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Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Santa Fe SW-1

Thinking of what to post about this week my thoughts turned to the locomotives I actually have running on the layout right now.

The rear locomotive I have posted about before, it is a modified AHM HO SW-1. This model is from the side over scale for HO, probably around 1/80 scale. It passes in OO as plausible and the truck wheelbase is also correct so it makes potentially for a quick conversion. The Orient SW-1 has however a modified drive using Athearn parts and eight wheel pick up.

The front locomotive is essentially the same model, the body being perhaps the Model Power version of it, made up from parts of actually two locomotives purchased at swap meets. The drive is more or less the stock drive with four wheel pick up. In the prior post it had a C&NW body but I also had a Santa Fe shell and have more interest in the Santa Fe so it was switched over a while back.

As a pair this pair runs well, they just are not all that powerful. Three standard, classic OO cars will over tax the pair, but lighter, free rolling cars, especially Schorr, do well--I can run as many as five or six cars which is plenty for a local freight.

The Santa Fe did not own and SW-1s and I may repaint this model. Or I may leave it be just because I like the Santa Fe. The pair looks great pulling classic and modern cars, and this model is a great option for the modern OO operator.

UPDATE: A few months after this post I burned out the original motor on the Santa Fe locomotive. The heavy service of pulling vintage OO gauge cars is not what these models were designed for, and it not running the same speed as the other SW-1 in the photo did not help. But the Athearn drive parts do help these models out a lot in OO operation. As to this one, it will either be rebuilt or disappear into the parts supply when this SW-8 is built up.

UPDATE 12/2014: Working on something else I decided to replace the motor. A quick fix; was tearing down another of these models (damaged/train show find) to use for the front truck and sideframes on another model. Good to see it running and complete again.

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