Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Power for the CP Rail M & M Sub.

New power on the M & M Sub.

The worst thing about a finished model railroad is not needing anything new.

I passed the acquisition stage some time ago. For a long time, I have owned all the motive power and rolling stock I need.

It sort of puts a damper on visiting the hobby shop or going to a train show.

But I recently did aquire some used locomotives. For a while now, I've been interested in upgrading my fleet of SD40-2 locomotives--the bulk of which is Atheran blue box. Despite the fact that the venerable and much-lauded SD40-2 was one of North American railroading's most ubiquitous locomotives, and that CP Rail had one of the largest fleets, there really aren't many CP Rail units available in model form.

For my money, the best units were made by Kato. But not only aren't they making many HO items anymore, the CP Rail SD40-2 units they did produce had terrible lettering (too skinny). I have one, but I still wince everytime it passes by.

Athearn did produce an upgraded SD40-2 in CP Rail in the late 1990s, but try finding one now. (There is a high nose version coming out this year that might tempt me.)

And Atlas? Well, that would be the best thing, in my books--I love their GP 38-2 units. But they don't make any SD40-2 units in HO at all.

That's why I was glad to find buy some new Kato power from my friend Rob Sarna recently--two SD40-2 units in SOO and a Kato CP Rail SD45. They are beautifully detailed and weathered; Rob did a great job. They look good pulling freight on the M & M Sub.

Meanwhile, I'm still in the hunt for some new CP Rail SD40-2 locomotives--upgraded Athearns or Kato (without the skinny logo).

And Atlas, you can make my day by making an SD40-2 in CP Rail.

The SD45 looks great . . .


  1. Its great that you can restrain yourself from buying unnecessary things for your layout. Sometime back I went to the home of model railroader who had about five large closets full of really expensive models for his planned layout. Poor guy passed away before he could even get started on the layout - alas.

  2. I know what you mean about the Kato SD40-2. The lettering looks anaemic. However, Kato has also done a straight SD40 (no -2) in CP Rail and the lettering is much better. Not cheap on eBay. For my money, Athearn has always had the better paint and lettering work. Shame the mechanisms aren't up to Kato or Atlas standards.
    Andrew Kerr
    Sydney, Australia