Monday, December 3, 2012

Amtrak Southwestern Chief

This photo represents the Southwestern Chief in or around 1974.  The lead unit is an Amtrak acquisition, a SDP40F, in it's as delivered paint scheme.  The second unit is an E8. I found a few photos of the SDP40F mu'd with an E8 on the RRPICTUREARCHIVES.NET website.  There are many thousands of railroad photos for you to use as a reference.  I would encourage you to visit this site.

The SDP40F was made for Amtrak by EMD, Electro Motive Division of General Motors in 1973.  It was essentially and SD40-2 in a "cowl" body.  It had a 16 cylinder 3000 hp prime mover.  The model is again an old Life Like FP45, heavily modified.  The FP45 is similar in appearance to the SDP40F, a model which is not likely to be produced in N Scale.

The above model  is an E8 from Kato.  It is custom painted, as I put these units together in the nineties.  (An E8 in Amtrak paint scheme is sometimes available from Kato.)  Notice the difference in the paint schemes on these two units, the location of the "arrow" and the difference in the placing of the name Amtrak, and the different type and coloring of the lettering.  Amtrak received dozens of E8 and E9 locomotives from the various railroads joining Amtrak.

Stock Con Cor Amtrak baggage car.
These Kato Superliner cars represent the original Amtrak paint scheme.  These passenger cars have seen four paint schemes over the years. 
From right to left, a dining car, lounge, and a baggage coach crossing the Mojave desert eastbound.

Southwestern Chief passing through my recently installed Tomar searchlights.

This is the power source for the SDP40F.  It is the chassis from a Kato C44-9W, with trucks taken from a SD45.  These trucks are available separately from the Kato parts department on their website.  There is some cutting of the frame involved.  This is a modification unnecessary now(even if you could find an old Life Like model)  with the availability of the FP45's from Athearn.  
For a short video of the Southwestern Chief, go to: