Athearn Releases New EMD SD60s in HO Scale

Demonstrator SD60s EMD 1-4 spearheaded the product launch for EMD’s brand new 60-series locomotives in 1984.  Alongside is EMDX 9033, a lease unit wearing a simplified version of the demonstrator paint scheme.

Athearn Releases New EMD SD60s in HO Scale

By Railroad Model Craftsman Staff

Athearn Trains has released a new production of HO scale EMD SD60s in a multitude of paint schemes. Headlining this release are two of the most eye-catching liveries ever to adorn the sides of these 3,800 horsepower road locomotives – Electro-Motive’s 60-series demonstrator scheme and a simplified version of the scheme as applied to Oakway’s SD60 fleet that was leased to the Burlington Northern.   

In 1984, the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors launched the 60-series locomotive product family. The 60-series introduced intelligent microprocessor control for numerous locomotive functions for EMD, partnered with a brand-new 710-series prime mover derived from the prior 645-series powerplant. The 60-series was offered in both four-axle B-B and six-axle C-C configurations as the GP60 and SD60 respectively. Twelve cylinder versions were also cataloged, but of those, only the GP59 was produced.

Broadside view of EMDX 9033. After a number of years, the ownership of these 100 lease units was transferred from Oakway Leasing to EMD.  Horn placement later moved from behind the dynamic brake housing to the center of the long hood as seen on Athearn’s rendition of EMDX 9033.

As part of the product launch for the 60-series, EMD debuted an all-new blue and white paint scheme for its fleet of ten demonstrator locomotives that barnstormed various railroads across the continental US. Of the ten demonstrators, four were SD60s, along with three GP60s and three GP59s.  SD60 production concluded in 1995.

Athearn is offering EMD SD60s as part of its Ready-to-Roll line in the 60-series demonstrator paint scheme, along with EMDX/Oakway SD60s, Three different road numbers are available per scheme.   Additional liveries for this production include Chicago & North Western (Operation Lifesaver & Zito Yellow), Norfolk Southern (ex-UP and ex-CSX patch schemes), SOO Line (candy apple red), and Union Pacific (21xx number series).

Front view comparison of EMD 1 versus Oakway/EMDX lease unit 9033. Note the differences in rotary beacon placement, horn position and paint application –  prototypically correct for each unit.

Each model includes directional LED headlights, separately-applied details including wire-form grab irons, windshield wipers, MU hoses, and additional road-specific details as appropriate.  All wheels are driven with electrical pickup. 

DC+DCC-ready SD60s retail for $159.98 each, while DC+DCC+Sound versions equipped with Soundtraxx Econami sound carry a $229.98 MSRP.  Available now from your favorite dealer or direct.

Athearn • 2904 Research Road • Champaign, Illinois 61822 •

This article was posted on: February 15, 2022