“Idling trains vexing neighbors” That was a recent headline in The Andover Townsman, our town newspaper. Pan Am Railways (PAR) operates freight trains throughout New England. Its EMD SD40-2 diesel engines (dark blue with white lettering and MEC reporting mark) can be seen powering long freight consists through our hometown of Andover, MA (approximately 30 miles north of Boston). Apparently, CSX engines, which also run through Andover, have been left idling on in-town train tracks (the same track used by the commuter rail) for hours at a time and this has vexed residents with excess noise (in the early morning hours) and noxious diesel fumes.
This story resonated with George (n-scale enthusiast and founder of TroveStar) for two reasons. He felt for our neighbors’ plight. And he runs Pan Am engines on his n-scale track layout in our basement, located some 6 miles from the town railroad tracks.
Like most of his train brethren, George likes to model what he sees. And he sees these 3,000-horsepower (2,200kW) C-C diesel-electric locomotives built by Electro-Motive Diesel (1972-1989) often when near down town Andover. Needless to say, he was pleased when InterMountain came out with not only a factory-installed ESU LokSound DCC decoder SD 40-2 diesel engine, but the Pan Am Railways version as well. The sounds produced are authentic and George does not miss having to install DCC technology. Here is a listing of InterMountain SD40-2 Pan Am Railways on TroveStar.
George shared the Idling Train story with the InterMountain folks at January’s The Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show. InterMountain’s Ron Angstead, President/CEO and Gene Fusco, Vice President, Director of Research & Development were visibly quite proud of this product release, which uses new tooling and sophisticated micro-electronics (DCC-Sound). “Micro-electronics is getting better. This makes it more feasible for manufacturers to add a new dimension, more realism to the consumer,” said Angstead. He and Fusco were happy to hear from a satisfied customer who bought not one but two of these engines.
As George explained to InterMountain, he kept one SD40-2 for himself. George runs the InterMountain engine along with the Kato version of the same item (sans sound). George’s thinking: in reality, most freight consists are pulled by two engines, because when one engine stalls due to a dirty patch on the train tracks (something not at all uncommon), the second engine can continue powering the train forward.
George bought the other SD40-2 as a Rewards item for one of the Contributors to the TroveStar n-scale model train db. Alain, who lives in France, enjoys modeling trains with his young son and has so far entered more than 2000 items. He requested this particular item and George was only too happy to procure it for him as a Thank You.