New Product Spotlight – SD40-2 Diesels

1 07 2013

The best-selling locomotive of all time. Anyone who has spent any time beside the rails from the 1970s to today would have no trouble believing the SD40-2’s rightful claim to that title.

Chessie

6-38918 Chessie System

The SD40 was overshadowed in the trade press by the more powerful SD45 when EMD introduced the locomotives in 1965. But crankshaft problems and high fuel consumption in the midst of rapidly rising oil prices caused many railroads to quickly reconsider the priorities of horsepower over efficiency. Soon the “mid-size” SD40 was gaining ground and finding buyers all across North America.

When EMD introduced it’s upgraded “-2” electrical package in 1972, the SD40 became even more attractive. The 3,000 horsepower road engine was just the right size for nearly every task. Its efficient and reliable operation sealed the deal.

B&O

6-38924 B&O

In order to accommodate the new HT-C trucks without compromising the space for the fuel tank, EMD used a longer frame for the SD40-2. The result was a pair of very large “porches” that gave the SD40-2 a distinctive look. When EMD modified the radiator air intakes for the “Tunnel Motor” SD40T-2, most of the back porch was eliminated. We’ve included this variation on our Union Pacific model.

UP

6-38936 Union Pacific (SD40T-2)

In total, EMD sold 3,982 SD40-2s between 1972 and 1989. A testament to the locomotive’s reliability,  most are still in service today. Many railroads have rebuilt their SD40-2 fleets as opposed to selling or trading them. Most of those that have been sold have gone to leasing companies which loan the locomotives back to the railroads when traffic demands are high. Other locomotives like SD45s and SD50s have been rebuilt so that, at least internally, they are identical to the SD40-2.

Found on railroads coast-to-coast (and beyond), Lionel is proud to add five new roadnames to our growing family of SD40-2s. All of the models feature:

  • LEGACY Control – also capable of running on TMCC or Conventional

    Conrail

    6-38933 Conrail

  • Odyssey II Speed Control
  • LEGACY RailSounds including
    • CrewTalk and TowerCom dialog
    • 6 Railroad speeds
    • 8 Diesel RPM levels
    • LEGACY Quilling horn
    • Single hit or continuous mechanical bell
    • Sequence control provides sounds and dialog for an entire trip around your layout
    • Current speed and fuel dialog and refueling sounds
  • ElectroCouplers on front and rear
  • Dual motors with flywheels
  • Refined Transformer Control with lower starting speeds
  • Traction Tires
  • Fan-driven smoke unit with adjustable output
  • Directional lighting including LED headlights
  • Working Marker Lights
  • Illuminated number boards
  • Lighted and detailed cab interior with figures
  • Operating Ditch Lights
  • Metal frame
  • Die-cast metal trucks, fuel tank and pilots
  • O-31 minimum curve

Two LEGACY powered and one non-powered locomotive are available for each roadname allowing you to recreate a typical 3-unit consist. These locomotives also frequently wandered from one railroad to another, so mixing some of your favorites will look perfectly prototypical.

Non-Powered locomotives feature:

NS

6-38939 Norfolk Southern

  • Die-cast metal trucks, pilot and fuel tank
  • Select separately applied details
  • Magnetic couplers

In addition to the five new roadnames pictured here, the SD40-2s are also available decorated for the Norfolk and Western, Missouri Kansas and Texas, Burlington Northern, Frisco, Chicago and Northwestern and CSX. See our 2013 Catalog for more images.

From sea to shining sea, the SD40-2 is the perfect power for anybody who enjoys the trains of the 1970s to today. See your local dealer to add this best-seller to your roster.

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4 responses

14 07 2013
Andrew Falconer

Lionel should make Soo Line SD40-2 #6623. It was the last SD40-2 built.

14 07 2013
Andrew Falconer

Please make the HELM leasing versions of the SD40-2.

14 07 2013
Gold Price

The term tunnel motors was a nickname describing the SD45T-2 and later SD40T-2 built during a nearly ten-year period starting in the early 1970s. The idea began as a test by Electro-Motive and Southern Pacific to solve an overheating issue. Engineers from both companies tried several different ideas to reduce, and hopefully eliminate locomotives from overheating inside the long tunnels and snowsheds found along the Southern Pacific’s main line in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and Nevada. Ultimately, they determined that by merely moving the air-intakes near the bottom of the carbody to draw in cooler air would solve th eissue and the idea proved successful. Later, Rio Grande used the same concept on a large order of SD40T-2s, which was also purchased by SP. Today, many of these units remain in service on various shortlines and regionals.

14 07 2013
Mohammad Cannon

With the understanding that each department at EMD (Engineering, Sales, and Service) was truly different in their methods, the T-2 designation was definitely part of EMD’s engineering reference, with sales (locomotive specification books) and service (product reference books) coming to the game a couple years after the fact. An example of the Service Department delay is that the service manual for the SD40T-2 is labeled as ‘SD40-2, with cooling system modification.’ Remembering that EMD means “Every Model Different”, my question was if the T-2 designation was from EMD, or was it from the railfans. I have my answer — it was from EMD.

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