Athearn’s SDP40F project for its Genesis line received official announcement at Denver’s new Caboose hobby shop. Athearn’s team displayed early samples of the coming HO-scale Genesis model, along with the details on the first production. The project will yield not just Amtrak’s SDP40F diesel locomotive, but also Santa Fe SDF40-2 examples. Four Amtrak SDP40F road numbers are coming, along with four Santa Fe SDF40-2 road numbers. Athearn will offer these releases in standard DC (MSRP: $209.98) and Digital Command Control with Tsunami 2 sound (MSRP: $309.98).
Announced first production Amtrak SDP40F models will reproduce the second phase of this Electro-Motive Division (EMD) six-axle diesel. Early phase SDP40Fs included a point nose, which saw revision to a profile featuring a flat center section for later units. EMD produced 150 examples of its SDP40F for Amtrak. The first batch (500-539) arrive in the summer of 1973 and included a pointed nose. The rest of SDP40F production (540-649) delivered during 1974 included the nose with a flat section in the center around the access door. Numbers coming in Amtrak’s red-nose Phase I paint scheme will include 540, 575, 589, and 636.
A pair of SDP40Fs lead Amtrak’s Empire Builder in June of 1974 at Cut Bank, Mont., just east of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and Glacier National Park. Athearn’s first production of its new HO-scale Genesis model will reproduce this flat-nose later production phase and will come decorated in the road’s red-nose Phase I paint scheme. Dick Kuelbs photo, Kevin EuDaly collection
Athearn’s announced details for its Amtrak SDP40Fs will include steam line access door snow plow pilot, low-profile dustbin, exhaust silencer, dual steam generator, as-delivered fuel/water tank arrangement, Leslie S4T air horn, roof-mounted Sinclair antenna, and cab vent. Lighting will include LED illuminated Gyralite, headlights, number boards, classification lights, and ground lights above trucks.
Following their service with Amtrak, Santa Fe acquired members of the SDP40F fleet. These units received modifications for use by Santa Fe that included a new label: SDF40-2. Athearn’s coming SDF40-2s will include rebuilt steam line access door snow plow pilot and front anti-climber step wells and front handrails, as well as standard-profile dustbin, exhaust silencer, no steam generator details, remodeled fuel tank, recessed headlight mounted in cab access door on nose, Leslie S3L air horn on bracket, antenna plate with Sinclair antenna, and roof-mounted air conditioner. The major spotting feature of these modified units, in addition to the added front handrail, was a notch cut into the sides of the nose. The coming Santa Fe SDF40-2s will include the following road numbers 5257, 5259, 5255, and 5266.
Santa Fe 5250 is rebuilt SDP40F now working freight assignments in this 1993 view. This SDF40-2 is far from home rails at Valley Yard in East St. Louis, Ill., on Gateway Western rails. Athearn’s first production will provide this unique looking notched-nose Santa Fe diesel for HO modelers. Scott Muskopf photo, Kevin EuDaly collection
Both Amtrak and Santa Fe models will feature front-and-rear clusters of MU hoses and trainline hoses, non-skid end walks, detailed and painted cab interior with control stand, 4,500-gallon fuel tank, HTC truck sideframes with high brake cylinders, flush-mounted clear window material, and factory-applied wire grab irons and lift rings. The model is recommended for operation on a 22-inch radius or wider. Athearn plans a July delivery for these all-new Genesis HO-scale SDP40F and SDF40-2 diesel models.
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