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Body Style Information: Life-Like introduced this model in 1994. They later recycled the same mechanism for their GP9-R in 1995. They added the low-nose version in 1996. In 2004 Life-Like introduced the Metal-Chassis version of the GP18. Most recently, in 2007, They redid the model as a full DCC-Ready model. All versions run fairly well. The 2004 and 2007s versions are split-frame design with dual flywheels, with a 5-pole skew-wound motor. However, only the 2007 chassis will support a DCC drop-in decoder.
DCC Information: From 2007 on, these engines have been DCC-Ready. Earlier versions don't take to DCC very well.
Prototype Information: The EMD GP18 was not a revolutionary locomotive. It evolved from the proven and successful GP7 and GP9 locomotive designs, keeping the best of their features and adding important new options of its own. Increased power was one of the main selling points, with the GP18 getting 1800 horsepower out of its non-turbocharged 567D1 diesel, compared to only 1500 horsepower for the GP7 and 1750 horsepower for the GP9. The most innovative design feature of the GP 18 was not introduced until near the end of production: The GP18 was the first EMD locomotive to be offered with a low short hood, a big improvement in cab visibility for the crew.
While these innovations were important, versatility was what made this locomotive successful. GP18s could handle a full range of duties, from switching to transfer runs to mainline work, passenger or freight. Among the many options offered were steam generators for passenger service, winterization hatches for improved cold-weather performance, dynamic brakes for maximum braking on steep grades, and a variety of fuel tank sizes to suit operating conditions and axle loadings.
EMD produced 388 GP18s from 1959 until 1963, with American railroads purchasing 350 units and Mexican railroads ordering 38. Replaced by the turbo-charged GP20 and the uniquely styled GP30, the GP18 was not as innovative as the locomotives produced before or after it. But when you measure the GP18 by the standards of versatility and usefulness, this was one of EMD?s most successful locomotive designs.
The Boston and Maine Railroad was chartered in New Hampshire on June 27, 1835, and the Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts Railroad was incorporated March 12, 1839, in Maine, both companies continuing the proposed line to South Berwick, Maine. The railroad opened in 1840 to Exeter, New Hampshire, and on January 1, 1842, the two companies merged with the Boston and Portland to form a new Boston and Maine Railroad.
The B&M flourished with the growth of New England's mill towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but still faced financial struggles. It came under the control of J. P. Morgan and his New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad around 1910, but anti-trust forces wrested control back. Later it faced heavy debt problems from track construction and from the cost of acquiring the Fitchburg Railroad, causing a reorganization in 1919.
By 1980, though still a sick company, the B&M started turning around thanks to aggressive marketing and its purchase of a cluster of branch lines in Connecticut. The addition of coal traffic and piggyback service also helped. In 1983 the B&M emerged from bankruptcy when it was purchased by Timothy Mellon's Guilford Transportation Industries for $24 million. This was the beginning of the end of the Boston & Maine corporate image, and the start of major changes, such as the labor issues which caused the strikes of 1986 and 1987, and drastic cost cutting such as the 1990 closure of B&M's Mechanicville, New York, site, the largest rail yard and shop facilities on the B&M system.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Technically, Boston & Maine Corporation still exists today but only as a non-operating ward of PAR. Boston & Maine owns the property (and also employs its own railroad police), while Springfield Terminal Railway, a B&M subsidiary, operates the trains and performs maintenance. This complicated operation is mainly due to more favorable labor agreements under Springfield Terminal's rules.
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Within five years, Walthers had grown so much that larger quarters were needed. Space was found on Erie Street, where everything -- from milled wood parts to metal castings to decals -- was made in-house. 1937 also saw a new line in HO Scale, featured in its own catalog. Bill brought operating layouts to the 1939 World's Fair, which gave the hobby a big boost. Soon, though, the growing possibility of war overshadowed these successes, and supplies were becoming increasingly difficult to obtain.
During the war, model manufacturers were ordered to stop production in order to conserve critical metal supplies. Walthers produced what it could from nonessential materials. A series of ads in 1943 saw Bill literally scraping the bottom of a barrel! The postwar boom meant rapid growth for the hobby; however, small homes and new families left no room for O scale layouts, and many modelers moved to HO Scale.
The next twenty years brought great change. In 1958, Bill retired and his son Bruce took over. Just as full-size railroads were being hard-hit by new technology, so too were model railroads. Leisure time was spent in front of the TV set, not the train set. In 1960, Walthers became a full-line distributor of other manufacturers' products while continuing expansion of the Walthers lines. By the start of the 1970's, business was booming again, and Bruce's son Phil joined the company.
Expansion and diversification continue under Phil's tenure. The establishment of the Walthers Importing Division added several international lines. The manufacturing plant was modernized. Code 83 track was introduced in 1985, giving layouts more realistic proportions. In 1990, the Cornerstone Series buildings were unveiled. Combining a freight car with a related industry, the Cornerstone Series makes it possible for modelers to duplicate authentic operations, enhancing layout realism. The Train Line Deluxe Sets and locomotives debuted in 1994. These sets feature the detailing of serious models and an affordable price -- allowing newcomers to get started, and then build-on to their first set, rather than replacing it.
In 2005, Walthers purchased Life-Like from Lifoam Industries. With this purchase Walthers acquired the Proto Lines that have become the backbone of their locomotive and rolling stock segments.
Today, Walthers continues to expand, improve and develop a wide range of products. Their latest selection can be found throughout Walthers.com and their printed catalogs, along with items from over 300 other manufacturers.
Item created by: gdm on 2016-11-16 11:22:09
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