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N Scale - Life-Like - 7725 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD7 - Milwaukee Road - 2211

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Stock Number 7725
Original Retail Price $50.00
Brand Life-Like
Manufacturer Life-Like
Body Style Life-Like Diesel Engine SD7
Prototype Vehicle Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD7 (Details)
Road or Company Name Milwaukee Road (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 2211
Paint Color(s) Black and Orange
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
Wheel Type Nickel-Silver Plated Metal
Wheel Profile Standard
DCC Readiness No
Release Date 1996-01-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety SD7
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Life-Like introduced this model in 1996. This model was one of several pretty good quality locomotives created by Life-Like in the 1990s. The model uses a dual-flywheel design, but the chassis is NOT a split-frame. Running quality is fairly good, but a DCC install is likely fairly challenging. Lighting is NOT directional. Due to the simpler design, Life-Like was able to offer these models at a lower price point than Atlas or Kato. Hence they were fairly popular. Since Walther acquired Life-Like, we have yet to see a re-release. Likely the chassis is a complete throw-away, and the shell is a bit on the simplistic side for what modelers expect in the current marketplace (2017). This model was sold either as a SD7 or a SD9, as there is little visual difference between both prototypes.

DCC Information: Although not DCC-Compatible, an excellent how-to tutorial can be found here: DCC for Life-Like SD7's and SD9's'

Prototype History:
An SD7 is a 6-axle road switcher diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors Electro-Motive Division between February 1952 and November 1953. It had an EMD 567B 16-cylinder engine producing 1,500 horsepower (1.12 MW) for its six traction motors. 188 were built for United States railroads. Starting in August 1953 a total of 26 SD7s were produced which used either the 567BC engine or the 567C engine. These units are noted on the roster below.

This was the first model in EMD's SD (Special Duty) series of locomotives, a lengthened B-B GP7 with a C-C truck arrangement. The two extra axles and traction motors are useful in heavy, low speed freight service. SD series locomotives are still being produced today, with the SD70 being the most popular example in current production, and with many SD40-2s and rebuilds to SD40-2 specifications, or SD60s still in operation.

Yesterday's Special Duty eventually became today's Standard Duty, and yesterday's General Purpose has become today's Special Purpose ("time" freight and other time-sensitive lading). True GPs were discontinued after the completion of the last GP60 in 1994. Recently intermodal and other fast freights may be hauled by 6 axles locomotives with 4 powered axles, such as the SD70Ace-P4.

Many earlier model GPs, most particularly GP40s, GP39s and GP38s, also their SD equivalents, SD40s, SD39s and SD38s have been rebuilt to Dash 2 standards for another 30 to 40 years of service.

From Wikipedia

Road Name History:
First of all, Milwaukee Road has only ever been a popular nickname. The real name from 1874 was Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul. For the next 36 years, the CM&StP linked Chicago with Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison, Wausau, the Twin Cities, Duluth, Kansas City and Omaha with a dense network of branches in Wisconsin, Iowa, southern Minnesota and eastern South Dakota. Essentially, the lines ended at the Missouri River.

With a dearth of friendly western connections, CM&StP decided to build their own line to the Pacific. The original target was the bustling megalopolis of Eureka, California. However, they built toward Seattle instead. In 1909 the line opened. Along the way, they served Miles City, Lewiston, Great Falls, Harlowton and Butte, Montana; Avery, Idaho; and Spokane, Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. In 1912, they began to electrify two long segments, Harlowton, Montana to Avery, Idaho and Othello, Washington to Tacoma.

In 1921, they leased the Chicago Terre Haute & Southeastern and a bit later the Chicago Milwaukee & Gary to reach the coal fields of southern Indiana. Both roads were in trouble and dragged the CM&StP into receivership. In 1928, they emerged with a small name change. It was now the Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific. Right after that, the nickname “Milwaukee Road” began to catch on.

The three Class One’s that already served the Pacific Northwest, Northern Pacific, Great Northern (along with their jointly owned minion Spokane Portland & Seattle) and Union Pacific were not pleased with their new neighbor and avoided building interchanges with them unless absolutely necessary. This left Milwaukee to haul whatever traffic they could originate or terminate on their own line or via a hand full of shortlines with which they interchanged. This is why when you see photos of Milwaukee Road trains west of the Dakotas, an exceptionally large majority of cars are lettered for Milwaukee Road.

Milwaukee’s steam fleet is generally quite handsome beginning with the period after WWI. Many locomotives were built in their own shops. The steam era came to an end on the Milwaukee in 1957.

The electrified lines were ruled by boxcabs and Bi-Polars for decades. In the 1950’s, Little Joe’s diverted from the Soviet Union arrived on the Milwaukee (and the South Shore.) By the late 60’s diesels began to regularly invade the electrified lines. Little Joes and diesels were MU’ed. The aging catenary could only handle so many electrics at a time so diesels filled the horsepower gap. By 1972, falling traffic, a declining fleet of serviceable electrics and the deteriorating catenary caused Milwaukee Road to de-energize the western lines lines with Avery to Harlowton lines following two years later.

Meanwhile on the east end, as a condition of the 1971 merger of Monon into L&N, Milwaukee Road received trackage rights from Chicago to Louisville. This gave Southern a friendly connection to Chicago it was losing with Monon.

In 1977, Milwaukee Road entered receivership again. This time, radical restructuring was needed. In 1980, everything west of Miles City, Montana was abandoned. Some lines were picked up by connections or spawned new shortlines but nearly 1,000 miles of track was pulled up. In 1982, Miles City to Ortonville, Minnesota was abandoned. Milwaukee was concentrating on their pre-1909 routes plus the new line to Louisville.

In an attempt to win back middle distance TOFC traffic, Milwaukee began running fast and short piggyback trains, usually behind a single SD40-2 and with a dozen or so 89’ flats. Unit coal trains added to the bottom line. By the mid-80s, the streamlined Milwaukee Road was up for sale and Grand Trunk Western, Chicago & North Western and Soo Line got into a bidding war. GTW had diverted 40,000 cars onto Milwaukee Road between Chicago and Duluth to help them turn a profit in 1983. Ironically, the ICC (which controlled mergers at the time) pushed GTW out of the contest leaving just C&NW and Soo. Furious, GTW diverted their 40,000 carloads off the Milwaukee. C&NW outbid Soo, but the ICC chose Soo Line anyway. Milwaukee Road merged into Soo Line in 1985. Almost immediately, Soo shops began painting big black rectangles over MILWAUKEE ROAD on the diesels, giving birth to the “bandit” paint scheme.

Brand/Importer Information:
Life-Like Products LLC (now Life-Like Toy and Hobby division of Wm. K. Walthers) was a manufacturer of model railroad products and was based in Baltimore, Maryland.

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: Chance on 2016-11-02 10:38:56. Last edited by gdm on 2021-02-02 07:05:13

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