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N Scale - Atlas - 40 003 668 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD7 - Minneapolis and St. Louis - 852

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N Scale - Atlas - 40 003 668 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD7 - Minneapolis and St. Louis - 852 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Stock Number 40 003 668
Original Retail Price $114.95
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Diesel Engine SD7
Prototype Vehicle Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SD7 (Details)
Road or Company Name Minneapolis and St. Louis (Details)
Reporting Marks MstL
Road or Reporting Number 852
Paint Color(s) Green, Yellow, Gray
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
DCC Readiness Ready
Release Date 2018-03-01
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: The model was introduced in 1990 and the early releases were made by Kato Japan for Atlas. From 2004 on, the models were made in China and the internals were modified to a more modern mechanism. The Atlas SD7, SD9, SD24 and SD26 all share the same internal mechanism and differ only in their shell details. The modern releases fall under the "Classic" label for the SD7 and SD9 models and "Master" label for the SD24 and SD 26.

The early releases featured the Kato-designed "low friction drive" which had been successfully used in their Kato-branded U30C model. This design allowed clean transfer of current from wheels to long copper strips to the chassis and then to the lightboard. This may not sound innovative, as many modern mechanisms use this design today, but in 1990 it was a game-changer. The post-2004 releases are fairly standard "modern" mechanisms featuring a split-frame, dual-flywheels, and body-mounted magnetic operating knuckle couplers. They run quiet and smooth and can pull 30 or more standard-weight cars.

DCC Information: Models produced from 2006 are DCC Ready or Dual-Model Decoder Equipped. They accept the following drop-in decoders:
- Digitrax DN163A0: 1 Amp N Scale Mobile Decoder for Atlas N-Scale GP40-2, U25B, SD35, Trainmaster, B23-7 and others
- TCS AMD4 (Installation for Atlas SD-9)
- NCE N12A0: Plug and play decoder for N-Scale Atlas GP40-2, U25B, U23B, B23-7, 30-7, 36-7, GP38, SD25, TRAINMASTER, etc.
- MRC 1812: N-Scale Sound Decoder for most Atlas short/medium locos (selection of 4 prime movers - might not be prototypical for this model however)

Earlier DCC factory-equipped versions were fitted with Lenz LE063XF decoders, whereas most recent versions are fitted with NCE N12A0 decoders. The Atlas version of these decoders will respond to manufacturer's address "127" (CV8) i.e. "Atlas Model Railroad Products", though being identical to their original manufacturer's specification.

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:
The M&St.L dates to 1853 and received the M&St.L name in 1870. They ran west from Peoria, Illinois to Oskaloosa, Iowa. There the mainline split. The more heavily trafficked line headed north through Marshalltown, Albert Lea and ended in Minneapolis. The other route from Oskaloosa headed northwest to Des Moines, then traced a big arc thought Spencer, Iowa; Winthrop, Minnesota and back to Minneapolis. A northeast to southwest diagonal line connected these to parallel routes. In addition to some shorter branches, there was a very long branch from Winthrop, Minnesota to Aberdeen, Leola, and Akaska, South Dakota. Although they had St. Louis in the name, and they were known as “The Louie” by locals, they never went anywhere near that city. Total mileage during the 50’s ran about 1,400. That’s just a bit smaller than Western Pacific.

The M&St.L called itself “The Peoria Gateway.” Peoria, Illinois, like Chicago and St. Louis is a gateway between eastern railroads and western railroads. M&St.L was in a position to forward freight from Great Northern and Northern Pacific in Minneapolis to Peoria and its connections with Pennsylvania, Nickel Plate, Toledo Peoria & Western, and their favored connection, New York Central’s Peoria & Eastern subsidiary. Because Peoria was far less congested than Chicago, it often saved a day of transit time between Northwest and Eastern end points.

M&St.L also jointly marketed a route with Illinois Central for traffic between Chicago and Minneapolis under The Albert Lea Route name. It was surprisingly successful given that Burlington, Milwaukee Road, Chicago & North Western, and Soo Line all served the same corridor.

Passenger service was not their forte. Rock Island served the same major cities with nicer trains. That left M&St.L with a fleet of doodlebugs, often running with one to three trailers to serve local communities. An average passenger on the M&St.L traveled just 90 miles. In later years, Budd streamlined coaches served as trailers.

M&St.L operated in receivership from 1923 until 1942, longer than any other railroad at the time. Lucian Sprague, the receiver and later president dumped the oldest freight cars and bought new ones. By 1950, the steam fleet (the largest engines of which were light Mikes and light Pacifics) had been completely replaced with diesels.

M&St.L had more Alco RS-1’s than any other line (35) and painted them in NINE different paint schemes. SD7’s were painted in one of those schemes: black, cream, and gray. F units were painted in two versions of yellow and green with orange pinstripes. Switchers were black with modest striping. A new president in 1956 brought a new red and white paint scheme that was a nod to his alma mater, the University of Nebraska. Incidentally, that is the TENTH paint scheme for the RS-1’s. A bit later, they began painting freight cars in the same red with big jaunty M&St.L lettering that Lionel made nationally famous.

During this period, M&St.L tried to gain control of Toledo Peoria & Western and the Monon. Pennsylvania and Santa Fe joined forces to block the TP&W acquisition and that was that. The Chairman (Ben Heinman) left M&St.L to head the Chicago & North Western. In 1960, C&NW bought the railroad assets of the Minneapolis & St. Louis and merged the operations. The M&St.L corporation became an empty shell, which changed its name to MSL Industries and got into the hardware and finished steel businesses. MSTL reporting marks are still used today by Union Pacific to denote certain leased car fleets.

Brand/Importer Information:
In 1924 Stephan Schaffan, Sr. founded the Atlas Tool Company in Newark, New Jersey. In 1933 his son, Stephan Schaffan, Jr., came to work for his father at the age of sixteen. Steve Jr. built model airplanes as a hobby and frequented a local hobby shop. Being an enterprising young man, he would often ask the owner if there was anything he could do to earn some extra spending money. Tired of listening to his requests, the hobby-store owner threw some model railroad track parts his way and said, "Here, see if you can improve on this".

In those days, railroad modelers had to assemble and build everything from scratch. Steve Jr. created a "switch kit" which sold so well, that the entire family worked on them in the basement at night, while doing business as usual in the machine shop during the day.

Subsequently, Steve Jr. engineered the stapling of rail to fiber track, along with inventing the first practical rail joiner and pre-assembled turnouts and flexible track. All of these products, and more, helped to popularize model railroading and assisted in the creation of a mass-market hobby. The budding entrepreneur quickly outgrew the limitations of a basement and small garage operation. Realizing they could actually make a living selling track and related products, Steve and his father had the first factory built in Hillside, New Jersey at 413 Florence Avenue in 1947. On September 30, 1949, the Atlas Tool Company was officially incorporated as a New Jersey company.

In 1985, Steve was honored posthumously for his inventions by the Model Railroad Industry Association and was inducted into the Model Railroad Industry Hall of Fame in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, Steve was nominated and entered into the National Model Railroad Association Pioneers of Model Railroading in 1995.

In the early 1990s, the Atlas Tool Company changed its name to Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc.

Item created by: jbjohn342 on 2017-02-20 13:08:39. Last edited by gdm on 2017-02-23 20:07:42

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