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Model Information: Life-Like introduced the SW9/1200 model in 1997. In 2003, they added the SW8/600/900 which is a very similar model which uses the same mechanism. It is fairly high quality and runs well when it can get good pickup. It is prone to stalling, however, whenever it has slightly dirty wheels, encounters slightly dirty track or runs over a turnout. For this reason, they are best run in pairs or at high speeds. That being said, the revised versions run better and the most recent releases that started in 2017 run quite well.
The reason for the stalling is due to the fact that it is simply a small, lightweight engine. Even though the chassis is all-metal and split-frame with a free-floating weight inside the cab, it just doesn't weigh all that much. Without enough heft, it is hard to keep conductivity with the track. The motor is s 5-pole skew-wound job. All eight wheels provide pickup and drive. Directional lighting is provided by an LED-equipped PC board mounted to the front of the chassis. The model uses chemically blackened wheels. Early runs used body-mounted Rapido couplers. Later versions feature Accumate or MTL couplers. The couplers are held in place with a plastic clip to permit easy swapping with the couplers of your choice.
Walthers also supplies the mechanisms for the latest 2017 DCC-Ready version to Micro-Trains which uses its own shell for their switchers.
DCC Information: There is no specific support for DCC on these models, but installing a decoder in the cab is a usual solution.
A wired DCC decoder installation for this model can be found on the following:
- Brad Myers' N-scale DCC decoder installs blog.
- André Kritzinger's Chessie System in N scale website.
Prototype Description: An EMD SW8 is a diesel shunting/switching locomotive manufactured by General Motors Electro-Motive Division and General Motors Diesel between September 1950 and February 1954. Power is supplied by an EMD 567B 8-cylinder engine, for a total of 800 hp (600 kW). It proved to be a very popular light switcher which was used by many roads. A total of 309 of this model were built for United States railroads and 65 for Canadian railroads. Starting in October 1953 a number of SW8s were built with either the 567BC or 567C engine.
The EMD SW600 is a diesel switcher locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between February 1954 and January 1962. Power was provided by an EMD 567C 6-cylinder engine, which generated 600 horsepower (450 kW).
An EMD SW900 is a diesel switcher locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division and General Motors Diesel (GMD) between December 1953 and March 1969. Power was provided by an EMD 567C 8-cylinder engine that generated 900 horsepower (670 kW). Built concurrently with SW1200, the eight-cylinder units had a single exhaust stack.
The SW9 is externally the same as an SW1200, and the SW8 is externally the same as an SW900 or an SW600. The only physical differences between the two actual models (SW8 and SW9) are the exhaust stacks (with the SW9 having two and the SW8 having one).
Read more on Wikipedia: SW8, SW600, SW900
Road Name History:
CN is the largest railway in Canada, in terms of both revenue and the physical size of its rail network, and is currently Canada's only transcontinental railway company, spanning Canada from the Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia to the Pacific coast in British Columbia. Its range once reached across the island of Newfoundland until 1988, when the Newfoundland Railway was abandoned.
Following CN's purchase of Illinois Central (IC) and a number of smaller US railways, it also has extensive trackage in the central United States along the Mississippi River valley from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Today, CN owns about 20,400 route miles (32,831 km) of track in 8 provinces (the only two not served by CN are Newfoundland & Labrador and Prince Edward Island), as well as a 70-mile (113 km) stretch of track (see Mackenzie Northern Railway) into the Northwest Territories to Hay River on the southern shore of Great Slave Lake; it is the northernmost rail line anywhere within the North American Rail Network, as far north as Anchorage, Alaska (although the Alaska Railroad goes further north than this, it is isolated from the rest of the rail network).
The railway was referred to as the Canadian National Railways (CNR) between 1918 and 1960, and as Canadian National/Canadien National (CN) from 1960 to the present.
Read more on Wikipedia.
It was founded in the 1950s by a company that pioneered extruded foam ice chests under the Lifoam trademark. Because ice chests are a summer seasonal item, the company needed a way to keep the factory operating year round. As model railroading was becoming popular in the post-war years, they saw this as an opportunity and so manufactured extruded foam tunnels for model trains. Over the years, Life-Like expanded into other scenery items, finally manufacturing rolling stock beginning in the late 1960s. At some point in the early 1970s, Life-Like purchased Varney Inc. and began to produce the former Varney line as its own.
The Canadian distributor for Life-Like products, Canadian Hobbycraft, saw a missing segment in market for Canadian model prototypes, and started producing a few Canadian models that were later, with a few modifications, offered in the US market with US roadnames.
In 2005, the company, now known as Lifoam Industries, LLC, decided to concentrate on their core products of extruded foam and sold their model railroad operations to Wm. K. Walthers.
In June 2018, Atlas and Walthers announced to have reached an agreement under which all Walthers N scale rolling stock tooling, including the former Life-Like tooling, will be purchased by Atlas.
Read more on Wikipedia and The Train Collectors Association.
Item created by: Powderman on 2017-12-31 16:18:04. Last edited by Alain LM on 2018-01-13 15:08:19
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