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June 5, 2011 My new SD-7

I bought a new Proto 2000 SD-7 off E-Bay May 22 and it arrived on May 31 at 3:30 in the afternoon.  It was a Union Pacific Diesel when it arrived.

The pictures above and below are right out of the Proto box at 3:45 the same afternoon.

It only took me 15 minutes to remove the windows and detail parts to prep it for paint.

It only took another 15 minutes and it was almost a Southern Pacific SD-7, the shell was flat black by 4:15.  I had to hand paint the silver nose and ladders on both ends.

After the paint dried I applied the Southern Pacific Black Widow decals.

I had purchased a set of Champ SP SD-7/9 GP-9 decals a couple of years ago for a project just such as this. 

I also hand painted the grab irons white same as the prototype.  I made the number board decals on my printer, that way I didn't have to put the Champ Decals on one number at a time.

I still have to replace the couplers, it came with horn hook couplers.  

The Proto 2000s have quite a bit of detail so putting it back took some time.  The engineers weren't painted so I put them in SP blue clothing.

The picture below is the SP 5324 Prototype.

I don't know if I'm going to put the large ugly Mars lights on it or not.  I did order a pair of Details West HL-108s brass barrel lights in case I decide to use them.  I don't like them, they look like a huge after thought but all of the SD-7 engines came from EMD with them.  A half of a Mickey Mouse Ear.  

Many of the SD-7s are still in yard service today sporting the large eye sores.  The SP bought a total of 43 General Electric Electro-Motive Division SD-7 1,500 HP Locomotives in 1952/53.  They were repainted in the mid 60s with the SP Bloody Nose color scheme and renumbered.

The SD-7s replaced the steam powered AC-9s for heavy freight between El Paso, Tx and Tuccomcari, NM in the mid 1950s.  It took 4 SD-7s to replace 1 AC-9.  A single AC-9 developed 6,000 HP.

That was a sad thing for me.  We lived close to the North bound Southern Pacific tracks in El Paso in the 1950s.  I would watch the large articulated steam 2-8-8-4 AC-9s pulling from 80 to 100 cars on my way to school every morning.  There was a siding on my path where the massive locomotives would stop to let a South bound passenger train pass.  Then when the track was clear the huge engines would have problems with their 16 driver wheels slipping on the rails until they were able to get under way.  The engineer would apply the steam slowly but the wheels would still slip, he would back off on the steam and try again.  It often took dozens of tries to get the train moving again.  After he was moving about 3 to 5 MPH the wheels would stop slipping.  It is a one percent grade going North to Alamogordo, NM.

The first picture on my blog is an AC-9.

The Southern Pacific bought 43 EMD SD-7s Starting in 1952.  The earlier SD-7s were delivered painted in the orange Tiger Stripe Scheme, starting in 1955 they came painted in the Black Widow Scheme.  The last three were painted "Halloween" black with orange ends.

SP 1518 is preserved in the Illinois Railway Museum. 

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