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Athearn Genesis SP GP9's

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Athearn Genesis SP GP9's
Posted by Daywhitemtns on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 11:13 AM

Currently, the Athearn Genesis line has GP9's available  including Southern Pacific models in the Black Widow color scheme. My question is did SP use these models for freight service over Donner Pass? For some reason I have not been able to find this information from the online souces I have checked.

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Posted by NHTX on Thursday, October 15, 2020 2:25 AM

     The SP and subsidiary Texas and New Orleans rostered 328 GP-9s, with deliveries beginning in 1954.  These units were delivered in the then-current "black widow" paint scheme.  In the five years between their arrival on the SP and, the introduction of the "bloody nose" scheme in 1959, the GP-9 along with the F units were the face of the SP.  They went everywhere SP sent them and did what SP asked of them, right up to the UP invasion.  Short answer--yes they went over Donner, in "widow" colors.

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Posted by Daywhitemtns on Thursday, October 15, 2020 8:43 AM

Thank you very much. I don't model the SP so know very little about its practices. The reason I posed this question is that my neighbor's son has become interested in modeling the SP and wants to build a layout incorporating some elements of the Donner Pass section. Noting the availability of Athearn SP GP9's, he wanted to know if they would be appropriate for usage on his layout. Your affirmation will make him happy and help to encouage his interest in our favorite hobby.

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Posted by NHTX on Thursday, October 15, 2020 9:44 PM

     Daywhitemtns,  I don't know whether it is the GP-9, or the paint scheme that fires the gentleman's interest but the black widow paint was pretty much extinct on the SP by the late 1960s.  If the gentleman has a strong interest in all things SP GP-9, I would like to recommend the soft cover book "Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Vol.7: Electro-Motive GP-9 Locomotives" by Joseph A. Strapac, ISBN 0-930742-21-4.  Also, he might want to consider joining the Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society (www.sphts.org), which has a lot to offer the SP fan.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Saturday, October 17, 2020 8:24 PM

Has this Genesis GP9 been released yet? I have one on order but it's not here yet.

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, October 17, 2020 9:10 PM

I thought it was the 'bloody nose' GP9 that wasn't out yet -- that one still shows as due 'November 2020'.

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Posted by NHTX on Saturday, October 17, 2020 10:29 PM

     According to Athearn's website, the "black widows" are listed as "in stock" and the "bloody nose" GP-9s are due Nov.-Dec. this year.  This is the second run of the bloody noses but unfortunately, it does not include the T&NO version that does not have the UDE and gyralight package and does have a Mars headlight, instead of the Pyle headlight.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Saturday, October 17, 2020 11:48 PM

I am looking for the CPR of course. Tuscan red and grey. 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 18, 2020 2:41 AM

Lastspikemike
I am looking for the CPR of course.

Not sure why you'd assume this when asking in a thread about SP Athearn GP9s, but anyway: Athearn still shows these due in 'mid-December'.  Lombard Hobbies says they have some of the non-sound version 'in stock'; Model Train Stuff and Tony's (to name two) say 'expected November 2020' -- but these both seem to be the preweathered version, which might be on a different release schedule.  Someone here more familiar with Athearn's policy on early release to dealers for these 'rolling roadname releases' might better advise you when direct preorders (I now realize I should confirm more carefully what you actually mean when you say you have it 'on order') would ship.

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Posted by Daywhitemtns on Sunday, October 18, 2020 10:56 AM

NHTX

     Daywhitemtns,  I don't know whether it is the GP-9, or the paint scheme that fires the gentleman's interest but the black widow paint was pretty much extinct on the SP by the late 1960s.  If the gentleman has a strong interest in all things SP GP-9, I would like to recommend the soft cover book "Southern Pacific Historic Diesels, Vol.7: Electro-Motive GP-9 Locomotives" by Joseph A. Strapac, ISBN 0-930742-21-4.  Also, he might want to consider joining the Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society (www.sphts.org), which has a lot to offer the SP fan.

 

Thanks again NHTX. I'll pass on your information to my neighbor's son. My understanding is that he wants to model the 1950's so that he can include some examples of steam power on his layout. That being the case, I suppose the Black Widow scheme would be most appropriate for that era. 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, October 18, 2020 11:36 AM

My understanding is there is very little overlap between introduction of the 'bloody nose' paint (in 1958, wasn't it?) and operating steam on SP.  Only a few classes would have been repainted in the 'transition' with the passenger units apparently done first (e.g. from Daylight paint), then the Train Masters by 1963, then the passenger SD9s by 1965.  I am told that many 'widow' units survived to the GRIP rebuild program, but all that went through it came out in scarlet and gray.

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Posted by NHTX on Sunday, October 18, 2020 1:36 PM

     If the gentleman wishes to include steam power when modeling the SP, I offer the following, not knowing how closely he will follow the dictates of the prototype.  First, SP suspended steam operations at the end of November, 1956.  An economic down turn in 1957, made permanent the end of steam on the SP and the scrapping began.

     The grey and scarlet "bloody nose" paint scheme was adopted in 1958, but the first large orders of new power in that paint didn't begin to arrive until 1959.  As an economy measure, during the transition between paint schemes, SP also tried a black with orange ends paint job known as the "halloween" scheme.  Since SP had decided to go with the "bloody nose", the halloween quietly disappeared.

     The pre-1957 SP was firmly in the EMD 567 powered camp with F-3s, F-7s, SD-7 and 9s along with the GP-9s making up the freight pool.  Alco contributed switchers from high hoods up through the S models.  Alco was also represented by six motored RSD-4/5s on freights and elegant Daylight painted PA/PBs were especially prominent on passenger trains over Donner Pass, including the streamliner that spent a couple of days snowbound up there in 1952 or 3.  EMD contributed E-7s, an E-8, E-9s, and FP-7s to the passenger pool, which also rostered boiler equipped GP and SD-9s and, Fairbanks-Morse H24-66 Trainmasters.  Baldwin and Fairbanks-Morse also got in on the action because when everybody is anxious to end steam operations, they took diesels from whoever could deliver as soon as possible.

     An excellent source of information for someone modelling the SP on the west coast, are DVDs by Charles Smiley Presents (www.cspmovies.com).  They are in color and include steam as well as first generation diesels.  There are also titles covering modelling the SP.

     Finally, an SP torpedo boat GP-9 that was bought to power SP's "Del Monte" passenger train, has been restored to operating condition by a group in California, and sports black widow paint, as SP 5623.  Athearn Genesis?  I'm looking at another order of bloody noses as my interest is in the SP of the 1980s when, those 30 year old geeps still locked knuckles with the 645 and FDL power to produce ton-miles.

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Posted by Daywhitemtns on Sunday, October 18, 2020 5:37 PM

Again, more great information. I'll certainly pass it on to my neighbor's son. The SP sounds like a very interesting railroad surrounded by some beautiful scenic areas  and you've even sparked my interest in the company. I think I'll do some research in it myself, lol.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Sunday, October 18, 2020 5:55 PM

A good SP site with a lot of info is ‘my ESPEE Modelers Archive’.

http://espee.railfan.net/espee.html


Mel


 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, October 19, 2020 9:14 AM

Great information in this topic.  When I was a pre-teen, my dad was stationed at Travis Air Force Base (near Fairfield CA) where an SP mainline passed and I was first exposed to passing SP freight trains.  Prior to 6th grade in 1969, we moved up to Davis California where the east-west mainline passed through town and the west valley line split off and went north past my neighborhood and onward up to Oregon.  I never saw any black widow painted diesels at that time; mostly a steady diet of bloody nose SD45's and SD9's, with tunnel motors showing up in the early 1970's accross the long causeway trestle into west Sacramento and up over Donner Pass.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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