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Friday, February 12, 2010

Athearn HO Scale FP45 Locomotive - Milwaukee Road

The EMD FP45 is a cowl unit type of C-C diesel locomotive produced in the United States by General Motors Electro-Motive Division. It was produced beginning in 1967 at the request of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, which did not want its prestigious Super Chief and other passenger trains pulled by freight style hood unit locomotives, which have external walkways. The Santa Fe preferred a cowl unit.

The EMD SDP45 was a good passenger locomotive, but to the Santa Fe it did not look the part. EMD therefore designed a lightweight "cowl" body to cover the locomotive, though it did not, as in earlier cab units, provide any structural strength, which remained in the frame. The cowl provided sleeker looks, better aerodynamics at speed, and allowed the crew to enter the engine compartment en route for diagnostics and maintenance. Final drive gear ratio for passenger service was 59:18.

The Santa Fe purchased nine of the locomotives (road numbers 100 through 108), and the Milwaukee Road bought five for its passenger service (road numbers 1 through 5). Reportedly, Illinois Central Railroad was considering an order for five FP45s as well (EMD order #5742, serial #s 34952-34956), but cancelled it. Such low production was feasible and profitable for EMD since the locomotive was fundamentally just a re-clothed SDP45. Power, as in the SDP45, was from a V20 645E3 engine (or prime mover) developing 3,600 hp (2,680 kW).

Milwaukee Road's FP45s were all sold for scrap in 1981 and 1984.

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