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MODEL RAILROADER – February 2004

This versatile EMD GP35 diesel road switcher is a good-looking and powerful second-generation general purpose locomotive that will be right at home hauling a hotshot freight or switching a yard. It’s made by Atlas O in two versions for two-rail layouts that use either DC or Lionel’s TrainMaster command control and RailSounds 4.0 system.

Electro-Motive Division introduced the prototype GP35 in late 1963. Its clean lines and angled cab roof corners set the body style EMD followed for the next 30 years. By the time production ended in January 1965, 1,250 GP35s had been built for U.S. railroads, 26 for Canadian customers, and 57 went south of the border to Mexico.

The 2,500-hp GP35 was initially built for fast freight service. Most rode on conventional EMD GP-type trucks, although a few were fitted with Association of America Railroads type B trucks taken from Alco trade-ins. Atlas provides the appropriate trucks for each paint scheme.

The Atlas O GP35 closely matches the dimensions shown in a prototype drawing published in the Model Railroader Cyclopedia: Vol. 2, Diesel Locomotives.

The GP35 shown here is a low-nose Chesapeake & Ohio model with a detailed three-piece plastic body. Norfolk & Western and Southern models have a different cab and a high nose. Both versions include individually applied details and wire grab irons.

Most of the model’s five-pound weight is provided by its die-cast underframe, which includes the pilots and fuel tank. The corner steps and footboards have fine see-through openings while all of the running boards and platforms have a nice safety tread texture.

The GP trucks have well-detailed die-cast sideframes with factory-applied separate brake cylinders, piping, and swing hangers. The blackened nickel silver RP-25 contour wheels match the National Model Railroad Association standards gauge.

Each truck is driven by a powerful can motor mounted vertically above the kingpin. The motor in the cab area is neatly concealed by a black plastic housing with a crewman on each side. The trucks pivot around the motor shafts. A worm and gear inside each truck transfers rotation to spur gears which drive both axles.

Our GP35 came with a removable secondary printed-circuit board so the model can be converted to Digital Command Control (DCC). A pair of plugs with color-coded wires that match the NMRA Recommended Practice 9.1.1 are provided. Atlas includes an instruction sheet covering how to connect these plugs to the main PC board for easy installation of a heavy-duty (6 amp) decoder.

The model has reversing lights so the headlight is illuminated only in the direction of travel. At the same time, the classification lights display a red indication to the rear as marker lights for light engine or pusher movements.

Sound Versions
In addition to the DC model reviewed here, Atlas is making a another version that includes the Lionel TrainMaster command control and RailSounds digital sound system which operates only in the command control mode.

Blackened nickel-silver RP-25 wheelsets (in gauge)
Directional headlights and marker lights
Digital Command Control receptacles and cables
Drawbar pull: 21.1 ounces
Eight-wheel electrical pickup
Kadee-compatible scale magnetic knuckle couplers
Metal grab irons and handrail stanchions
Minimum radius: 36”
Twin motors with flywheels
Weight: 5 pounds
Windshield wipers

Price: 2-Rail (with Lionel Electronic system) $399.95
2-Rail DC, $379.95
Dummy units $199.95

Atlas O LLC
378 Florence Ave.
Hillside, NJ 07205-1799
Plastic and metal locomotive
Road Names
(Two road numbers each)
Low-nose models
Chesapeake & Ohio; Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe; EMD Demonstrator (limited edition); Gulf- Mobile & Ohio; New York Central; Western Pacific; and undecorated
High-nose models
Norfolk & Western, Southern Ry., and undecorated

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