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Model Train Specials

Model Train Specials

Athearn #G63658 SDP45 w/DCC & Sound, VMV/ex-CR #6699

Athearn #G63658  SDP45 w/DCC & Sound, VMV/ex-CR #6699
  • Manufacture: Model Train Specials
  • Category: Diesel Locomotive
  • Number: G63658
  • Scale: HO
  • Price: $224.99
VMV Leasing

#668, #6695, and #6699
Rectangular cab vent mounted on the right side towards the front
Without cab vent
All VMV Leasing road numbers
New roadname
Carbody with 20-645 hood door arrangement, rear numberboards, and class lights
Low profile roof details: dust bin hatch, dynamic brake fans, exhaust stack, engine compartment "T" vent, and radiator fans
Leslie SU-3L-R air horn mounted on low clearance bracket
Front and rear MU hose catch tray with bottom reinforcing strip
Front trainline hose with drop elbow and silver end
3-hose MU hose clusters with silver ends
Late coupler cut levers with loops painted white
Notched pilot faces
Front drop step
Front and rear deck-mounted MU stands
81" short hood with SDP notched brake wheel and class lights and gaskets
Antiglare patch painted on top of nose
Dual single louver battery box doors and sub-base doors with stiffener rib
Standard "35-Line" cab with armrest and sunshade track
Dual sealed beam cab headlight with anti-glare shields
Windwings without mirrors fore & aft of cab side windows
Large Sinclair "ice skate" antenna
Low profile standard range dynamic brake housing with retrofitted side vents
Rectangular grid radiator intake grilles
Pointed long hood end
Rear anticlimber
Rectangular builder’s plate
5,000 gallon fuel tank
Salem air filter set with piping
Rear trainline hose and silver end
Frame mounted bell
Flexicoil-C Trucks with high/low brake cylinders and Hyatt bearings
Speed recorder
Dual end sanding lines
Era: 1984-1994

Safety tread on walkways
Fine-scale handrails for scale appearance
Factory applied wire grab irons
Windshield wipers
See through cab windows
Detailed and painted cab interior
Sliding side cab windows
Metal lift rings
Fully-assembled and ready-to-run
DCC-ready features Quick Plug™ plug-and-play technology with both 8- and 9-pin connector
Scaled from prototype resources including drawings, photographs, and more
Accurately painted and printed paint schemes
Body mounted McHenry operating scale knuckle couplers
Genesis driveline with 5-pole skew wound motor, precision machined flywheels, and multi-link drivetrain for trouble free operation
All-wheel drive with precision gears for smooth and quiet operation
All-wheel electrical pickup provides reliable current flow
Wheels with RP25 contours operate on Code 70, 75, 83, and 100 rail
Incandescent bulbs for realistic appearance
Bi-directional constant lighting so headlight brightness remains constant
Heavy die-cast frame for greater traction and more pulling power
Packaging securely holds for the model for safe storage
Minimum radius: 18"
Recommended radius: 22"
Sound equipped models also feature

Onboard DCC decoder with SoundTraxx Tsunami decoder
Sound units operate in both DC and DCC
Some functions are limited in DC
Engine, horn, and bell sounds work in DC
All functions NMRA compatible in DCC mode
Slow speed control
Program a multiple unit (MU) lashup with lead unit only horn, bell, and lights
Many functions can be altered via Configuration Value (CV) changes
CV chart included in the box

In the 1960s, railroads were looking to replace aging EMD E-units and Alco PAs for passenger service. EMD responded by adding a steam generator compartment to the long hood end of their SD45. This required a longer frame and resulted in the creation of the SDP45. Three railroads originally purchased SDP45s: Southern Pacific, Great Northern, and Erie Lackawanna.

Southern Pacific
Southern Pacific bought ten SDP45s in 1967 to replace 21 PAs on the Overland Route. Initially their primary assignments were the "City of San Francisco" between Ogden and Oakland, "Coast Daylight" on the Coast Line and the "San Joaquin Daylight" between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Depending on the size of the train, the power might be a single SDP45, an SDP45 with a F7B, or a pair of SDP45s.

With the coming of Amtrak on May 1, 1971, the SDP45s were leased to Amtrak and usually operated in pairs on the "Coast Starlight" and at times on the "Sunset Limited". With the delivery of Amtrak’s SDP40Fs in 1974, the SDP45s returned to SP and assigned to commuter service between San Francisco and San Jose. They eventually replaced the aging Trainmaster locomotives.

SP’s SDP45s earned the nickname "Weekend Warriors" as part of their commuter service. On Friday night, the SDP45s would haul a freight train from San Jose to Roseville, often with all ten in one consist. From Roseville, they would split up and power freight trains east over Donner Pass, north to Oregon, or south to Los Angeles and back. On Sunday night, they returned to San Jose for the Monday morning commuter rush. They lasted in commuter service until June 1985, when CalTrain took over the operation.

At that time, they were assigned to freight service. One regular service was hauler service in Southern California. In SP terms, a hauler was a transfer run from one yard to another. The SDP45s were regulars between West Colton, City of Industry, Dolores Yard, Long Beach, Taylor Yard, and Anaheim. Although assigned as freight locomotives, SDP45s 3201 and 3207 retained their steam generators for special service such as business trains. All 10 SDP45s were retired by 1990.

Burlington Northern
During the merger of Northern Pacific and Great Northern in 1970, the newly formed Burlington Northern assigned GN SDP45s passenger locomotive numbers 9856 through 9863. To protect them from being taken by Amtrak, BN swapped them with F-units. The SDP45s operated for a few more years with their passenger numbers in patched Big Sky Blue and were gradually repainted Cascade Green and black. In April 1974, they were renumbered as freight units 6592 through 6599. As BN units, they remained assigned to Havre, MT until they were retired between 1984 and 1987.

Erie Lackawanna
Erie Lackawanna (EL) was the largest buyer of SDP45s and took delivery in 1969 and 1970. They were designed for freight service so the long hood had the standard EMD "pointed" end instead of the flat end like the SP and GN units. On piggyback and other special trains, the SDP45s operated in solid sets to take advantage of their larger 5,000 gallon fuel tank capacity. A consist of SDP45s could travel between Hoboken, NJ and Chicago, IL without stopping to refuel. After the SD45-2s with 5,000-gallon fuel tanks were delivered in 1972, they were intermixed with the SDP45s on hotshot trains. This saved time and reduced costs. For the 1976 bicentennial, EL painted SDP45 3638 and SD45 3632 in patriotic red, white, and blue paint schemes.

After EL merged into Conrail in 1976, the SDP45s were renumbered as CR 6667 through 6699 and operated for a time in patched EL paint. By the early 1980s, they were all painted into Conrail blue. Conrail mixed the SDP45s with other types of power and used them on a variety of trains. Conrail #6670 resides at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke in faded Conrail blue. It was extensively measured and photographed in the development process of our model.

VMV Ex-Conrail
In 1984, Conrail retired the SDP45s, returning them to the lessors. Several units became a part of VMV’s lease fleet and saw extensive service on the SP in the late 1980s.

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