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SW1200 vs SW1000/1500

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SW1200 vs SW1000/1500
Posted by FRRYKid on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 9:18 AM

Got yet another one for my forum friends: Not that I really need another engine (I have somewhere around 25 already), but the thought of having an SW1200 piques my interest. (My favorite railroad had some and they survived into its descendent railroad, which I model.) The easily available options are a little out of the budget, so that leads to a question: How similar (externally) is an SW1000/1500 to a SW1200? A 1000/1500 seems to be a little easier to obtain in my budget range. As usual, thank you for any assistance that the forums can provide.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 9:54 AM

FRRYKid
Not that I really need another engine (I have somewhere around 25 already), but the thought of having an SW1200 piques my interest. (My favorite railroad had some and they survived into its descendent railroad, which I model.) The easily available options are a little out of the budget, so that leads to a question: How similar (externally) is an SW1000/1500 to a SW1200? A 1000/1500 seems to be a little easier to obtain in my budget range.

Of course you always need another engine, until you get like some of us who have more than we will probably ever use.  After I move, I'll probably be trying to sell a few just for that reason.

Anyway, to your question.  My favoriate RR, D&RGW, purchased from that line.  The story according to Joesph Strapac in Rio Grande Diesels Vol 2 is that EMD offered the SW1200 in the early 1960's - D&RGW bought 10 SW1200's in 1964 and 1965.  They needed more the following year, but EMD was no longer offering them and instead were offering SW1000 and SW1500's.  With the SW1200 no longer on the catelog, D&RGW chose 10 more SW1000's when they went back in 1966 for 3 and in 1968 for 7 more.

The SW1000 and 1500 have a "family appearance" with the earlier SW1200 model but they bodies are not the same and there are significant differences.

I only have the Athearn SW1000 right now but even though they are in the RTR line, they have mashima motors and run very quiet and smoothly, and they have a lot of detail so they are nearly Genesis level in appearance.  The price is pretty modest - the first run of them I got for around $70 about 10 years ago.  The most recent runs can be found for around for around 100 give or take - mostly give.  I think they went for $99 on MBK but many ebay sellers are asking significantly more.  If you shop around, you may find them close to $100.  I picked up another 1st run Athearn SW1000 for $75 on Ebay recently so you can find them for less and they are quite decent for the price.

The SW1200 was originally offered by LL Proto2000 and they are very nicely detailed and painted and running switchers too, even back in the day when LL offered them - they good good reviews - probably one of Lifelikes better P2k engines. 

You may be able to find one of those for a good price on Ebay.  Walthers is re-running them with Lok Sound but the price will be up there - most of Walthers engines are on the pricey side.

Basically the options are wide open and it depends on what you can find on Ebay, a train show or a dealer.  Likely you will see both Life Like Proto 2000 and Walthers Proto 2000 versions of the SW1200 on Ebay, but the Walthers will be much higher priced unless a scammer is trying to pass  off a Life Like version as a a Walthers issue.  The LL should be alot cheaper, but still be pretty good. 

You could get either Athearn SW1000/1500 or P2k SW1200 (LL) model for a good price very possibly with a little shopping around.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 10:07 AM

I lived for many years across the street from the Minneapolis Northfield & Southern; in the 1970's they used back-to-back SW-1200s and/or SW-1500s on the line, so I got to see a lot of them.

The SW-1200 was fairly similar to prior EMD switchers like the SW-7 or NW-2. The SW-1000/1500 was a bit different, a bit taller and a different cab / cab roof.

Here's a link to a pic my friend Greg Smith took of MNS 36 (SW-1500) and MNS 30 (SW-1200) working on that line - you can see the differences, particularly in the cab, very well in the pic:

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=658533

Stix
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Posted by FRRYKid on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 6:28 PM

wjstix

The SW-1200 was fairly similar to prior EMD switchers like the SW-7.

In that case, could an SW7 with a few details changed be used to sub for an SW1200? The main change, IIHO, would be changing the headlights on both the cab and the body to a more modern type.

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Posted by DSchmitt on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 2:03 AM

The main visual difference is the number of stacks.  SW8 one, SW1200 two.  Headlights may be specified by the buyer and do not distinguish between the two models.

http://yardlimit.railfan.net/emd/spotting/index.html

 

 

 

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 12:14 PM

SW-7 and SW-1200 both had two stacks, substituting one for the other work. Details would (as noted) be more railroad-specific than relating to the type of switcher.

Stix
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Posted by dehusman on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 12:50 PM

FRRYKid
How similar (externally) is an SW1000/1500 to a SW1200?

I would suggest that you Google images of both and look at the pictures, but people get upset when you tell them obvious stuff that they can do for themselves. 

The SW1500, 1000 and 1001 all share a common hood and cab design.  The SW7, 8 and 1200 all share an older design.

The SW1500 compared to the SW1200 has different steps, different frame, different hood design, different taper to the hood, the cab is shaped differently and has a different roof profile.  The rear platform and sand boxes are shaped differently.  The handrails on the ends are shaped differently.

They both have similar bell.

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Posted by angelob6660 on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 1:21 PM

If I remember correctly your railroad is the Burlington Northern. 

It will be easier to get a SW1500 switcher, or a SW1200. (Some are still going strong into the BNSF era) The SW1000s were retired by 1972.

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 5:54 PM

angelob6660

If I remember correctly your railroad is the Burlington Northern. 

The SW1000s were retired by 1972.

 

The D&RGW acquired their SW1000 in 1965/66 - that would only be a 6 or so life span or a little more.  Why did BN get rid of them so soon?

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Posted by FRRYKid on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 6:27 PM

angelob6660

If I remember correctly your railroad is the Burlington Northern. 

My BN era is the rainbow era from the original merger to the merger with the Frisco. Actually the prototype for this engine is a Northern Pacific SW1200, a parent to the BN. (I also model NP prototypes as well.)

angelob6660

The SW1000s were retired by 1972.

 
I have written evidence that at least one survived to the BNSF era: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2945474
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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 7:27 PM

The SW7, SW9, and SW1200 are extremely similar.

To quote my Second Diesel Spotter's Guide (yes, I CAN reach it from my computer)

"The SW9 has six louvers in the battery box behind the cab; the SW1200 has five louvers here.  Exceptioni: SW1200s built 1/54 to 3/55 still have six louvers; they are indistinguishable from SW9's.  All three models have two centered stacks and a full-length radiator grille which distinguish them from other EMD switchers.  The SW7 is distinguishable from the others by a letterboard gap in the hoodside vents.  The SW9 and SW1200 lack the upper set of vents."

page EMD-43

At this moment there are a boatload of Proto HO SW9s on Ebay for under a hundred bucks.  The obvious answer to me seems to be to buy one and sand off the offending louver on the battery box and paint her up.

 Or, here.  Here is a BN SW1200.  And yes, I counted louvers.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HO-Scale-PROTO-2000-SW9-1200-Burlington-Northern-Diesel-Engine-NICE/372125721184?hash=item56a46be260:g:OS4AAOSwGwlZ~MmE

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

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Posted by angelob6660 on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 8:21 PM

riogrande5761

 

 
angelob6660

If I remember correctly your railroad is the Burlington Northern. 

The SW1000s were retired by 1972.

 

 

The D&RGW acquired their SW1000 in 1965/66 - that would only be a 6 or so life span or a little more.  Why did BN get rid of them so soon?

 
I really don't know I got my information from Burlington Northern Motive Roster.
 

Modeling the G.N.O. Railway, The Diamond Route.

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Posted by FRRYKid on Wednesday, November 08, 2017 8:25 PM

Bayfield Transfer Railway

At this moment there are a boatload of Proto HO SW9s on Ebay for under a hundred bucks.  The obvious answer to me seems to be to buy one and sand off the offending louver on the battery box and paint her up.

I found an IC unit for a relatively inexpensive cost. The nice part about the IC unit is that it is already black which will make it easier to paint to NP colors as the main color of those engines are black. I will just need to find the right decal set to letter the unit.

One thing that I remembered that I need to ask: Were the SW9/1200 Protos subject to the drive gears cracking like the GP18s? If so I will need to find some Athearn drive gears from my parts box.

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Posted by SSW9389 on Thursday, November 09, 2017 5:12 AM

The BN was still buying SW1000s in 1972. 

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, November 09, 2017 7:42 AM

FRRYKid
My BN era is the rainbow era from the original merger to the merger with the Frisco.

Stix
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, November 09, 2017 3:11 PM

wjstix
FRRYKid
My BN era is the rainbow era from the original merger to the merger with the Frisco.

Yes probably true the term rainbow era was perhaps inadvertently appropriated from the Amtrak Rainbow period of the same time frame when Amtrak passenger trains traveling BN former GN/NP/CB&Q lines included a "rainbow" of colors of engines and passenger cars from the variety of roads they were inherited from. 

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