HO railroaders who are fans of Athearn and Southern Pacific should be prepared for some excitement. The manufacturer just released some great details and history on their new Southern Pacific Passenger GP9s.
These locomotives feature a gorgeous flat black color with some iconic paint features, and they've been captured wonderfully by Athearn with this newest product. It's available in stores now (along with a few GP9s on the DASH Marketplace), and you'll have to grab one after reading the following product details and seeing the gorgeous pre-production photos.
Until the emergence of modern commuter railroads in the late 1980s, the only commuter rail operation in the western United States was SP service from San Jose into downtown San Francisco. In April of 1955, SP took delivery of the four GP9s numbered 5622 through 5625. Like the other eight GP9s purchased by SP for secondary passenger service, they were equipped with steam generators and dual controls and carried the “double-ended wings” version of the Black Widow paint scheme with orange and silver striping on both ends. The GP9s 5622 through 5625 differed by having 1200-gallon fuel tanks and 1200-gallon water tanks, which required the air tanks to be moved to the roof.
In addition to being the only SP “torpedo-boat” GP9s, they were also the only SP GP9s that were not equipped with dynamic brakes.
Although they briefly served on secondary passenger trains, these four GP9s were soon assigned to the San Francisco commuter pool. In commuter service, they usually spent Friday night and the weekend hauling freight in the San Joaquin Valley before returning to commuter service Monday morning.
In Stores Now: Genesis HO Southern Pacific Passenger GP9
SP Passenger GP9s with "double-ended wings” are in-stores now. They were the only SP “torpedo-boat” GP9s and were also the only SP's GP9s with non-dynamic brakes. 5623 was restored to this scheme and is on display at the Niles Canyon Railway Museum in Sunol, CA.
• SP light package
• Passenger pilots
• Steam generator
• Four 36” diameter radiator fans
• Non-dynamic brake
• Roof-mounted air tanks
• 1200-gallon fuel tank
• 1200-gallon water tank
• Wagon wheel antenna mounted on the steam generator vent
• Nathan M3 horn
For item numbers and road numbers, visit our website. http://www.athearn.com/Search/Default.aspx?SearchTerm=ATHG+GP9&CatID=THLD&RN=SP&Status=In+Stock
Note: pre-production sample shown. The windwings on the production model are clear with thin silver frame.
I absolutely love this train thanks to its subtle, yet beautiful winged paint applications in iconic Southern Pacific colors. It gives it a classic feel that doesn't steal from the rich black base, making it a perfect utilitarian example of vintage color schemes. And Athearn has captured all of that personality with this magnificent HO scale piece. The details are all in place and look wonderful considering the scale. Between the stunning looks and its variety of features, this is a fantastic little model train.
You can find it on Athearn's website, or keep your eyes on the DASH Marketplace for an even better bargain. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes out for this beauty, because I'd love to take a ride on this "torpedo-boat".