HO GP9, SP/Black Widow #5634

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Key Features

  • Genesis driveline with dynamically balanced five pole skew wound motor and dual flywheels
  • All-wheel drive and electrical pick-up
  • DCC Quick-Plug equipped
  • Accurate "nub"-style walkway tread detail
  • Wire grab irons installed
  • Etched metal radiator intake grilles and fan grilles
  • Many prototype-specific details applied
  • Celcon handrails
  • Equipped with McHenry scale knuckle spring couplers


In 1939, the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors introduced the FT, the first road freight diesel locomotive. The success of the FT and the post-war successors, the F2 and F3, made EMD the largest locomotive builder by 1949. But in early 1949, there was a threat to EMD’s lead. The other builders were all offering a new type of locomotive, the road-switcher. As the name implies this was a locomotive that combined the features of a switch engine with those of a road freight engine. EMD’s first attempt at a road switcher, the BL-2, was not successful. The BL-2 was essentially an F3A with front and rear steps and walkways and had the upper parts of the car body sloped inward to improve visibility to the rear. EMD needed something better. In early 1949, the F3 series was upgraded to the F7 series. In October 1949, EMD introduced the GP7. The GP7 was powered by a 16-cylinder, 1,500 horsepower 567B diesel engine driving a D12 generator, which powered four D27 traction motors, exactly like the F7. The basic design, like almost all road switchers, followed the design of diesel switchers with the addition of a short hood instead of an end-cab. EMD also made the hoods full height to better accommodate the diesel engine and all of the mechanical and electrical components of a road engine.

The first versions of the GP7 were more switchers than road units as they came with smaller fuel tanks and were not equipped with dynamic brakes. In 1951, the second version was introduced with options like several sizes of fuel tanks, dynamic brakes, and steam generators. Fuel tank sizes included 800 gallon, 1,200 gallon, and 1,600 gallon tanks. When water tanks to supply the steam generators were added, there were options for tanks for 800 gallons of fuel and 800 gallons of water or for 1,100 gallons of each. These larger tanks required moving the air reservoirs to the roof to provide space for the tanks. These units became known as “torpedo boats.” Early GP7s had taller engine doors. On the Phase 2 engines with dynamic brakes, the doors under the dynamic brakes were shortened by four inches, leaving one tall door in front of the dynamic brakes. The Phase 3 engines used the shorter doors for all of the engine access doors regardless of dynamic brakes. Another variation was the cabless GP7B built for Santa Fe. GP7 production lasted from October 1949 until May 1954. There were 2,615 GP7s built for U.S. railroads, 112 for Canada, and 2 for Mexico. Major buyers of the GP7 were Santa Fe (244 and 5 GP7Bs), New York Central (218), Missouri Pacific (208), Chesapeake & Ohio (180) and Atlantic Coast Line (154). Other roads buying more than 100 units included Frisco (129), Seaboard Air Line (123), Chicago & Northwestern (121) and Rock Island (113).

In January 1954 EMD upgraded its product line with the 567C engine, D12B generator, and D37 traction motors. The GP7 became the 1,750 horsepower GP9. The GP9 marked the end of the car body freight locomotive (there were 3,808 F7s built). Externally, the first GP9s were little changed from the last GP7s. Later versions would change the louver arrangements and the last versions would come without the frame skirting. The GP9 came with all of the fuel tank, steam generator, and dynamic brake options as the GP7 including “torpedo boats.” There were also GP9Bs built for Pennsylvania (40) and Union Pacific (125). Production lasted until December 1959, although 13 additional units were built in Canada after 1959, the last one in August 1963. There were 3,444 GP9s built for U.S. railroads, 646 for Canada, and 15 were exported to South America. Five railroads purchased over 300 GP9s each. These were Chesapeake & Ohio (363), Canadian National (349), Illinois Central (348), Southern Pacific (328), and Norfolk & Western (306). Union Pacific and Pennsylvania also had over 300 GP9s when the GP9Bs are included. Pennsy had 270 GP9s and 40 GP9Bs and UP had 219 GP9s and 125 GP9Bs. Other railroads who bought more than 100 GP9s include Canadian Pacific (200), Baltimore & Ohio (194), Northern Pacific (176), New York Central (164), Milwaukee Road (128), and Nickel Plate Road (107).


DCC: Ready
COUPLER STYLE: McHenry Scale Knuckle
ERA: 1950's - Present
Minimum Age Recommendation: 14 years
Is Assembly Required: No

HO GP9, SP/Black Widow #5634



Out of Stock

This product is discontinued.
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