FAQs for setting up, operation and maintenance
How can I build my train?
Please go to the "Quick Setup Guide" page and you can find the building steps.
Do I need Wi-Fi network?
Bridger trains engine can run without Wi-Fi network at home or in the public. Each engine comes with a micro-SD card which is pre-configured for peer-to-peer communication between your tablet and Raspberry Pi® in the engine. The only time you need Internet access is when you download the VNC viewer® app to your tablet for the first time.
Do I need a tablet?
Yes. You will need your tablet to control Bridger Trains. Most Android or iOS tablets will work and you will need to download the VNC viewer® app at Google Play or App Store. The app lets your tablet see the desktop of Raspberry Pi® in the engine.
Do I need an app?
Yes. You will need to download the VNC viewer® app on your Android or iOS tablet at Google Play or App Store. The app lets your tablet see the desktop of Raspberry Pi® in the engine.
Do I need a computer?
No. If you want, you can run your train using Windows PC or Mac. Just in the same way as you set up your tablet, pick up the "Engine A (or B, C, D ...)" access point in the Wi-Fi setting in the Windows PC or Mac desktop, download the VNC viewer® app and log in to the Raspberry Pi® desktop to play in the same way as you do with your tablet.
Can multiple engines run on the same track?
Yes. When you turn on Raspberry Pi®, its micro-SD card will start spreading “Engine A” Wi-Fi access point in the network list. Each engine comes with its own micro-SD card with the different Wi-Fi access point “Engine B” or “Engine C” and so on. Therefore, each engine does not conflict its operation on the same track.
Can I control multiple engines from the same device simultaneously?
No. If you are controlling the engine with "Engine A" Wi-Fi access point, but if you want to control the engine with "Engine B" Wi-Fi access point, go back to the Wi-Fi setting on your tablet and change the connection from "Engine A" to "Engine B" Wi-Fi access point manually.
Can I use my Nintendo® or PlayStation® controller to run my trains?
Yes. We have developed additional programs for using the Nintendo Switch® and PlayStation DualShock4® controllers.
What programming skills do I need to know?
Do I need to write a program code?
Can I write my own program code?
In fact, you don't need any programming skills to play. You can play without having to write any program codes.
The micro-SD card which comes with each Bridger Trains engine includes the sample code and all you do is open it so the controller appears on Raspberry Pi® desktop seen via VNC viewer® app on your tablet. Bridger is ready to run!
When your children are ready, they can modify the program codes or build their own codes from scratch. They are written in Python®. That’s just one of the beauties of Bridger Trains - its play options grow with the children and their interests. Plus, it’s a really easy way to learn to code!
What powers Bridger?
The power comes from six single-use 1.5V AA batteries inserted in the battery holder, and by connecting the holder's DC jack to the motor controller's socket, you can turn on Raspberry Pi® in the engine. The motor controller is called "Robohat" and is exclusively made for us by 4Tronix®, the British electronics manufacturer.
Does the track need electricity?
No. Bridger Trains run on batteries. Batteries are not included in our sets. Also note, we recommend not mixing batteries of different types or ages. Replace all batteries at the same time and check out the polarity when inserting each battery into the holder.
Can I hook up my LEGO® and Lionel® trains?
Yes. There are couplers and wheel sets included with your Bridger Train set to haul either LEGO® or Lionel® trains.
To play with LEGO® trains:
Change the coupler to "Magnet" type coupler.
Make sure that the wheel set used for the bogie is "wider" wheel set.
The rail track included in the set is Lego® compatible.
To play with Lionel® O-gauge trains:
Change the coupler to "Knuckle" type coupler.
Make sure that the wheel set used for the bogie is "narrower" wheel set.
You can run your train on Lionel® FasTrack.
Are Bridger Trains a start-up hobby kit or a toy system?
Both, and a whole lot more. In fact, that is why we call it "Bridger" Trains!
Bridger Trains are perfect for a child who loves trains and technology, and has grown out of their wooden toy trains but yet not ready for a fully electric model train set.
Bridger Trains are being regaled as a welcome addition by the model railroading community because it’s a fun and exciting entry product to get kids interested in the hobby. Train modelers love, in particular, the fact it’s both a brick build project and that it incorporates technology.
Bridger Trains appeal to many kids. Dependent upon their age, kids look at Bridger Trains as either toy trains or model trains. What gratifies us is that children of all ages are focused on building Bridger Trains and learning how to run them.
How long does it take to build?
Dependent upon the child’s age, it takes kids about an hour to snap together all the pieces to make their Bridger Train.
Does Bridger Trains help develop fine motor skills?
Yes. From hand-eye coordination to dexterity, building Bridger Trains helps develop fine motor skills. All Bridger Trains brick pieces are engineered to exact tolerances to ensure an easy build.
Are the bricks that make Bridger Trains like LEGO®?
Yes, In fact, many of our bricks are designed to be played with others such as MEGA BLOKS®, KREO®, AIRFIX QUICK BUILD®, in addition to LEGO®.
I’ve heard of STEM, what is STEAM?
STEAM is an approach to learning like STEM but adds the “Arts” to the educational approach of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
How and where are your bricks manufactured?
All of our bricks that make Bridger Trains engine and the track it runs on, are made in Japan for good reason. In our manufacturing facility we ensure strict adherence to quality plastic production and eco-friendly manufacturing processes. We are parents who love toys, but not at the expense our children’s personal health or the global environment.
Who makes Bridger Trains?
HummingWorks LLC is a manufacturing conglomerate that designs and produces Bridger Train engines. From electronics to plastic parts, we orchestrate cross-national production with the passion for making a common product.