Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Athearn SW7 vs SW1500

806 views
5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 12,462 posts
Posted by wjstix on Monday, September 20, 2021 4:40 PM

Here's a pic a friend of mine posted of an SW-1200 (very similar to an SW-7) working with an SW-1500 behind it. You can see the difference in cab shape, height, etc.

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=670104

p.s. The pic was taken about 1 block north of where I grew up.

Stix
  • Member since
    January 2014
  • From: MN
  • 108 posts
Posted by Da Stumer on Monday, September 20, 2021 12:31 PM

What Athearn originally sold as an SW1500 was in reality an SW7. Irv Athearn often got locomotive plans from EMD before the real thing was released, so his models wouldn't always reflect the final EMD product, this was one of those cases. When Athearn released an accurate model of the SW1500 many years later, they retroactively corrected the naming of the SW7.

Handrails are not a spotting feature, as both locomotives were offered with outside and inside handrails as options. If you look at photos, you'll see that both locomotives are pretty distict from each other, as they have very different front end and cab layouts among other things.

SW7 with inside handrails:

SW7 with outside handrails:

SW1500 with inside handrails:

SW1500 with outside handrails:

 

-Peter. Mantua collector, 3D printing enthusiast, Korail modeler.

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Heart of Georgia
  • 4,636 posts
Posted by Doughless on Monday, September 20, 2021 11:50 AM

The SW1500 had the square cab that was consistant with EMDs second generation diesels that also had the angular cabs.  GP35, 38, etc.

Not the same cab, but angular more than round.

The Sw7 had the round cab roof, like the first gen diesels like the GP7, 9, etc.

Handrails on the SW7 were normally hung along the long hood, since it was a switcher (yard).

The Sw1500 was more of a road switcher too, so it gnerally had handrails attached to the sills.

The cab shape is the best spotting feature, IMO.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    September 2002
  • From: Maricopa, AZ
  • 226 posts
Posted by DanRaitz on Monday, September 20, 2021 10:55 AM

7j43k
I expect the sure-fire way to tell them apart is that the radiator exhaust grill on the front top of the hood of the SW1500 wraps around onto the side for a ways.  On the SW7, it shows only on top.  

 

Another is the shape of the cab roof.  SW1500 roof is not as curved as the SW7.

 

Dan

If women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy .... Red Green
  • Member since
    May 2004
  • 7,096 posts
Posted by 7j43k on Monday, September 20, 2021 9:28 AM

Many SW7's had side handrails added later.  I'm not sure if any were sold by EMD with them already on.

There were some SW1500's without the side handrails.

So the handrails aren't a reliable "spotting feature".

 

I expect the sure-fire way to tell them apart is that the radiator exhaust grill on the front top of the hood of the SW1500 wraps around onto the side for a ways.  On the SW7, it shows only on top.

 

Ed

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: US
  • 113 posts
Athearn SW7 vs SW1500
Posted by leewal on Monday, September 20, 2021 9:19 AM

I know Athearn produced what they called SW1500 in the 1960's but then re-named them to SW7 around 1990 when they produced a newer SW1500. I always used the different side rails to identify the 7 from the 1500.  Now I'm confused. I was just on a site called American Rails that shows photos of both but the SW7 & SW1500. The 7 had full side rails and the 1500 had just the top rail, just the opposite of the Athearn models. Were both prototypes manufactured with both types? 

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!