ScaleTrains Announces EMD SD45X As Next ‘Museum Quality’ Locomotive

ScaleTrains debuted samples of its next HO diesel locomotive — an EMD SD45X as part of its top tier “Museum Quality” product line.

ScaleTrains Announces EMD SD45X As Next ‘Museum Quality’ Locomotive

HO Scale (1:87)

By Railroad Model Craftsman Staff

On August 25, the first day of the 2023 NMRA National Train Show held in Grapevine, Texas, ScaleTrains debuted samples of its next premium HO diesel locomotive model – an EMD SD45X as part of its top tier Museum Quality product line.

Equipped with a 20-cylinder 645-series prime mover turned up to 4,200 horsepower, 600 more horsepower than standard SD45s, the EMD SD45X was the most powerful evolution of the EMD SD45 model family. More output also required additional cooling capacity, so an even larger and longer flared radiator section with an additional radiator fan was required.  In all, the SD45X measured 70 feet 8 inches over the strikers, fully five feet longer than a standard SD45. Rail enthusiasts immediately recognized SD45Xs due to its longer length, flat hood end at the rear, new trucks and a total of four radiator cooling fans atop the long hood.


Pre-production samples of ScaleTrains’ new SD45X model in HO scale wearing the EMD demonstrator scheme. 

The purpose of the SD45X was to evaluate and perfect new components for the next generation of EMD locomotives. These locomotives barnstormed the US. The SD45X was a precursor to what would become EMD’s next and most successful product line – the EMD Dash-2 locomotive series which debuted in 1972. Amongst the many new designs, the SD45X was the first locomotive to debut EMD’s new HT-C truck that was later employed under nearly all EMD six-axle Dash-2 engines yet to come.

Seven SD45Xs were constructed by EMD in 1970. Four test locomotives were outshopped in EMD’s classic metallic blue and white demonstrator scheme, while three more were delivered directly to the Southern Pacific Railroad as SP 9500-9502.  By December 1972, three of the four EMD-painted SD45Xs were purchased by the Southern Pacific and numbered 9503-9505. EMD 5740 was retained by EMD for further product development and use into the early 1990s.

Southern Pacific SD45X 9503 was one of three EMD demonstrators the railroad purchased in 1972. Pre-production model shown.

Liveries for the inaugural production of ScaleTrains’ Museum Quality EMD SD45X include EMD 5740 (blue/white “as-delivered”), EMD 4201-4203 (blue/white “as-delivered”), Southern Pacific (as-delivered) 9500-9502, SP 9503 (scarlet and gray repaint), and SP 9504 and 9505 in patched EMD blue/white.  Pricing and availability TBD.

ScaleTrains, 4901 Old Tasso Rd NE, Cleveland, TN 37312; 844-987-2467;

This article was posted on: August 25, 2023