Not only was EMD’s SD40-2 one of the best-selling diesel locomotives of all time, it virtually defined the face of railroading for nearly two decades – much as the “covered wagon” had done a generation before. Lionel is proud to bring back this landmark locomotive with LEGACY and non-powered versions to boost your roster.
The SD40-2 emerged almost as a step-down model from EMD’s brutish SD45 designed in 1965. The 3600 hp SD45’s were good pullers, but that 20-cylinder engine had a hungry appetite for fuel. Problems with crankshaft failures also haunted the giants. With fuel costs rising in the 1970s, the added fuel consumption combined with higher maintenance costs per unit caused a shift in railroad thinking and purchasing. Operational efficiency had to be redefined as more than just squeezing every bit of horsepower you could out of a single locomotive.
The 3000 hp SD40, also introduced in 1965, offered such a platform. Seeing the potential in this locomotive, orders began to rise towards 1970. When EMD introduced its new “-2” upgrade package in 1972 and added it to the SD40, they created the reliable, efficient and powerful locomotive the railroads demanded. And the railroads responded with more orders than EMD had ever seen.
Over the course of its production, the SD40-2 saw several design revisions and buyer options. From dynamic brakes to high short hoods, to varying sized fuel tanks, trucks, cabs, lights and smaller details, all 3,982 SD40-2s were far from identical. Perhaps the most common characteristic of nearly all the SD40-2s was the long “porches” on the ends of the units. The SD40-2 shared the same frame as the SD45-2, not the SD40, which created several feet of extra space beyond the hoods at each end. This was done to accommodate the new HT-C trucks, although some roads ordered SD40-2s with the older Flexicoil trucks anyway.
Despite the introduction of the SD50 in 1981, SD40-2 production remained strong for North American railroads into 1986 and orders for more distant countries lasting until 1989 – four years after production of the SD50 ended! The longevity of the SD40-2 went way beyond initial construction and continues today. Beginning in the late 1980s, many railroads began upgrading SD40s with -2 packages. Others began downsizing their SD45s to SD40-2s. Rebuild programs continue today, with some roads converting SD50s into what are essentially modern SD40-2s.
Now 40 years after production began, many SD40-2s are still going strong. While their numbers are certainly declining, the distinctive classic carbodies show no signs of disappearing any time soon. The final chapters are still being written on these locomotives.
Lionel’s LEGACY SD40-2
If your railroad interests cover any time after 1972, your layout just wouldn’t look right without at least one of these ubiquitous units! With the addition of our LEGACY systems, these locomotives should be just as popular on your line as the real ones were with most crews.
This latest release comes with LEGACY powered locomotives in two numbers for each roadname and an additional non-powered number to recreate those typical 3-unit SD40-2 lashups that exemplified railroading for a generation. LEGACY versions retail for $529.99 and non-powered $239.99. All will negotiate an O-31 curve.
- LEGACY control – capable of running on TMCC and conventional as well
- Odyssey II Speed Control for 2 Maintenance free motors with momentum flywheels
- LEGACY Railsounds including
- Crewtalk and TowerCom communications
- Six official railroad speeds
- Eight diesel RPM levels
- Quilling Horn along with appropriate warning sounds
- Bell with single hit or continuous sounds
- Sequence Control to narrate an entire trip
- Fuel and speed announcements and refueling sounds
- Fan-driven smoke unit with adjustable output
- Lighting Effects including
- Directional LED headlight and back-up light
- Marker lights front and rear
- Number boards
- Cab interior
- Traction tires
- Die cast metal pilot, trucks and fuel tank
- Detailed cab interior with window glass and engineer and fireman figures
- Loads of separately applied details
- ElectroCouplers on front and rear
- MSRP: $529.99
Non-Powered Locomotives Feature
- Die cast metal pilot, trucks and fuel tank
- Detailed cab interior with window glass
- Select separately applied details
- Magnetic couplers on front and rear
- MSRP: $239.99
These locomotives are on their way to dealers now, so don’t wait to catch your iconic piece of railroading! See more now on our Customer Service new product video.