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Easy Diesel Modeling Project: Southern Pacific SD7 #5324

November 4, 2010

The Southern Pacific was a large purchaser of EMD’s seminal SD7, starting in 1952. They even bought EMD’s demonstrator, which still survives at the Illinois Railroad Museum in Union Ill. However, we’re not telling the tale of that particular unit, we’re depicting another member of it’s class. DF-118 was the number given to this order of SD7’s, and was unusual among the other SD orders of the era. It was built with dual tanks, the front being for a 1200 gallon water supply and a steam generator, for use as backup power for passenger service, most likely on the San Francisco peninsula and up north on the Northwestern Pacific and other locations.

Southern Pacific SD7

I Modeled my unit precisely like SD7 #5324. The stock Walther’s Proto 2000 unit was essentially unmodified. The painting of the trucks flat black, light weathering on the pilot and on the brake hangars makes this an essentially new locomotive on my layout. In my modeled year,1954, this locomotive was just 2 years old. Although not shown the addition of a full compliment of steam generator equipment will be added to the short hood, as pictured in this photo. The major detail added to the locomotive is of course the large “Barrel” or “Ashcan” headlight. After carefully drilling a small hole in the top of the front of the hood, it fit without much effort. I then cut out a round piece of acetate and attached it with testor’s “glass” adhesive for models. I then carefully painted it black.

All in all, a pretty darn easy detailing project that couldn’t take more than an hour including painting. Not to mention it’s a versatile locomotive, at home in the yard, on the main, on a local or pulling a passenger train. Although the gearing of these locomotives was less than ideal for fast “commute” service, (slow acceleration) it served admirably on the NWP for many years and perhaps all over California.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 19, 2012 12:30 pm

    The P2K model came with 3 of the required 4 end ladders. Lifelike’s been taken over by Walthers, who’s not selling spares. What to do? Replace them with ladders from the Atlas SD24. An easy upgrade. They are finer detailed, as well.

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