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Model 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.
NW was famous for manufacturing its own steam locomotives, which were produced at the Roanoke Shops, as well as its own hopper cars. Around 1960, NW became the last major American railroad to convert from steam locomotives to diesel motive power but didn't retire its last remaining Y class locomotives until 1964 and 1965. By 1965, steam on class I railroads was gone but steam wasn't gone on class II railroads until 1974 and class III and mining railroads retired their steam locomotives from their active roster until 1983. By 1983, steam in America on class I, II, III, and mining railroads had finally closed the chapter on America's 150 years of steam from 1830 - 1983.
In December 1959, NW merged with the Virginian Railway (reporting mark VGN), a longtime rival in the Pocahontas coal region. By 1970, other mergers with the Nickel Plate Road and Wabash formed a system that operated 7,595 miles (12,223 km) of road on 14,881 miles (23,949 km) of track from North Carolina to New York and from Virginia to Iowa.
In 1980, NW teamed up with the Southern Railway, another profitable carrier and created the Norfolk Southern Corporation holding company by merging its business operations with the business operations of the Southern Railway. The NW and the Southern Railway continued as separate railroads now under one holding company.
On December 31, 1990, the Southern Railway was renamed "Norfolk Southern Railway" to reflect the Norfolk Southern Corporation and on the same day, the renamed Norfolk Southern Railway gained full control of the Norfolk and Western Railway with the Norfolk and Western being transferred from the holding company to the renamed Norfolk Southern Railway, this began the final years of Norfolk and Western which was absorbed into the renamed Norfolk Southern Railway seven years later in 1997 (1990 to 1997 the Norfolk and Western continued operating by using paper operations).
In 1997 during the Conrail battle with CSX, Norfolk Southern Corporation's principal railroad, the renamed Norfolk Southern Railway, absorbed the Norfolk and Western Railway into their rail system, ending the existence of the Norfolk and Western Railway and having the renamed Norfolk Southern Railway becoming the only railroad in the entire Norfolk Southern system after that.
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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 11:28:35
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