Pad Printing on the Railroad

Take a close look at a model train car and you will see that it has been “decorated” with graphics that may represent the railroad’s logo, product advertising and railroad data about the car’s length, width, height and weight. You may also see the inventory car number, car builder’s logo and other markings related to volume, fluid capacity and recently serviced date.

How does this information get put on the car? In the “good old days”, stencils were cut out from cardboard and fastened to the car. Then paint was applied and when the stencil was removed – whalla – you had a graphic! Today, a vinyl decal(s) is used for some of the decorating but there are some jobs that are just to big for a decal.

But what about model trains? Well the stencil process is no longer used, and although you can print your own decals, there is still no better technology then putting paint, or in this case ink, on the car body for authentic reproduction of railroad markings. It is a cleaner look and can be accomplished at a much faster rate then applying decals.

You can see a video of a car being printed by clicking here

Here at Mainline Manufacturing, our services include pad printing not only model train cars, but a multitude of other products from coffee mugs to glassware, clothing to golf balls, and just about anything else you can put your logo or data on. And don’t forget that pad printing can be a multi-color process too.

This “zebra” scheme was applied to a plastic hood for a 1:32 scale speeder car.
1:32 scale boxcar
1:32 scale boxcar
1:32 scale boxcar
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