Sunday, January 29, 2012

More GP38-2 details

Hi all, I've taken the plunge and pre-ordered two examples of the SP version, due for delivery end 2012, so it gives me 12 months to save money :-) The only two items that I'm hoping they will change before release is what seems a slightly to high inertial filter hatch , and replace the mentioned micro bulbs with LED's.They'll last a lot longer, will look better, and won't get hot. This is 2012 after all....

More details are known now, here's a run down of the details of the SP version, taken from the website of the shop I have ordered these:

Key Features
  • All-new tooling
  • DCC ready using Quick Plug technology
  • EMD “notched” stepwells
  • Round flush “shotgun” exhaust stacks
  • SP light package
  • Dual Gyralight operates in both directions using DCC
  • SP “L” window
  • SP four-hole jacking pads
  • Late extended-range dynamic brakes with resistor grid details, and square PAF box
  • SP-style tall snowplow
  • SP-style walkway toolbox w/ additional tall handrail stanchion
  • 88” nose w/ brakewheel
  • New Single-Speed 48” “Q”-Fans
  • Cab roof A/C unit
  • Radio antenna with ground plane and conduit
  • Late corrugated radiator intakes
  • Front anticlimber, drop step on rear
  • Dual “Prime” air filters w/ piping
  • Late looped coupler lift bars
  • Late ECAFB (welded)
  • Brake wheel
  • All-new Nathan P-3 horn on bracket w/ “staggered” chimes
  • 3600 gallon fuel tank
  • Single-end sanding lines
  • Lift-off type under-cab access door
  • Late battery box door with long louvers
  • McHenry scale knuckle spring couplers
  • Separately applied wire grab irons
  • Etched radiator fan grills
  • Window glazing
  • Operating headlights utilizing microbulbs


  1. What Athearn continues to fail to mention is the date(s) for which their locomotives are accurate.

    With their rolling stock releases it's fairly easy: I download the PDF and zoom in to inspect the New and Repaint/Reweigh dates.

    How does one do this with locomotives? I'd like one of these (for a foreign road, maybe transfer ops) as I also have a Centralia Car Shops / Intermountain SP caboose on order.

    For me the date range 1978-82 give or take a few months :-) is important -- not because I'm such a rivet counter, but because I feel that this important for the overall "look and feel" and "believability and plausibility" of one's collection/layout.

  2. Well it depends what you want, the SP GP38-2 were delivered starting about 1980, were delivered with the L window and light package as shown etc. (see also: for more info). These were never re-numbered etc to my knowledge, so in this case it might be useful to you.
    They started their operations in Texas, but eventually made it towards California and the Donner pass. That Intermountain caboose is very nice, I was contemplating one of those too. You might also like the fact that Athearn has also announced SP C50-9 cabooses in their Genesis range, they already have the C50-7 due for delivery in April, the -9 will be September.