The plans include a box for the headlight that’s mounted on the front of the boiler.  This 1965 version has a light consisting of a candle sitting in the wood box with a round reflector mirror behind it.  This seems like an insane fire hazard, plus we have better technology available to us today.

I’m thinking I can get an LED lantern for under ten bucks and strip out some parts to use as a light.  It’s a bright light, and uses very little energy.  I’m not sure about how to power it, though.  Most of the lanterns are designed for a six volt battery; I’ll be powering the train with twenty-four volts.  I’ll have to check the ratings on whatever LED light I find to see if I can run it on twenty-four volts without frying something.  If not, then maybe I’ll just add a separate six volt battery in the light box for its own power source.  It looks like there should be room in the box for the battery as well.

In either case, I should be able to control the light through my computer controller.  Again, I’ll figure that out later.  For now, I just want to get the light box built.

Box for headlight

Here’s the box.  I used some scrap wood that had previously been used to experiment with various paint techniques for getting that distressed look for an unrelated project.  It won’t matter, as the box eventually will be painted black.

I also haven’t sanded it yet.  So the final version should look smoother.

Mounting feet too close together

After getting the box built, I checked to see how it will mount to the front boiler plate.  The two mounting feet are too close together.  You can see from the plans that the feet should straddle the little medallion that goes in the center of the front boiler.  I’ll have to reposition the feet on the box before I can mount it.


Here are some pictures of the headlight box mounted to the front of the boiler.  Click on each picture for more information:

Next steps: Installation of the wiring and control circuits!

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