By Railroad Model Craftsman Staff
At the 2023 National N scale Convention held recently in Reno, Nevada, ScaleTrains announced plans to produce the popular General Electric AC4400CW locomotive as part of its premium Rivet Counter Series for N scale. This all-new N scale rendition will follow ScaleTrains’ HO Rivet Counter model of the same locomotive to consumers.
GE’s AC4400CW marked the company’s first entry into the new generation of diesel-electric road locomotives utilizing traction motors powered by Alternating Current (AC) instead of DC (direct current) used previously. Made possible by advances in powerful microprocessors that finally enabled precise delivery of electrical current, AC traction provided several major advantages, including lower maintenance and the key ability to take on extremely high amounts of current for extended periods of time to deliver enormous amounts of sustained traction at low speeds. DC traction motors would either have to reduce output or otherwise quickly burn out if left under the same conditions. The adoption of AC-traction was another “great leap forward” in the evolution of heavy-haul diesel-electric locomotives. From 1994 to 2004, more than 2,800 AC4400CWs were produced, marking yet another triumph for General Electric over its once formidable competitor, Electro-Motive.
Paralleling its HO model, the ScaleTrains N scale Rivet Counter AC4400CW will offer a long list of factory-applied details and functionality. In addition to unit-specific and era-specific details that go beyond different cab windows, stepwell and dynamic brake configurations, details on all models also include separately applied windshield wipers, cab mirrors, sunshades, m.u. cables and hoses, air hoses, etched metal radiator exhaust grilles, and air piping with traction motor conduits on the underframe and much more.
Operating features include LED-illuminated directional headlights, ditch lights and number boards, Micro-Trains compatible couplers and draft gear boxes in addition to a precision five-pole motor dual flywheels, all-wheel drive and all-wheel electrical pickup.
Liveries for the N scale AC4400CWs include BNSF (Heritage II with gullwing cab), Canadian Pacific (Beaver & Beaver RCMP Musical Ride). CSX (YN2 and YN3.com schemes), Southern Pacific (Speed Lettering), Ferrosur (green) and Union Pacific with either yellow or red sill striping. Multiple road numbers available per scheme where appropriate.
DCC and sound-equipped N scale AC4400CWs will come with ESU Loksound 5 Nano decoders and a cube-type speaker for $254.99 each, whale DC+DCC-ready N scale models will be $149.99 each with a DCC-ready Nano connector. N scale AC4400CWs are currently expected to arrive in late February 2024.
ScaleTrains, 4901 Old Tasso Rd NE, Cleveland, TN 37312; 844-987-2467; www.scaletrains.com