GP60 IS A POWERFUL FAST FREIGHT LOCOMOTIVE
MODEL RAILROADER – March 2005
Atlas O has introduced an excellent model of Electro-Motive
Division’s GP60 road diesel that captures the prototype’s
angular good looks and delivers plenty of pulling power. It’s a
well-detailed mainline locomotive similar to the GP35 reviewed
in the February 2004 Model Railroader. Two GP60s are available
for use on two-rail layouts. One operates on DC while the other
uses the two-rail version of Lionel’s TrainMaster Command
Control (TMCC) with the RailSounds 4.0 system.
Third generation. Electro-Motive Division introduced the
prototype GP60 in 1985 as an advanced third-generation
locomotive designed for high-speed intermodal service. Its 3,800
hp made it the most powerful Geep ever built. The GP60
incorporated microprocessor computer technology to control its
operation and onboard diagnostics. Except for the three
demonstrators, all of the production GP60s were built at General
Motors’ plant in London, Ontario, Canada.
The GP60 was purchased mostly by major transcontinental
railroads, and all of the paint schemes offered are correct.
This model closely follows prototype plans published in EMD
sales literature. Our sample GP60 has a detailed three-piece
plastic body with individually applied railroad-specific details
and wire grab irons. The boxy dynamic brake housing indicates
that it’s a post-1989 locomotive. A heavy die-cast metal frame
includes the pilots, steps, and running boards, which have a
nice-looking safety tread. The fuel tank is a separate casting
with an opening underneath for a speaker.
The model rides on the latest style of EMD GP-type trucks fitted
with damping struts at opposite corners. These trucks have
well-detailed die-cast metal sideframes with factory-applied
brake cylinders, piping, and swing hangers. The blackened
nickel-silver RP-25 contour wheels match the National Model
Railroad Association (NMRA) standards gauge.
Each truck has its’ own flywheel-equipped vertical can motor
driving both axles. A black plastic housing conceals the motor
that’s in the cab.
Small soldering tabs are provided on the locomotive’s printed
circuit board for conversion to NMRA Digital Command Control (DCC).
A pair of plugs and color-coded wires that match NMRA
Recommended practice 9.1.1 are included along with instructions.
A heavy-duty (6 amp) decoder is recommended for this model.
The GP60 has directional headlights and a smoke unit to simulate
the diesel exhaust. The smoke unit is controlled by a small
slide switch concealed in the chassis under the engineer’s side
of the cab.
Sound and TMCC version. Atlas sells this two-rail locomotive
with factory installed Lionel TrainMaster Command Control that
offers a choice of 32 or 128 speed steps. The RailSounds digital
sound system and operating ditch lights will function only in
the TMCC mode. The Lionel TMCC is not compatible with NMRA DCC
Performance: Our sample GP60 started at two volts and ran
smoothly at a scale 6.5 scale mph. Its dual-motor drive
delivered enough tractive effort to pull 57 free-rolling cars on
straight and level track.
Once again, Atlas O has deleivered a great-looking model that
performs well. – J.D.H.
O Scale GP60 Features
Blackened nickel-silver RP-25 wheelsets (in gauge)
Drawbar pull: 19 ounces
Eight-wheel electrical pickup
Kadee-compatible scale magnetic knuckle couplers
Metal grab irons, handrails, and stanchions
Minimum radius: 36”
Provision for NMRA Digital Command Control (DCC) using plugs and
Twin motors with flywheels
Weight: 4.7 pounds
O Scale GP60 Locomotive
Two-rail DC, $419.95; two-rail with TMCC and QSI sound $449.95;
378 Florence Avenue
Hillside, NJ 07205-1799
Ready to run plastic and metal road diesel locomotive
Undecorated, St. Louis Southwestern (Cotton Belt); Atchinson,
Topeka & Santa Fe (yellow warbonnet); Denver & Rio Grande
Western: and Norfolk Southern
Limited editions: Electro-Motive Division demonstrator
and Vermont Ry.