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N Scale - Kato USA - 176-010 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD GP38-2 - Undecorated

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N Scale - Kato USA - 176-010 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD GP38-2 - Undecorated The image shown is the same body type though not necessarily the same road name or road number.



Brand Kato USA
Stock Number 176-010
Original Retail Price $54.95
Manufacturer Kato
Body Style Kato Diesel Engine GP38-2
Prototype Locomotive, Diesel, EMD GP38-2 (Details)
Road or Company Name Undecorated (Details)
Paint Color(s) Undec
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
DCC Readiness No
Release Date 1987-04-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety GP38-2
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Kato introduced this model in 1987 and then revised it in 1988. Prior to this release, all Kato manufactured engines were made in Japan but then imported and re-branded in the United States (mostly if not all) by Atlas. In 1987, Kato formed a wholly-owned subsidiary, Kato USA, to market their products directly to the North American consumer base. This engine represents the very first locomotive offering of this new enterprise.

This engine was not only interesting for being part of Kato USA's launch, but also because of its mechanical innovation. It features "blackened" locomotive wheels in combination with flywheels. Technically, this was not the first use of flywheels in an N-Scale engine, but certainly the Japanese engineers can be credited for making excellent use of them to produce a smooth running, quiet engine which has been emulated by every other major manufacturer.

Note that 2nd run of 1988 reused the same reference numbers as the 1st run, though the road numbers are different. 1st run models are labeled "GP38/GP38-2" on box, whereas 2nd run ones are labeled "GP38-2". Second run models have an "A" added to the Kato part number under the fuel tank.

DCC Information: No provision for DCC.
A wired DCC decoder installation is shown on Brad Myers' N-scale DCC decoder installs blog

Prototype History:
The EMD GP38-2 is a four-axle diesel-electric locomotive of the road switcher type built by General Motors, Electro-Motive Division. Part of the EMD Dash 2 line, the GP38-2 was an upgraded version of the earlier GP38. Power is provided by an EMD 645E 16-cylinder engine, which generates 2000 horsepower (1.5 MW). Most built still remain in service in the modern era due to ease of maintenance and exceptional reliability.

The GP38-2 differs externally from the earlier GP38 only in minor details. Its most distinctive identifying feature is the cooling water level sight glass on the right side of the long hood. The battery box covers of the Dash 2s are bolted down instead of hinged. It can be distinguished from the contemporary GP39-2 and GP40-2 in that its Roots blown engine had two exhaust stacks, one on each side of the dynamic brake fan, if equipped, while the turbocharged GP39-2 and GP40-2 has a single stack. The GP39-2 has two radiator fans on the rear of the long hood like the GP38-2, while the GP40-2 has three. It was also available with either a high-short-hood, common on Norfolk Southern units, or a low-short-hood, which is found on most other railroads.

From Wikipedia

Road Name History:
Although they may be molded in color, unpainted and unlettered, undecorated products are marketed to modelers who seek to custom decorate their models for private roads and/or road and/or company names that were not commercially produced by any of the major manufacturers.

Undecorated models are frequently also unassembled or only partially assembled and required modelers to be comfortable with glue, paint and sometimes solder in order to prepare their models for display. Materials for these models can vary but often include plastic, pewter and resin. Models may or may not come with decals or other decorations such as plastic signage, railings and ladders to enhance the appearance of the final product.


Brand/Importer Information:
KATO U.S.A. was established in 1986, with the first U.S. locomotive model (the GP38-2, in N-Scale) released in 1987. Since that time, KATO has come to be known as one of the leading manufacturers of precision railroad products for the modeling community. KATO's parent company, Sekisui Kinzoku Co., Ltd., is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

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 2016-03-24 13:15:29. Last edited by gdm on 2019-10-06 19:17:53

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