Electro-Motive Division’s GP (for “General Purpose”) engines were the brainchild of project engineer Dick Dilworth. In the late 1940s, Dilworth saw that America’s 30,000 miles of main line rail had been virtually dieselized, but the 130,000 miles of secondary lines that carried half of the nation’s freight traffic were still largely steam powered. He viewed that as a huge marketing opportunity.
In The Dilworth Story, a book published by Electro-Motive Division in 1954, Dilworth explained how he tried to meet that opportunity: “In planning the GP, I had two dreams. The first was to make a locomotive so ugly in appearance that no railroad would want it on the main line or anywhere near headquarters, but would keep it out as far as possible in the back country, where it could do really useful work. My second dream was to make it so simple in construction and so devoid of Christmas-tree ornaments and other whimsy that the price would be materially below our standard main-line freight locomotives.”
Of course, Dilworth’s explanation conveniently ignored the fact that Alco’s arguably uglier RS-1 had introduced the road switcher concept eight years before EMD. And in one sense, Dilworth’s project was a failure. Railroads bought Geeps for mainline service and relegated older power to secondary lines as they had always done. But his brainchild became the runaway best-seller among first-generation diesel power. U.S. and Canadian railroads bought nearly 7,000 copies of the 1500 horsepower GP7, introduced in 1949, and the 1750 horsepower GP9, produced from 1954 through 1963.
In those early days of diesel power, experienced engineers loved the Geep cab because, unlike the new streamliners, it felt like home to them. An engineer in a Geep running long hood forward sat near the back of the engine, looking out over the power plant – just as he had in a steam engine. Even running short hood forward, the engineer’s view was out past the engine’s nose, similar to a steamer.
- Intricately Detailed, Durable ABS Body
- Die-Cast Truck Sides, Pilots and Fuel Tank
- Metal Chassis
- Metal Handrails and Horn
- Metal Body Side Grilles
- Detachable Snow Plow
- (2) Handpainted Engineer Cab Figures
- Authentic Paint Scheme
- Metal Wheels, Axles and Gears
- (2) Remote-Controlled Proto-Couplers
- O Scale Kadee-Compatible Coupler Mounting Pads
- Prototypical Rule 17 Lighting
- Directionally Controlled Constant Voltage LED Headlights
- Lighted LED Cab Interior Light
- Illuminated LED Number Boards
- Lighted LED Marker Lights
- (2) Precision Flywheel-Equipped Motors
- Operating ProtoSmoke Diesel Exhaust
- Onboard DCC/DCS Decoder
- Locomotive Speed Control In Scale MPH Increments
- Proto-Scale 3-2 3-Rail/2-Rail Conversion Capable
- 1:48 Scale Proportions
- Proto-Sound 3.0 With The Digital Command System Featuring Freight Yard Proto-Effects
- Unit Measures: 14 3/4” x 2 1/2” x 3 3/4”
- Operates On O-31 Curves
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