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N Scale - Atlas - 50887 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD GP9 - Grand Trunk Western - 4540

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N Scale - Atlas - 50887 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD GP9 - Grand Trunk Western - 4540 Image Courtesy of Atlas Model Railroad


Stock Number 50887
Original Retail Price $144.95
Brand Atlas
Manufacturer Atlas
Image Provider's Website Link
Body Style Atlas Diesel Engine GP9
Prototype Vehicle Locomotive, Diesel, EMD GP9 (Details)
Road or Company Name Grand Trunk Western (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 4540
Paint Color(s) Green, Yellow, and Black
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
DCC Readiness DC/DCC Dual Mode Decoder
Announcement Date 2010-04-01
Release Date 2010-09-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety GP9
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: The Atlas GP7, GP7-TT, GP9 and GP9-TT models are some of Atlas' oldest models. The four locomotives share the same internal mechanisms and differ only in their shell details. Unlike many of their other older body styles, these bodies have been updated several times and are still a regular part of the Atlas production cycle.

Given their long history of releases, these models come in a plethora of different versions. The first release of this body type was in 1974 and the models were produced by Roco in Austria. Production for these models ended in 1982. The next release started in 1987 and the models were re-tooled by Kato in Japan for Atlas. The Kato version re-used the same mechanism as was used in the earlier RS3. It doesn't work as well in the Geep. The third version was made in China for Atlas and these engines were essentially a redo of the Kato mechanism (with all the faults). Finally, in 2006, the mechanism was redone properly and this 4th version is a properly DCC-Ready split frame, slow-motor modern engine.

Assembly instructions from Atlas: GP9 (Japan version), GP9 Ph.2 (China version), GP9 Torpedo Tube.

DCC Information: The first version of this engine (Roco) gets a solid "No" for DCC capability, but this is no surprise as these were made in 1974. The next two releases (Kato and China) are split-frame, but also split-board. They may be DCC-Friendly, but likely it will be a fair amount of work to upgrade these. The most recent version (China, 2006+) is eminently DCC-Ready. Furthermore, most road-names and numbers produced since 2006 are available in both a DCC-Ready and a Decoder-Equipped version. Earlier DCC factory-equipped versions were fitted with Lenz LE063XF decoders, whereas most recent versions are fitted with NCE N12A2 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.

For non-DCC-ready versions, a wired DCC decoder installation for this model can be found on Brad Myers' N-scale DCC decoder installs blog.

Models produced since 2006 accept the following plug-in decoders:
- Digitrax DN163A4: 1.5 Amp N Scale Board Replacement Mobile Decoder for Atlas GP30 and other short Atlas diesel locomotives.
- Digitrax DN163A2: Retired decoder, replaced by DN163A4.
- NCE N12A2: Plug and play decoder for N-Scale Atlas Classic Series GP7, GP9, GP30, GP35.
- TCS ASD4 (Installation for GP7, Installation for GP9)
- MRC 1955: N-Scale Sound Decoder for Atlas GP-7, GP-9, GP-30 or GP-35

Prototype History:
An EMD GP9 is a four-axle diesel-electric locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division in the United States, and General Motors Diesel in Canada between January, 1954, and August, 1963. US production ended in December, 1959, while an additional thirteen units were built in Canada, including the last two in August, 1963. Power was provided by an EMD 567C sixteen-cylinder engine which generated 1,750 horsepower (1.30 MW). This locomotive type was offered both with and without control cabs; locomotives built without control cabs were called GP9B locomotives. All GP9B locomotives were built in the United States between February, 1954, and December, 1959.

One option available for locomotives without dynamic brakes, was to remove the two 22.5 in × 102 in (571.5 mm × 2,590.8 mm) air reservoir tanks from under the frame, and replace them with four 12 in × 150.25 in (304.80 mm × 3,816.35 mm) tanks that were installed on the roof of the locomotive, above the prime mover. These “torpedo tubes” as they were nicknamed, enabled the fuel and water tanks to be increased to 1,100 US gallons (4,200 l; 920 imp gal) each, although some railroads opted for roof-mounted air tanks and 2,200 US gallons (8,300 l; 1,800 imp gal) fuel tanks on their freight ‘Geeps’.

From Wikipedia

Road Name History:
The Grand Trunk Western dates from 1928 as part of the Canadian government’s process of nationalizing some major Canadian railroads (under the name Canadian National) including the Grand Trunk Railway which had built the line. The GT lines in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois were combined under the Grand Trunk Western banner. The GTW linked the Canadian border at Port Huron (north of Detroit, Michigan) with Chicago via Durand, Lansing, and South Bend. There were also routes to Detroit, Pontiac, Bay City, Carson City, and the Lake Michigan car ferry port of Muskegon (with ferry service to Wisconsin where GTW maintained a small yard and stationed a switcher.) The GTW had about 1,000 route miles during this period. So, the GTW was an American railroad that was a wholly owned subsidiary of a Canadian corporation, wholly owned by the Canadian government. In 1970, GTW was made a subsidiary of Grand Trunk Corporation (still wholly owned by CN) which also held sister roads Central Vermont, Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific and Grand Trunk (which operated in New York and New England.) This was done to give CN’s american employees more opportunities to advance in the organization.

The GTW steam fleet looked very much like what you would see on the CN but GTW’s engines were built in the U.S. by Alco, Lima, and Baldwin. A fleet of 58 Alco built Mikes handled the prime road freight assignments until augmented by 43 4-8-4’s from Alco and Lima. Parent CN also relied heavily on 4-8-4’s so this was not a surprise. The last of these was delivered in 1944. Despite picking up F units and geeps for freight service early on, GTW was late to retire steam. The last run (in passenger service no less) was in 1960!

The first generation of diesels included F’s and GP9’s (set up long hood forward as on parent CN) followed by GP18’s for freight service. GTW went to EMD and Alco for switchers. Road units were painted in a green and gold scheme essentially the same as that of CN but with their own lettering and logos.

In 1962, GTW adopted a new “noodle” logo using the letters GT to conform to CN’s own noodle logo adopted two years before. Locomotives were painted black with Morency Orange ends (later replaced with red) with light gray frame stripes and lettering. Cab units received the familiar “sergeant stripe” scheme used on CN. GTW’s second generation of diesels (which also introduced the switch to low short hoods and running short-hood-forward) began in 1969 with the delivery of SD40’s followed by GP38AC and GP38-2 models. In December of 1971, GTW switched from black to blue with red ends and white frame stripe and lettering.

In addition to acting as a link from Chicago to eastern Canada, GTW was also an important carrier for the auto industry. Their freight car fleet included large numbers of auto parts boxcars and auto racks. In the early 70’s, GTW adopted the motto, “the Good Track road” on their freight cars to set them apart from their derailment prone neighbor Penn Central.

In 1980, GTW acquired another railroad critical to the auto industry, the Detroit Toledo & Ironton. This gave GTW routes from Detroit to the Ohio River. A year later, they acquired Norfolk & Western’s half of the Detroit & Toledo Shore Line, merging that small bridge line connecting Detroit with Toledo.

At this point, GTW was over 1,500 miles long with 262 diesels and nearly 12,000 cars. In 1995, GTW’s parent Canadian National was privatized, at which point there was less need for the US subsidiaries to have distinctly separate identities. Grand Trunk Western continues as a “paper railroad” but operations on these lines are now run as part of the greater Canadian National system.

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: trainnut3500 on 2017-06-22 17:05:10

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