FAQ

Do I need Wi-Fi to run my train?  

Bridger trains can run without Wi-Fi. Each Bridger train comes with a micro-SD card. The card is pre-configured for peer-to-peer communication between your tablet or smartphone and the Raspberry Pi® in the train engine.

When you turn on Raspberry Pi, its built-in Wi-Fi is configured to start communication with your tablet or smartphone. Open the Wi-Fi setting in your tablet or smartphone and connect to “Engine A” in the network list. If you want to play with multiple models, connect to either one of “Engine B, C, D ...” in the network list.

Now open the VNC viewer app and it lets your tablet or smartphone see the desktop of Raspberry Pi in your model. This allows remote control of your model. The only time you need Internet access is when you download the VNC viewer app to your tablet or smartphone.

 

Do I need a tablet, smartphone or desktop to operate Bridger?

Yes. You control Bridger with your tablet or smartphone. You can use either Android or iOS, and you’ll need to download the VNC viewer app at Google Play® or App Store. The app lets your tablet or smartphone see the desktop of Raspberry Pi® in your model, allowing remote control of your model.

Only during the first time using Bridger will you need to connect to the internet so as to download the VNC viewer. After that, the Raspberry Pi® in your Bridger sets its own Wi-Fi communication to your tablet or smartphone.

Do I need an app?

Yes. Please download the VNC viewer app available at Google Play® or App Store to your Android or iOS device, as it lets your tablet or smartphone see the desktop of the Raspberry Pi® in your model.


Do I need a computer?

No. You can play with your Bridger without accessing a desktop or laptop computer.

 

Can more than one Bridger run on the same track?

Yes. When you mount the Raspberry Pi® to your model and turn it on, the micro-SD card included with your Bridger train will start spreading the “Engine A” network.”  Each additional Bridger comes with its own micro-SD card. The network for the additional Bridger’s can be called “Engine B” or “Engine C” and so on. 

 

Can I run multiple Bridger’s from the same device simultaneously?

No. Since each Bridger runs autonomously, each will need to access its own dashboard from either multiple smartphones, tablets or gaming control sticks. Any combination will work.


Are Bridger Trains remote controllable?

Yes. Simply, download the VNC viewer app at Google® Play or App Store. Let the viewer allow your tablet or smartphone to see the Raspberry Pi® within your Bridger. That's it. Your train is now remote controllable… today and anytime in the future. You need only do the viewer process once to allow remote control of your model.


Can I use my Nintendo® or PlayStation® controller to run my trains?

Yes. We have developed additional programs for using the NintendoSwitch® and DualShock® controllers.

PlayStation Dualshock4 Setup Guide

Nintendo Pro Controller Setup Guide

Nintendo Joy-con Setup Guide

 


Does my child (or me) need to write code to operate Bridger?

No. You can play without having to write program codes. In fact, you don't need any programming skills to play. 

The micro-SD card which comes with Bridger has an embedded sample code file and all you do is open it so the controller appears on desktop, smart phone or tablet. Bridger is ready to run!

When your child is ready, they can modify the codes or build their own codes from scratch. That’s just one of the beauties of Bridger - its play options grow with the child and their interests. Plus, it’s a really easy way to learn to code!  

Where do I get a Raspberry Pi®?

Raspberry Pi is not included with our sets, but for a limited time we will provide one separately without cost.

 

What powers Bridger?

The micro-SD card, which interfaces with Raspberry Pi® providing Bridger’s power is made by 4Tronix®, a UK-based electronics maker. Specifically, it’s the 4Tronix Robohat® which powers the Bridger.  


Does Bridger need electricity to run?

No.  Bridger runs on 6 AA batteries. Incidentally, we’ve added an auto shut off to preserve battery life. (We told you that we were parents too!)

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.

 

What programming languages or skills do I need to know? Can I program it?

Yes. You can operate your train without having to write program codes. By design, you don't need any programming skills. If you wish, you could modify the sample codes or totally build your own codes from scratch. Python is Bridger’s base language.

 

What is the difference between a Bridger Metroliner and the Bay Area Transport? 

The main differences between the Metroliner and the Bay Area Transport are color, decal designs, and some exterior cab design differences. In fact, those are the same differences between the Superchief and Freightliner as well. 

All four types of Bridger Heavy Haul Engine trains have the exact same inner components and “brick” build the same way.  Each performs exactly the same on the track. Each use the same exact technology. 


Can I hook up my LEGO® and Lionel® train box cars to my Bridger train?

Yes. There are special couplers included with your train set to allow the Bridger to haul either LEGO or Lionel train box cars. 


What gauge of Lionel® box cars will work with my Bridger train?

O Gauge.

 

Why is the Bridger train track made in pieces versus single molded track pieces?

Two reasons.  First, “the build” of the actual track is  part of the “fun factor” of Bridger trains. Plus, since we believe toys can educate our youth, the Bridger track pieces are representative of the pieces used in building real life train track - rails, ties and joints.

 

How and where are your bricks manufactured? 

All of our bricks that make the Bridger 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 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.


How long does it take to build a Bridger Train? 

Dependent upon the child’s age, it takes kids about an hour to snap together all the pieces to make their Bridger Train.


Are the bricks that make the Bridger Train like LEGOs®?

Yes, in that the plastic bricks interlock to snap together. 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®.

 

Are Bridger Trains a start-up model railroading hobby kit or a toy system?

Both, and a whole lot more. In fact, that is why we call it Bridger! 

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 appeals to many kids. Dependent upon their age, kids look at the Bridger as either a toy train or a model train.  What gratifies us is that children of all ages are focused on building Bridger and learning how to run it.


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.  


Does the Bridger help develop fine motor skills?

Yes. From hand-eye coordination to dexterity, building a Bridger Train helps develop fine motor skills. All Bridger Train pieces are engineered to exact tolerances to ensure an easy build.