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Earle Baldwin

Atlas™ GP38-2 - CSX Diesel Locomotive

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[float=right]47631_TQ.jpg[/float]In 1972, the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors introduced an upgraded version of its popular GP38 road switcher. Classed GP38-2, the new locomotive featured enhancements including a solid state, modular electrical control system and improved engine components designed to maximize the unit's tractive effort while reducing its emissions. Rated at 2,000horsepower courtesy of its 645E prime mover, the GP38-2 proved very versatile with over 2,200 units sold to customers in multiple countries.

 

In the successful tradition of its prototype, Atlas has released an outstanding rendition of the GP38-2 in N scale. The sample my review is based upon is decorated as the CSX 2717. The 2717 joined the road's roster when Conrail was officially split between CSX and Norfolk Southern on June 1, 1999. It is the former CR 8043. The locomotive wears the current dark blue scheme of CSX which has been splendidly reproduced on the model. Paint and lettering are evenly applied. Handrails are fully painted with safety yellow correctly adorning the ends per prototype practice. The road number is displayed in the proper font and colors within the number boards. In addition, assorted builder's, leasing company and warning signage is applied in the correct locations. The model is a genuine treat for the eyes.

 

Operationally, the GP38-2 runs as well as it looks. The locomotive features Atlas' highly regarded Scale Speed motor which enables prototypically correct speeds. Illumination is provided by golden white LED's. Completing the package are blackened wheels and AccuMate magnetic knuckle couplers. The model pulls well and is a reliable performer.

 

The GP38-2 is available in two configurations. A DCC ready version is priced at $99.95 and the unit with the decoder installed by the manufacturer sells for $129.95. Mine is the DCC ready version. The website catalog illustration of the GP38-2 decorated for CSX and other additional roadname selections may be viewed at the following link: http://www.atlasrr.com/nloco/ngp38-2a.htm

 

Happy railroading,

 

Earle

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