Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Bringing engines back from the dead

Read the N Scale Insight column from the January 2017 Model Railroader
MRRNS0117_01
You could buy Athearn’s N scale F45s or FP45s as straight DC engines, or with a SoundTraxx Tsunami decoder, as with the F45 here. Jim Kelly thought his decoder had died, but an Athearn technician talked it back to life.
Bill Zuback photo

Several years ago I bought a couple Athearn N scale Electro-Motive Division (EMD) F45 locomotives that came with factory-installed Digital Command Control (DCC) sound decoders. I was thrilled. Only two railroads had ordered these big engines, and one was my beloved Santa Fe. (The other was Great Northern, also well-liked.)

The Santa Fe worked closely with EMD in developing the locomotive and ultimately had 40 F45s and 9 FP45s built in the late 1960s. (The FP45s were intended for passenger service, so they had a steam boiler and were 6 feet longer.)

These are big, beautiful, honkin’ engines, both in reality and in model form, even in N scale, and they’re iconic to Santa Fe fans and modelers. The Athearn N scale versions will outpull any SD-type model two-to-one, as the wide body permits a much heavier frame. And the sound effects created by the SoundTraxx Tsunami DCC decoder are just great. I wish I could afford to put sound decoders in everything.

The full text of this article is available to registered users of ModelRailroader.com. Register now!

Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on ModelRailroader.com, please log in below.
Comment on this article
0 comments
Free freight yard guide

Free freight yard guide

Operational possibilities for your layout.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Model Railroader magazine. Please view our privacy policy