Life, photography and philosophy at 1:87 scale…

Life, photography and philosophy at 1:87 scale…

Life, photography and philosophy at 1:87 scale…

Locomotives: You Can Never Have Too Many Engines…

Locomotives! You can never have too many engines! Here is my partial collection of HO scale motive power I’ve assembled over the years. As a Wisconsin Central fan, I’ve got plenty of SD45’s as well as a variety of GP’s. Over time I’ve tried to concentrate on the WC as it was during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Of course sometimes a deal is too good to pass up, so I have lots of non-WC equipment too. Most manufacturers (Kato, Atlas, Athearn, Walthers/P2K) are represented, but there are a few from smaller producers as well. As I said before, this is now where near my entire collection, but just a sample.

Algoma Central 180 (Kato SD40) When your track work is incomplete, make sure you don’t leave the throttle running! Thank goodness for that notch on the snow plow!

Algoma Central 180 (Kato SD40) Here is a safer view of AC180 on the layout. While I was glad Kato released this road name, the engines required a lot of work to be “Canadianized”.

Algoma Central 182 (Kato SD40) Snow shields, cab mounted bells, nose mounted headlights and ditch lights were all added to the factory painted model.

Algoma Central 182 (Kato SD40) Another view of AC 182 on the layout.

Algoma Central 1750 (Rapido FP9a) I was thrilled to see proper FP9a’s release for the AC. These models are very well detailed and great runners right out of the box.

Algoma Central 1750 (Rapido FP9a) While these are great running engines, it took a bit to get the DCC decoder and the on-board lights to play nice together.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe 5648 (Athearn “RTR” C44-9W) This engine was purchased by my son at Trainfest several years ago. He liked it because it reminded him of a train video we had.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe 8278 (Athearn Genesis SD70) When these Athearn units were first released, I went a little crazy and bought a bunch of undecorated models. This one I custom painted.

Canadian National 4809 (Athearn Genesis GP38-2W) After the CN takeover of the WC, these became very common sights in my part of Wisconsin.

Canadian National 5323 (Intermountain SD40-2W) I know a lot of guys complain about the accuracy of this model, but I found it for a good price and was surprised that it already contained a decoder.

Canadian National 5323 (Intermountain SD40-2W) In addition to a decoder, this model supposedly had working ditch lights. They were extremely weak so I rewired them with new 603 LEDs.

Chicago Northwestern 8717 (Kato C44-9W) My coal drag is usually headed up by UP power, but a CNW unit adds a nice touch of color.

Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway 406 (Athearn RTR SD40-2T) OK, this unit makes little sense on my railroad, but I’ve always thought tunnel motors were cool.

EMD 1554 (Atlas SD35) A brand new SD35 “brick” in the EMD demonstrator scheme. These were leased by the Wisconsin Central back in the early days of the railroad.

Fox River Valley Railroad 812 (Proto 2K GP30) The FRVR is one of those railroads that was made up of a lot of odd equipment. This unit required the usual gear swap due to the P2K split gear problem.

Green Bay and Western 312 (Atlas C424) I ordered two of these sight unseen when there were announced by Atlas. This is the 1960’s scheme which I OK, buy I prefer the solid red of the 1970’s.

Green Bay and Western 312 (Atlas C424) Another shot of GBW 312. I’ve toyed with the idea of stripping and repainting these, but for now I’m leaving them as is.

Green Bay and Western 313 (Atlas C424) The GBW is one of the few railroads that rostered almost exclusively Alco locomotives.

Norfolk Southern 2584 (Athearn Genesis SD70) This model started out life undecorated and gave me lots of trouble for my first two painting attempts.

Union Pacific 4165 (Athearn Genesis SD70) Athearn did a nice job with the SD70’s except for the lights. The stock bulbs would burn out quickly, so I replaced all mine with LEDs.

Union Pacific 5961 (Proto 2K SD60) These P2K units are incredibly heavy and are geared extremely low. Because of this they pull like crazy.

Wisconsin Central 307 (Athearn RTR RS-3) I got on a kick about building units that were rostered by the WC at the very start. This one was a lot of work to take a phase 1 RS-3 and make a phase 3 RS-20.

Wisconsin Central 586 (Kaslo Shops SDL39) Here it is in all its glory- the legendary SDL39. This resin kit took literally years of work and lots of modification to get it to work. See “Project SDL39” for details.

Wisconsin Central 711 (Proto 2K GP30) The WC rostered several of these distinctive GP units. While these were factory painted, there were several errors that needed correcting.

Wisconsin Central 713 (Proto 2K GP30) In addition to the incorrect paint on the end of the long hood, these almost universally experienced cracked gears on the axles.

Wisconsin Central 1401 (Proto 2K GP20) I purchased this undecorated model on a whim. It is one of the few “foobie” models I still have and is roughly based on a WC GP7u.

Wisconsin Central 1550 (Athearn RTR SW1500) When Athearn upgraded these little switchers, I decided I needed a couple. They are great little runners and look sharp.

Wisconsin Central 1556 (Athearn RTR SW1500) This heavily weathered model is based off of a photograph of the actual thing. The look was achieved with oil paint, acrylics and powders.

Wisconsin Central 2006 (Proto 2K GP38-2) This patched ex-Algoma Central unit appears as it did shortly after the WC too over the line.

Wisconsin Central 2402 (Atlas SD24) Here are two versions of the same engine. The one on the right is a factory painted version, while the one on the left is my custom paint job.

Wisconsin Central 2402 (Atlas SD24) This unit couldn’t hide its origin as a Fox River Valley Railroad unit. It wore these colors until retirement.

Wisconsin Central 2500 (Atlas SD35) The WC only had one of these SD35’s on the roster. This one was custom painted from an undecorated model.

Wisconsin Central 3005 (Atlas GP40) This is a straight stock model without any modifications.

Wisconsin Central 3007 (Atlas GP40) Some day I’m going to get around to doing some weathering on these units to make them look a little more realistic.

Wisconsin Central 3018 (Atlas GP40) This “dogs lunch” unit was cobbled together from parts of other engines. It only looked like this for a short while before being properly repainted.

Wisconsin Central 3018 (Atlas GP40) This model is probably the most researched unit I’ve ever done. Painting it was also very challenging.

Wisconsin Central 4133 (Proto 2K GP7) Last winter I spent a lot of time working on early WC equipment. The GP can’t hide it’s CNW heritage.

Wisconsin Central 6001 (Kato SD40) The SD40 was a bit of an oddball on the WC. The 6001 was an ex-Algoma Central unit and carried a lot of Canadian modifications.

Wisconsin Central 6497 (Proto 2K SD45) Lovingly referred to as “green weenies”, a good chunk of the WC SD45 fleet were ex-Burlington Northern units.

Wisconsin Central 6574 (Athearn RTR SD45) Long gone are the days of Athearn “wide body” SD45’s. These re-boots by Athearn were well done and make a nice addition.

Wisconsin Central 6583 (Kato SD45) These early Kato SD45’s were amongst some of the first engines I ever purchased once I got back into model railroading.

Wisconsin Central 6585 (Kato SD45) Even though these engines are now approaching 20 year old, they still are excellent runners.

Wisconsin Central 6588 (Proto 2K SD45) It was nice to have more SD45’s to add to the collection, however these P2K models have an odd gear ratio, so the only play nice with each other.

Wisconsin Central 6610 (Athearn RTR SD45) Another model that is bone-stock. Some weathering will be applied when I get the chance.

Wisconsin Central 6636 (Kato SD45) If memory serves me correctly, this was an un-numbered unit from the original SD45 run.

Wisconsin Central 6640 (Kato SD45) A large percentage of the WC’s SD45 fleet were ex-Santa Fe units. Many are put into service with minimal changes to the paint scheme.

Wisconsin Central 6650 (Athearn Genesis F45) For years the only way to get an F45 was to use the original Athearn blue box model as a start. These Genesis versions were a huge leap forward.

Wisconsin Central 6651 (Athearn Genesis F45) Just like many of the SD45’s, the F-units were ex-Santa Fe engines. I really like the color these patched locomotives add to the layout.

Wisconsin Central 6652 (Athearn Genesis FP45) This was the sole FP unit rostered by the WC.

Wisconsin Central 7524 (Kato SD45) One of the interesting things about the WC SD45’s is the variety of paint styles that were used on the end of the short hood.

Wisconsin Central 7525 (Athearn RTR SD45) The WC just had a few themed engines. This “Operation Lifesaver was one of them.

Wisconsin Central 7528 (Kato SD45) Here is another variation of the short hood paint scheme.

Wisconsin Central 7638 (Kato SD45) When I decided to repaint this model, I was going to do the standard WC scheme. The hobby store only had this OLS set in stock, so that’s what I went with.

Wisconsin Central 8907 (Proto 2K SD60) This is a “foobie” model based on a “what if” the WC had acquired some Too Line engines.

Wisconsin Central 9093 (Kato SD45) Starting with a factory painted model, I modified this one to represent an Oxford Leasing unit.

More to come!

More to come!

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