By Railroad Model Craftsman Staff
Now available at hobby dealers is the latest production of HO scale Canadian-built GMD SD40-2s from Bowser Trains. One of the most distinctive versions in this run are the models of CP Rail 5639 and 5640.
In 1983, the Canadian Pacific Railway applied “Elephant Ear” cowlings atop the radiator section to these two units in an effort to reduce overheating and shutdown in long tunnels caused by excessive intake of hot air into the radiator cores. The Elephant Ears were designed to funnel in cooler air found down low within tunnels. Additional road names in this production are without ‘Elephant Ears,’ but feature different road-specific details. They include Algoma Central (gray, maroon, yellow), FURX – First Union Rail (green/silver/black), Quebec, North Shore & Labrador (gray, yellow), HLCX – Helm Leasing (burgundy/blue) and Huron & Eastern Railway (HESR) / Marquette Rail (G&W orange/yellow/black). Multiple road numbers offered where appropriate per paint scheme. Even more road names and paint schemes for GMD SD40-2s are expected in May and June from Bowser including Canadian Pacific, Iowa, Chicago and Eastern and British Columbia Railway and others.
Other than Southern Pacific in the early 1970s, and Ferromex currently, the Canadian Pacific was the second railroad in North America to experiment with elephant-ear style cowlings in efforts to reduce overheating on their EMD/GMD road locomotives when operating in long tunnels.
Each Bowser GMD SD40-2 features all-LED lighting, including directional headlights, front ditch lights, illuminated number boards and operating classification lights where appropriate.
Details include separately-applied air hoses, windshield wipers, grab irons, coupler lift bars, and a host of road-specific details, including road specific headlight arrangements, different fuel tanks and more. The drivetrain is mounted in a heavy diecast metal chassis that includes a smooth drivetrain with can motor and dual flywheels, nickel silver wheels and knuckle couplers. Priced at $209.95 MSRP, the analog (DC) version is also DCC-ready with a 21-pin DCC plug while the DC+DCC+Sound version comes factory equipped with an ESU LokSound 5 decoder for $309.95 MSRP.
See your favorite dealer to purchase, or visit the Bowser Trains website for more details.