 10 scale lumber into 5/8" long track bumper ties.  You will need (2) track bumper ties per track bumper.

Step 2 - Using your sectional track as a template, place one of the track bumper ties in between an inner rail tie. (FYI: The bumper tie will protrude slightly higher than the rail tie.).

Step 3 - Place a light coating of CA onto the top of the track bumper tie.

Step 4 - Place the rear of the track bumper on top of the track bumper tie so that the back edges are flush with one another.  Once the CA begins to take hold, remove the track bumper from the template.

Step 5 - Place the other track bumper tie into the track template so that it is 3 spaces from the rail tie you just glued to the track bumper.  (The new track bumper tie should be situated directly underneath and slightly in from the opposite end of the track bumper.)  Use a pencil to mark where the track bumper will lay across the other track bumper tie.  Remove the track bumper and place a small drop of CA on each end of the track bumper tie.


Step 6 - Now using the first track bumper tie as a guide, place the track bumper back into the track template (into it's original location) so that it is now laying on top of the freshly glued track bumper tie.  (Please read instructions in RED below)


IMPORTANT NOTE! As you follow Step 7, apply light but constant pressure downward AND inward, so that both track bumper ties remain flush up against the inside wall of the rail ties.  As the CA begins to take hold, carefully remove the track bumper from the track template and let dry.  For aesthetics, paint the track bumper ties a dark color to match the rail ties.

The nice thing about these is that you can easily pull them up and put them back down on ANY straight "unballasted" section of track. (Obviously, they won't work on curved sections of track.) This tutorial is written for Code 83 Atlas track but it should be easily adaptable for any other code or scale.

bottom of page