Number Boards...

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Today's little project was adding number boards to all my BB GP's and my IHC Mogul. Since I don't have a layout or get to use my train stuff, I've been enjoying detailing these old locos lately, treating them more like models than toys.

The number boards are just white text printed on black text boxes in MS word. There was a little experimentation to get the size right. Then I covered the printed paper with some packing tape to help protect the number boards during handling. This it was just a matter of cutting them out, trimming to match the individual loco, running around the edge with a black sharpie to help eliminate white edges, then gluing them in place with an Elmers kid's glue stick.

I'm pretty happy with how they turned out!



Well-Known Member
Staff member
Using MS Word, just change the font to white and make the text box fill area black. Then the printer is actually just printing the black around the letters.
AHA! I'll try that out (once I buy some more black ink) So, you replaced the existing plastic boards for these?
AHA! I'll try that out (once I buy some more black ink) So, you replaced the existing plastic boards for these?
The GP60's, GP40, and GP35 have those clear lenses for the number boards, and I just glued the number boards on top of those. The GP9 has fake number boards and frames molded into the shell, and again, I just glued on top of those.


Always Improvising
Aha! I knew this could be done. I've been wanting to do this for a couple of my BB engines, maybe even my newest RTR purchase since its current boards are inaccurate.
Excellent work!
Really stands out - You lost me on the "packing tape"?
Can you splain that?
Sorry for the delayed reply...

So I printed out the number boards. At that point, I had a sheet of paper with a few rows of teeny black rectangles with teeny white letters in them.

I took one strip of clear, 2" wide packing tape and carefully placed it over the rows of black number boards on the paper. Then I cut out the number boards, trimmed to match the loco, and glued them on.

The packing tape protected the paper during handling, made the number boards easier to handle, will protect them after they are installed, and lastly made them look a little more like legit model railroad parts.


Well-Known Member
I just did the same thing to most of my locos that didn't have number boards. I think yours came out better than mine.


Well-Known Member

I actually installed NB lights on 3015, but I kind of screwed up. I scraped off the painted on number boards it came with and installed the paper over the then clear plexi. Then I glued the LED onto the back of the plexi in the cab. BUT, I used some of Al Mayo's Monster lights, which are crazy bright and would have lit the painted on numbers just fine. They kind of over power the paper, so I turned them off for the close up

Ignore the ugly number sticker on the side. That's another project...
The number boards on 3015 and 1001 actually look pretty good to me! 3100 looks like maybe it just needs to be trimmed a little larger.

Keep in mind, I haven't tried any of mine with any sort of backlighting yet, so who know's what they'll look like then... is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to