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Body Style Information: Kato introduced this model in 2010. The ES44AC has an attractive shell with plenty of detail, and the mechanism runs as well as any Kato modern chassis. Kato uses the same mechanism for the ES44AC, AC4400 and SD70 models. Hence, all of these models run well and all share the same flaw. They do not run well on curve radii smaller than 11".
The mechanism is a typical "modern" Kato diesel. It features a split-frame DCC-Ready chassis. The couplers are mounted to the shell in such a way that they can be swapped to MTL couplers with very little trouble. The motor has dual-flywheel mounted and uses a low-friction drive. The wheels are chemically-blackened. All wheels pick up power and all wheels are drivers. There are no traction tires. The motor is an open-sided 5-poler. The shell has directional lighting. The shell also features ditch-lights powered from the PC board mounted on top of the chassis. The couplers are Kato's proprietary magnetic knuckle couplers. Wheels are low-profile. The fine details parts are factory-installed. These include handrails, numberboards, MU cables and more.
DCC Information: Models accept 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.
- Digitrax SDN144K1E: 1 Amp N Scale SoundFX/Mobile/FX3 Function Decoder for Kato SD40-2 and similar locos.
- TCS K1D4: 4 Function Drop-In for Kato N-Scale EMD SD40, EMD SD70MAC, EMD SD70/75M, GE C44-9W, GE AC4400W, Athearn F45.
- MRC 1644-2: N-Scale Sound Decoder for Kato SD70MAC & AC4400
- MRC 1960: N-Scale Sound Decoder for Kato SD45/SD70MAC/AC4400
Prototype Information: The Evolution Series is a line of diesel locomotives built by GE Transportation Systems, initially designed to meet the U.S. EPA's Tier 2 locomotive emissions standards that took effect in 2005. The first pre-production units were built in 2003. Evolution Series locomotives are equipped with either AC or DC traction motors, depending on the customer's preference. All are powered by the GE GEVO engine.
The ES44AC (Evolution Series, 4400 HP, AC traction) replaces the AC4400CW model in GE's range. These locomotives have been ordered by every Class I railroad in North America.
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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.
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In addition to producing ready-to-run HO and N scale models that are universally hailed for their high level of detail, craftsmanship and operation, KATO also manufactures UNITRACK. UNITRACK is the finest rail & roadbed modular track system available to modelers today. With the track and roadbed integrated into a single piece, UNITRACK features a nickel-silver rail and a realistic-looking roadbed. Patented UNIJOINERS allow sections to be snapped together quickly and securely, time after time if necessary.
The Kato U.S.A. office and warehouse facility is located in Schaumburg, Illinois, approximately 30 miles northwest of Chicago. All research & development of new North American products is performed here, in addition to the sales and distribution of merchandise to a vast network of wholesale representatives and retail dealers. Models requiring service sent in by hobbyists are usually attended to at this location as well. The manufacturing of all KATO products is performed in Japan.
Supporters of KATO should note that there is currently no showroom or operating exhibit of models at the Schaumburg facility. Furthermore, model parts are the only merchandise sold directly to consumers. (Please view the Parts Catalog of this website for more specific information.)
Item created by: gdm on 2016-03-06 06:47:01. Last edited by Lethe on 2016-04-06 16:15:11
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