Model train nostalgia - DIY HO locomotive test stand

This is a part of Model train nostalgia site.

A locomotive test stand ensures that a locomotive in operation is not moving. It is usually an expensive part of equipment, but there are possibilities to made it yourself. Here I present a procedure partially based on this spanish-language site.

The required resources for six-axle locomotive test stand are:

[test stand 1]

The bearings can be bought on EBay, while the rest of resources can be bought at local hardware store. Total cost of required resources pictured above is around 20€.

The idea of this locomotive test stand is build around two-rows electrical connector strip. A connector strip consists of plastic casing and 12 metal parts that can be extracted out of it. Each metal part consists of central hole and two screws perpendicular to it, as shown in the picture below.

[test stand 2]

Typically, electrical connector strips come in different dimensions. All essential dimensions are usually the same for the products of different manufacturers. Below I show the most important dimensions and their values for three typical products.


[test stand 3]

As suggested above, the construction of a locomotive test stand must start from the choice of the electrical connector strip. The issues that has to be taken into account are:

There are also two special considerations:

I decided to use the metal part type B, which means that inner diameter of bearings will not fit perfectly with the screw. For the only appropriate washer, the outer diameter was appropriate, but the inner diameter was too small, so it has to be increased from 3.2 mm to 3.5 mm by drilling. Also, the screws of the metal part were too long and had to be shortened.

[test stand 4]

The picture above shows the final assembly of one locomotive test stand component, while the picture below shows the finalized locomotive test stand.

[test stand 5]

Created by Marko Pinteric: feedback form.

Updated . Web page has been read by visitors since August 2019.