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Specific Item Information:
- Snowplow pilot
- Rectangular cab door window
- High headlight
- Cab "windwing" forward windows painted over
Body Style Information: Athearn introduced these models in 2008. As of 2016, there have been 6 production runs.
These models feature:
- All-wheel drive and electrical pick-up
- 5-pole skewed armature motor
- Machined brass flywheels
- Available DCC-ready without sound or DCC with sound
- Cab interior
- Celcon handrails
- With or without dynamic brakes
- Photo-etched non-skid endwalks
- Snowplow or streamlined pilots
- Detailed multi-piece plastic fuel tanks
- High or low-mounted headlights
- Lost-wax brass horn
- Rectangular or oval cab door windows
- Flush-mounted individual window "glass
- McHenry knuckle-spring couplers
DCC Information: These models have been offered either DCC-Ready or factory-equipped with a Soundtraxx Tsunami OEM sound-decoder (Soundtraxx F45 datasheet, Soundtraxx FP45 datasheet).
Accepts the following plug-in decoders:
- Digitrax DN163K1C: 1 Amp N Scale Mobile Decoder for Kato N scale SD40-2 locos made from year 2006 onward.
- TCS K1D4 (Installation for F45, Installation for FP45)
- MRC 1832: N Scale DCC Drop-in .75 Amp 28 Function Sound Decoder for Athearn FP45
Prototype Information: By the early 1960's the Electro-Motive Division (EMD) was at a big disadvantage. Their 567 engine, in use for over 20 years, had reached it's peak at 2.500 horsepower in a turbocharged 16-cylinder version. EMD released a new 645 engine in 1966. The most powerful locomotive using this series of engine was the SD45, powered by a 20-cylinder turbocharged 645E engine producing 3600 horsepower. Orders from railroads all over the country, especially western roads, poured in. Great Northern received the first one off the production line and Santa Fe took delivery of a 90-unit order the first year.
At the same time Santa Fe was looking to replace it's aging fleet of passenger locomotives. They wanted something more stylish than a freight hood unit with a steam generator for thier famous Super Chief train. EMD had already extended the SD45 frame and added a steam generator to the rear creating the SDP45. They responded to Santa Fe's request by adding a cowl body to the SDP45 thus creating the FP45.
Santa Fe took delivery of the first nine FP45's in December of 1967. Numbered 100-108, they were painted in the red and silver warbonnet passenger scheme with black Roman-style Santa Fe lettering on the sides. The cowl offered a cleaner engine compartment and internal walkways, both of which would lead to production of the F45, a regular SD45 with the cowl. Santa Fe acquired forty F45's in 1968, numbered 1900-1939 and delivered in the blue and yellow 'pinstripe' scheme. The second twenty were equipped with steam lines for use on passenger trains. When Amtrak took over passenger service the FP45's went into the freight pool, receiving blue and yellow paint. The pinstripe paint scheme gave way to the blue and yellow warbonnet scheme by 1980. In the early 80's all 40 FP45's and 8 F45's were rebuilt at the San Bernadino shops. During the failed merger with Southern Pacific seven FP45's and twenty F45's received red and yellow 'Kodachrome' paint. On July 4th, 1989, FP45's 5992 and 5998 were released from the San Bernadino shops as numbers 101 and 102 in the newly revived red and silver 'Super Fleet' scheme with a large Santa Fe on the sides. Two F45's were wrecked and scrapped and one was sold to Wisconsin Central while the remaining six were donated to various railroad museums. Six F45's were sold to Wisconsin Central and the remaining units went to Morrison-Knudsen as lease units with one being assigned and painted for Utah Railway.
Milwaukee Road was the other railroad that bought FP45's. Arriving in late 1968 for Hiawatha passenger service, they wore the UP yellow and gray scheme and were numbered 1-5. They differed from other F45's and FP45's as they did not have dynamic brakes installed. Even before Amtrak arrived these locomotives were re-assigned to freight service between Chicago and the Twin Cities.
Great Northern acquired fourteen F45's, numbered 427-440 and painted in the Big Sky Blue scheme, in 1969. The internal walkways were important to the GN given the winter weather on the line between the Twin Cities and Seattle. Crews no longer had to worry about ice and snow covered walkways like on their hood units. GN planned to run all of their main line freights with a F45 on the point. GN ordered an additional 12 units, which were delivered as Burlington Northern 6614-6625 in 1970. BN continued the F45 purchase in 1971 with 20 additional units numbered 6626-6645. The 46 F45's were regular power on the Chicago to West Coast trains over the former GN lines. Three of the original GN units were leased to Utah Railway for five years after being retired by BN. Two other units were sold to Susquehanna and three went first to Trancisco, then to Wisconsin and Southern, and finally to Montana Rail Link. One of the two Susquehanna units was re-sold to MRL in 1993.
- Full data sheet on The Diesel Workshop.
- Read more on Wikipedia.
- Full data sheet on The Diesel Workshop.
- Read more on Wikipedia.
The railroad runs between Huntley, Montana and Spokane, Washington, largely within Montana, and the main line passes through the towns of Missoula, Livingston, Bozeman, Billings, and Helena. Montana Rail Link connects with the BNSF on both ends and also in Garrison, Montana. The railroad has over 900 miles (1,400 km) of track, serves 100 stations, and employs approximately 1,000 personnel. The main yard is in Laurel, Montana, with smaller yards located in Missoula, Billings, and Helena.
Montana Rail Link's present status and main line date back to 1987, when MRL under Missoula businessman Dennis Washington agreed to lease Burlington Northern's southern Montana main line between Sandpoint, Idaho and Huntley, Montana, near Billings. This spin-off was controversial as it happened during contract negotiations between Burlington Northern and the United Transportation Union. MRL workers are represented by various unions. Montana Rail Link trains operate between Billings, MT and Spokane, WA using trackage rights over BN successor BNSF Railway's tracks connecting those points.
Montana Rail Link still uses cabooses, which are used to carry remote control switching equipment on Laurel switch engines. A significant number of MRL movements are actually BNSF trains, complete with locomotives, that MRL receives at one end of its track and forwards back to BNSF at the other end. MRL also operates trains of its own to gather and distribute local freight along its lines. Forest products and grain are primary commodities, and MRL also operates a special train, called the Gas Local, between Missoula and Thompson Falls, Montana, to bridge a gap in a long-distance gasoline pipeline.
Read more on Wikipedia.
Brand/Importer Information: Athearn's history began in 1938, when its founder-to-be, Irvin Athearn, started an elaborate O scale layout in his mother's house. After placing an ad selling the layout, and receiving much response to it, Irv decided that selling model railroads would be a good living. He sold train products out of his mother's house through most of the 1940s. After becoming a full-time retailer in 1946, Irv opened a separate facility in Hawthorne, California in 1948, and that same year he branched into HO scale models for the first time.
Athearn acquired the Globe Models product line and improved upon it, introducing a comprehensive array of locomotive, passenger and freight car models. Improvements included all-wheel drive and electrical contact. One innovation was the "Hi-Fi" drive mechanism, employing small rubber bands to transfer motion from the motor spindle to the axles. Another was the double-ended ring magnet motor, which permitted easy connection to all-wheel-drive assemblies. Athearn was also able to incorporate flywheels into double-ended drives.
The company produced a model of the Boston & Maine P4 class Pacific steam locomotive which incorporated a cast zinc alloy base and thermoplastic resin superstructure. It had a worm drive and all power pickup was through the bipolar trucks that carried the tender. This item was discontinued after the Wilson motor was no longer available, and was not redesigned for a more technologically advanced motor.
Athearn's car fleet included shorter-than-scale interpretations of passenger cars of Southern Pacific and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad prototypes. The company also offered a variety of scale-length freight cars with sprung and equalized trucks. The cars could be obtained in simple kit form, or ready-to-run in windowed display boxes. The comprehensive scope of the product line contributed to the popularity of HO as a model railroad scale, due to the ready availability of items and their low cost.
Irv Athearn died in 1991. New owners took control in 1994, but continued to follow Athearn's commitment to high-quality products at reasonable prices. Athearn was bought in 2004 by Horizon Hobby. Athearn was then moved from its facility in Compton to a new facility in Carson, California. In mid-2009, all remaining US production was moved to China and warehousing moved to parent Horizon Hobby. Sales and product development was relocated to a smaller facility in Long Beach, California.
Read more on Wikipedia and Athearn website.
There are exceptions. When Sanda Kan first started developing rolling stock for Life-Like in the late 1980s, no such protection existed. As result the exact same models being imported by Life-Like were also being imported by Industrial Rail (and possibly others). Life-Like was not the only importer to be burned like this. Model Power developed cars in China to duplicate rolling stock toolings made in Europe and the US only to see those same models get imported by Life-Like.
It is perhaps the case that Industrial Rail got permission to import the Sanda Kan models from Life-Like or that Life-Like go permission from Model Power to bring in the PS-1's but it seems more likely that the factory managers in Southern China got greedy. But, you never know.
Item created by: Alain LM on 2016-08-21 11:28:42
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