InterMountain Diesel SD40-2: More Realism with Factory-Installed DCC-Sound

gdmichaels Feb 10, 2017

  1. gdmichaels

    gdmichaels TrainBoard Member

    [​IMG]InterMountain SD40-2

    “Idling trains vexing neighbors” That was a recent headline in The Andover Townsman, our town newspaper. Pan Am Railways (PAR) operates freight trains throughout New England. Its EMD SD40-2 diesel engines (dark blue with white lettering and MEC reporting mark) can be seen powering long freight consists through our hometown of Andover, MA (approximately 30 miles north of Boston). Apparently, CSX engines, which also run through Andover, have been left idling on in-town train tracks (the same track used by the commuter rail) for hours at a time and this has vexed residents with excess noise (in the early morning hours) and noxious diesel fumes.

    This story resonated with George (n-scale enthusiast and founder of TroveStar) for two reasons. He felt for our neighbors’ plight. And he runs Pan Am engines on his n-scale track layout in our basement, located some 6 miles from the town railroad tracks.


    Like most of his train brethren, George likes to model what he sees. And he sees these 3,000-horsepower (2,200kW) C-C diesel-electric locomotives built by Electro-Motive Diesel (1972-1989) often when near down town Andover. Needless to say, he was pleased when InterMountain came out with not only a factory-installed ESU LokSound DCC decoder SD 40-2 diesel engine, but the Pan Am Railways version as well. The sounds produced are authentic and George does not miss having to install DCC technology. Here is a listing of InterMountain SD40-2 Pan Am Railways on TroveStar.

    George shared the Idling Train story with the InterMountain folks at January’s The Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show. InterMountain’s Ron Angstead, President/CEO and Gene Fusco, Vice President, Director of Research & Development were visibly quite proud of this product release, which uses new tooling and sophisticated micro-electronics (DCC-Sound). “Micro-electronics is getting better. This makes it more feasible for manufacturers to add a new dimension, more realism to the consumer,” said Angstead. He and Fusco were happy to hear from a satisfied customer who bought not one but two of these engines.

    As George explained to InterMountain, he kept one SD40-2 for himself. George runs the InterMountain engine along with the Kato version of the same item (sans sound). George’s thinking: in reality, most freight consists are pulled by two engines, because when one engine stalls due to a dirty patch on the train tracks (something not at all uncommon), the second engine can continue powering the train forward.

    George bought the other SD40-2 as a Rewards item for one of the Contributors to the TroveStar n-scale model train db. Alain, who lives in France, enjoys modeling trains with his young son and has so far entered more than 2000 items. He requested this particular item and George was only too happy to procure it for him as a Thank You.
  2. alcoliner

    alcoliner TrainBoard Member

    Does George have to fine tune the momentum settings on the Kato engine to consist it with the Intermountain unit, which with my experience have factory set slow starts and slow stops?
  3. gatrhumpy

    gatrhumpy TrainBoard Member

  4. gdmichaels

    gdmichaels TrainBoard Member

    When Jenna stated "in reality" she meant "while running trains at an NTRAK meet" - not prototype reality... Prototypes don't stall on dirty tracks :).

    Yes I had to speed match the new engine to the Kato's.

    I really have no clue why CSX is parking it's diesels on our local track. As far as I know that track is owned by the MBTA (local commuter rail system) and though Pan Am has track rights on it, CSX does not as it does not operate North of Boston.
  5. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

    I know the T runs on ex-B&M track, but I thought B&A (now CSX) had rights, even track, around the Lowell and Lawrence area?
  6. gdmichaels

    gdmichaels TrainBoard Member

    i checked the official CSX rail map, and they don't show any indication of these rights, but I am guessing you are correct and that there are lots of haulage rights the CSX maintains due to its legacy companies but does not bother to indicate on its for-the-public track map. According to the Pan Am map, MBTA owns the Haverhill line up to Haverhill but offers haulage rights to PanAm for this former B&M track. Pan Am owns the line North of Haverhill.
  7. k-59

    k-59 TrainBoard Member

    Intermountain announced a re-run of the first batch of road names, and another new batch. I like the candy apple Soo, but I'd rather have the two-flag CP scheme than the golden beaver. In due time I guess.

    Also note the IT scheme is prototypical, it's heritage scheme by short line operator Respondek (I love their website design).
  8. glennac

    glennac TrainBoard Member

    I love that one of their taglines is, "We're In It For The Short Haul!" :LOL::ROFLMAO:
  9. gdmichaels

    gdmichaels TrainBoard Member

    Speed matching. The Intermountain runs faster than the Kato's. I use Digitrax decoders on the Kato's though voltage is voltage so it shouldn't matter all that much what you put in your Kato. I checked my speed settings. I use the simple speed control on the Intermountain and set mid voltage to 77 and high voltage to 154. That gets a pretty darn good match with the Katos at 25% and 50% throttle.

    However, the Intermountain is programmed with a startup sequence for the sound as well as acceleration and deceleration. This means that if you jump the speed straight to 50, the Katos will be dragging the Intermountain (or trying to) while the startup sequence plays though the audio, and then this will happen again when you change speeds. If you change speeds slowly and don't mind too much about the dragging at startup, they will work together. I can also add acceleration and deceleration to the Katos to match the Intermountain, but that won't resolve the startup sequence.

    Also note, the Intermontain blue is darker than the Kato blue. I don't know which is more accurate.
  10. AlanUS

    AlanUS TrainBoard Member

    Just to be accurate: Pan-AM 616 as shown at the start of this thread is a SD45-2, also available from Intermountain.
  11. AlanUS

    AlanUS TrainBoard Member

    This is a SD40-2 (this one without Dynamic brakes):
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  12. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    One can disable the startup delay feature. On a programming track, read the value of CV 124; then subtract 4 from it, and write the new value back to CV 124. (CV124 is a bit flag register)
    mtntrainman likes this.

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