By Railroad Model Craftsman Staff
Now arriving in stores from Rapido Trains is the classic EP-5 electric locomotive for HO scale. The prototypes for this impressive electric engine were built in 1955 by General Electric exclusively for service on the New Haven Railroad, designed to haul commuters along the Shore Line Route between New York City and New Haven, Connecticut.
The arrival of these new streamlined electrics on the New Haven also heralded the debut of New Haven’s now-famous “McGinnis” paint scheme. The striking red, white and black livery was named as such after the wife of the president of the railroad – Lucille McGinnis, who hired Hubert Matter to design the scheme. Two versions of the new paint scheme were unveiled at General Electric. With Mrs. McGinnis’ approval, the chosen scheme made use of a bright red instead of a bright yellow as seen in the other experimental iteration of the new livery.
A broadside view of the new EP-5 electric from Rapido Trains.
Rare amongst road locomotives in North America, the EP-5 was a double-ended locomotive design with a crew cab at each end to eliminate the need for turning operations at endpoint terminals. They also carried third rail shoes and DC auxiliary equipment to enable operation with the third-rail system into New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. In all, ten EP-5s were constructed. Commonly called “Jets” due to the roaring sound made by their main blowers, EP-5’s became known for their rapid acceleration and great pulling capacity, but were also often sidelined due to their tendency to overheat. By the early 1970’s most of the EP-5s were replaced by the older, yet more reliable ex-PRR GG1s and by 1979, all EP-5’s were scrapped.
Rapido’s model of the EP-5 features era-correct detail options, including carbody, pantograph and hardware variations, a full cab interior and directional operating pantographs (sound-equipped models only). Liveries include New Haven delivery and repaint schemes (repainted units have a smaller NH herald on the nose and a repositioned/larger nose road number), Penn Central (black), as well as the unique experimental yellow/white/black version of the McGinnis scheme. DC+DCC+Sound equipped models come with ESU’s Loksound 5 factory-installed for $459.95 MSRP, while DC/DCC-ready silent models are $349.95 MSRP. Available now from your favorite dealer.
Rapido Trains, 500 Alden Road, Unit 21 Markham, Ontario L3R 5H5, Canada;1-855-572-6917; www.rapidotrains.com