Finding Prototypes of your Rolling Stock

midwayglenrr Feb 24, 2023

  1. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    For myself, being not so new, but not so knowledgeable to model railroading and railfanning in general can be quite a learning experience. Though, I've always known what location and era I want to model and have made sure to buy my structures, rolling stock, etc. accordingly.. I've also realized that I know virtually nothing about diesel locomotive makes, models, years of production, etc.

    When I bought my 2 Lifelike Southern Railway N scale diesel units some 20 years ago (with Rapido couplers), all I cared about was that I had two beautiful Southern engines, which I'd come to know as "Southern Tuxedos", with two different road numbers, 202 and 207. Lifelike sold them as (EMD) SD-7 units, identified on the jewel case insert. As I began watching YouTube videos on N scale SD-7s, I came across a guy doing an unboxing of one of the exact same engines I own that he bought (new/old) off eBay.

    It was a short video, but I found out something I've never known. He pointed out the markings "C of G" underneath the road number, which he remarked "Central of Georgia". I grabbed a magnifying glass and looked at my engine... it has the same gold marking. I'd never noticed it, it's so tiny. After some research I started learning about all these great old defunct railway companies: Central of Georgia, RF&P, SCL, SAL.. that had been inherited into Class 1 railroads after acquisitions. Southern Railway absorbed Central of Georgia rolling stock, but I couldn't find any record of SD-7s with road numbers 202 and 207 ever purchased by C of G.

    Finally, I stumbled across the information I was looking for. I first found prototype photos from 1985 of both my locomotives, ironically, coupled together. Then, I found that these locos weren't EMD SD-7s, but in fact, EMD SD-9s. The only differences in the two models were engine design, the exterior was basically the same. On Wikipedia's page on the General Motors EMD SD-9, it states that 515 units were produced from 1954-1959 and six of those, 202 thru 207, were purchased by Central of Georgia.

    As far as Lifelike's production of these models being labeled as SD-7s, I'm not sure what happened, there, but obviously they were basing these on actual prototypes. They are great running little engines, very smooth and quiet. I don't know about Lifelike quality these days, I've heard bad things, but apparently these were produced in a time when quality was high. They haven't been run in 20 years and with only 20 minutes (break-in) total run time, so they will need a complete breakdown and cleaning/lubrication.
     

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  2. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2023
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  3. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    That's pretty neat. I'm assuming this is only for CSX railcars. I do have 2 microtrains cars from the CSX "family tree" series I tried, SCL and SAL, but found no info. Most of my rolling stock is Southern with several being Atlas 40' plug door boxcars. I've tried to find info on a few road numbers, but no luck. I did find my caboose, though, X458 (I'm holding the shell in my profile pic).
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I found the 198 and 199 working Inman Yard in Atlanta on 01/28/1989.

    1989-01-28 LOCO SOU 198 Atlanta [Inman Yard] GA - for upload.jpg

    1989-01-28 LOCO SOU 199 Atlanta [Inman Yard] GA - for upload.jpg
     
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  5. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    Hardcoaler, awesome photos! This is the 1st picture I found of 202 and 207, I believe taken at Inman, as well in '85. 362f7828f08673799db774b0ffd70461 (1).jpg
     
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  6. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    For yard engines that receive very little TLC and lots of hard work, they sure look spiffy in their Tuxedos!
     
  7. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Usually the spotting difference between the SD-7 and SD-9 is the classification lights. SD-7 usually had them centered above the number boards while SD-9 had them closest to the side of the engine. Also, the SD7 steps are ladder-like and the SD9s are a more conventional stair-step type. Key word being 'usually'.
     
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  8. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    Seems to work for any company's cars, such as EDGX in the example. The key is the cars have to be extant. Any SCL or SAL would have been either retired or re-lettered (and possibly renumbered) to CSXT long ago. The other link OTOH is historical and covers SCL and SAL.
     
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  9. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    I figured out why I couldn't like comments or quote reply on this site... I'm on an Android phone. You must select "view desktop site" on mobile to have full functionality. My bad, all straight now :)
     
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  10. Many Trains

    Many Trains TrainBoard Member

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    Southern always had sharp looking equipment! The tuxedo scheme is one of the best. I like the original green paint scheme they had too.
     
  11. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    I was thinking they were only used as yard switchers, too, but from what I gather from the info available, they are considered "road switchers," meaning road use and/or yard switchers. Meant to pull long, heavy loads at lower speeds, such as coal. I guess they'll work ok for the shortline I plan to model (they'll have to, it's all I've got, or can afford). To find examples of SD7s/SD9s used on the road, I looked to YouTube. I found a video of one engine pulling 40 cars on a shortline rr.
     
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  12. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    I see the difference in Google image searches, I'll have to investigate my engines again when I can get to them. I'm moving things around in totes, atm. I have a couple recent purchases of 40' boxcars to add to the tote with my rolling stock. Judging from the photo I posted, the steps look more ladder-like. If classification lights are detailed, they'll only be in the mold of the shell, no actual lights. There's only 1 light that illuminates a lens that includes headlight and road # lights on either side of the headlights. There is, however, the same lens on the back of the loco, so you can switch direction of the bulb and run them long nose forward, which I understand Southern was famous for.
     
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  13. Many Trains

    Many Trains TrainBoard Member

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    The Southern ran some units short end forward. The early units like the GP7 & GP9, and even the GP30 & GP35 were actually short end forward. It was after this generation of units that they began the long end forward set up.
     
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  14. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    I didn't see the second link in your 1st post. I realized I had to select "desktop site" when using Android. Now I'm good, full site functionality. I will check out those links. Here's a photo of the SBD car I have. It was, from what I understand, during the short life of Seaboard, '82-'86, before all became CSX. I used the eBay pic, I've only had it a couple of weeks.

    SCLWeatheredSide1.jpg
     
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  15. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for the info. Why do you suppose they started running long end forward? I assumed it was a nod to the steam era, with engine cabs on the rear.
     
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  16. Many Trains

    Many Trains TrainBoard Member

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    I honestly don't know. The info I got was from a book called Diesel Locomotives of the Southern Railway. A REALLY useful book if you are interested in the Southern. The info is probably in there and I have just forgotten it (or never read that part).

    One thing is for sure, Southern locomotives look good, front and back!
     
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  17. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    I'd love to get my hands on that book. Not many documentaries or SR films on the tube. The only films I can find are from the 50s and produced by Southern Railway. Yes, apparently they had their own division dedicated to film production. Crazy how big the company was.
     
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  18. Many Trains

    Many Trains TrainBoard Member

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    The book is still out there, possibly with specialist vendors of railroad books. Well worth it if you can find a copy.

    I've seen a few of those films on youtube. There was one that followed a box car that I thought was pretty interesting.
     
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  19. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    LOL, I downloaded that one! Clickety-clack, a boxcar on a railroad track... The title is "Via Sevier" :)
     
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  20. midwayglenrr

    midwayglenrr TrainBoard Member

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    Actually, that renumbered Seaboard Coastline boxcar purchase was a goof on my part. I wanted a SCL car and wasn't paying attention to the lettering. I thought I was buying a car renumbered for SAL. That small mistake can date my entire layout to post-1982. Seaboard began in December of '82, AFTER the Norfolk Southern merger began. I may trade the SBD car, may keep it, idk. Who's really gonna know besides die-hard railfans?
     
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