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N Scale - Athearn - 10709 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD70 - Southern Pacific - 9816

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N Scale - Athearn - 10709 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD70 - Southern Pacific - 9816 Image Courtesy of Horizon Hobby


Brand Athearn
Stock Number 10709
Manufacturer Athearn
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Athearn Diesel Engine SD-70 (I and M)
Prototype Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD70 (Details)
Road or Company Name Southern Pacific (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 9816
Paint Color(s) Gray, Red and White
Paint Scheme Bloody Nose
Coupler Type McHenry Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Body Material Plastic
DCC Readiness Friendly
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety SD70M
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era V: Modern (1979 - Present)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Athearn introduced the SD70M and SD75M in 2005. They followed up in 2006 with the SD70I and SD75I. All four versions share the same mechanism and apart from minor difference all four have similar shells as well. The model was developed for Athearn in Korea by Ajin.

Unlike Ajin's earlier F59PHI, these models are modern, well-behaved model engines. They have split-frame dual-flywheel chassis with a 3-pole motor. The detail and engine performance are on par with modern Atlas and Kato products. They also feature some pretty cool cab detail which sets them apart from the competing products from Atlas and Kato.

DCC Information: The DCC friendliness, at least for the early versions of this model, really blows. Despite the split-frame design, I would qualify the upgrade process as "a bear". . Definitely a caveat emptor type of thing. Some of the later versions are truly DCC-Ready, but there is no clear cut-off date or model number. You just have to take the shell off and look inside. Later "drop-in capable" models will accept a Digitrax lightboard: the DN163K1C

Prototype History:
The EMD SD70 is a series of high-powered, single engined 4,000hp to 4,300hp, diesel-electric locomotives produced by Electro-Motive Division (EMD). All locomotives of this series are hood units with C-C trucks. Production commenced in late 1992 and since then over 4,000 units have been produced. The most produced models of the series are the SD70M, SD70MAC and SD70ACe models. All SD70 models were delivered with the self-steering radial truck HTCR , then from SD70ACe and SD70M-2 models, with non-radial HTSC truck. The radial truck allows the axles to steer in curves which reduces wear on the wheels and railhead.

The SD70ACe AC-traction diesel locomotive (most in the industry simply call them SD70 "Ace" or "Aces") is the successor to the older SD70MAC. It was first introduced in 2004, and has been in production since 2005. It was originally designed to comply with EPA Tier 2 locomotive emissions regulations. Beginning in 2012, newly built SD70ACe's were EPA Tier 3 compliant. SD70ACes are equipped with EMD's 16-710-G3C-T2 prime mover, rated at 4,300 horsepower (3,200 kW); later Tier 3 models are rated at 4,500 horsepower (3,400 kW). The model is still in production as EMD's primary long-haul domestic locomotive.

Read more on Wikipedia, on American-Rails.com and on Locomotive wiki.

Full EMD SD70ACe data sheet on The Diesel Workshop.

Road Name History:
The Southern Pacific Transportation Company (reporting mark SP), earlier Southern Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Company, and usually called the Southern Pacific or (from the railroad's initials) Espee, was an American Class I railroad. It was absorbed in 1988 by the company that controlled the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad and eight years later became part of the Union Pacific Railroad.

The railroad was founded as a land holding company in 1865, later acquiring the Central Pacific Railroad by lease. By 1900 the Southern Pacific Company was a major railroad system incorporating many smaller companies, such as the Texas and New Orleans Railroad and Morgan's Louisiana and Texas Railroad. It extended from New Orleans through Texas to El Paso, across New Mexico and through Tucson, to Los Angeles, through most of California, including San Francisco and Sacramento. Central Pacific lines extended east across Nevada to Ogden, Utah, and reached north through Oregon to Portland. Other subsidiaries eventually included the St. Louis Southwestern Railway (Cotton Belt), the Northwestern Pacific Railroad at 328 miles (528 km), the 1,331 miles (2,142 km) Southern Pacific Railroad of Mexico, and a variety of 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge routes.

In 1929 SP/T&NO operated 13848 route-miles not including Cotton Belt, whose purchase of the Golden State Route circa 1980 nearly doubled its size to 3,085 miles (4,965 km), bringing total SP/SSW mileage to around 13,508 miles (21,739 km).

By the 1980s route mileage had dropped to 10,423 miles (16,774 km), mainly due to the pruning of branch lines. In 1988 the Southern Pacific was taken over by D&RGW parent Rio Grande Industries. The combined railroad kept the Southern Pacific name due to its brand recognition in the railroad industry and with customers of both constituent railroads. Along with the addition of the SPCSL Corporation route from Chicago to St. Louis, the total length of the D&RGW/SP/SSW system was 15,959 miles (25,684 km).

By 1996 years of financial problems had dropped SP's mileage to 13,715 miles (22,072 km), and it was taken over by the Union Pacific Railroad.

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.

Item created by: Lethe on 2016-08-28 17:36:50. Last edited by gdm on 2018-03-27 20:27:39

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