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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 IC is one of the early Class I railroads in the US. Its roots go back to abortive attempts by the Illinois General Assembly to charter a railroad linking the northern and southern parts of the state of Illinois. In 1850 U.S. President Millard Fillmore signed a land grant for the construction of the railroad, making the Illinois Central the first land-grant railroad in the United States.
The Illinois Central was chartered by the Illinois General Assembly on February 10, 1851. Senator Stephen Douglas and later President Abraham Lincoln were both Illinois Central men who lobbied for it. Douglas owned land near the terminal in Chicago. Lincoln was a lawyer for the railroad. Upon its completion in 1856 the IC was the longest railroad in the world. Its main line went from Cairo, Illinois, at the southern tip of the state, to Galena, in the northwest corner. A branch line went from Centralia, (named for the railroad) to the rapidly growing city of Chicago. In Chicago its tracks were laid along the shore of Lake Michigan and on an offshore causeway downtown, but land-filling and natural deposition have moved the present-day shore to the east.
In 1867 the Illinois Central extended its track into Iowa, and during the 1870s and 1880s the IC acquired and expanded railroads in the southern United States. IC lines crisscrossed the state of Mississippi and went as far as New Orleans, Louisiana, to the south and Louisville, Kentucky, in the east. In the 1880s, northern lines were built to Dodgeville, Wisconsin, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Omaha, Nebraska. Further expansion continued into the early twentieth century.
The Illinois Central, and the other "Harriman lines" owned by E.H. Harriman, was the target of the Illinois Central shopmen's strike of 1911. Although marked by violence and sabotage in the south, midwest, and western states, the strike was effectively over in a few months. The railroads simply hired replacements and withstood diminishing union pressure. The strike was eventually called off in 1915.
The Canadian National Railway gained control of the IC in 1998.
Read more on Wikipedia.
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 11:25:56
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