Modeling Modern Secondhand Engines, Railroad Model Craftsman, July, 2021, pp. 60-67

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Tue Jun 29 16:11:43 EDT 2021

     This interesting article discusses how to decorate locomotives 
Norfolk Southern bought from UP and CSX.  The "new" locomotives are 
SD9043MACs and SD80MACs.

     This raises a couple questions.  First, last time I was in Roanoke, 
there were about a bazillion NS SD-40-2s mothballed on many tracks by 
the shops.  Why buy when you've got plenty?  Is this Precision Scheduling?

     Second, on a prior visit to Roanoke, just prior to the Conrail 
acquisition/distribution, the superintendent of motive power at the 
shops described a problem they were facing: Conrail had a passel of SD 
something big (70? 80? 90?) AC locomotives and it was up in the air 
whether NS or CSX would get them.  The super didn't particularly want 
them.  His reasoning was that the NS system is tuned like a racehorse 
for 150 car (or so?) freights pulled by two SD-40-2s.  All the sidings 
are perfect for that train.  The Conrail locomotives seemed to be like 
1.5 SD-40-2s, which gave them two unattractive alternatives: run one 
with a shorter train, or run two of these very expensive locomotive and 
overpower the train.  Do these UP and CSX units present the came issue?


Best wishes,
Bill Mosteller
Great Decals!

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