Upgrading an N Scale P42 Model Train Locomotive
Published by KermMartian 7 years, 11 months ago (2015-12-08T08:03:01+00:00) | Discuss this article

It might not be immediately apparent what Cemetech has to do with model trains, but I assure you that model trains are closer to our core mission that you might think. Our unofficial motto is "Make cool things, teach cool stuff," and model trains are one of the hobbies that requires the most learning and making. Indeed, modern model trains require everything from EE knowledge including embedded programming to mechanical engineering and fabrication. There's even a connection with calculators: I've been working on a project called CalcDCC that lets you control your trains with a calculator. Before I even learned how to make a circuit with a battery and a light bulb, I loved trains. In recently getting back into my oldest hobby, I needed some trains to control with my calculator. I frequently ride Amtrak's Vermonter between Burlington, VT and New York, NY, so I've been considering modeling that route. From New York, NY to New Haven, CT, a train of Amfleet I cars are pulled by Amtrak's newish ACS-64 electric locomotive; at New Haven, an erstwhile P42 "Genesis" diesel-electric locomotive takes over. Thus, I started by purchasing an N scale P42 from Kato, as well as a Digitrax DCC decoder. Although this let my new locomotive be digitally controlled by a calculator, and have realistic sounds, I wanted to go further.

I set out to make all of the lights in the N scale P42 work realistically. I wanted to make the front ditch lights work accurately, and I wanted to add front and rear tail lights. Take a look at the make the Acela locomotives powered. Finally, if you're more interested in the result than the process, the video below shows off the finished model P42 in action.

More Information
[Build Log] Upgrading Kato N Scale P42 Amtrak Phase Vb Locomotive
[Photos] Improved N scale Amtrak P42
Video of improved N scale P42 in action

Kato N scale P42 locomotive with improved lights and sounds