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Model Information: Kato introduced this '2nd generation" SD40 model in 1991. Later, in 1995, they started producing SD45s with the same mechanism. In 2002 they revised an re-released the SD40. In 2010 revised and re-released the SD45.
When it first came out, the Kato 1991 SD40 was considered very innovative for its time. The model features full pilots with body-mounted couplers. These models (both pre and post revision) run very well with excellent all-wheel pickup and drive. They are quiet and smooth running (though quite fast compared to new Atlas slow-speed mechanisms). They can really pull and handle fairly well on sharp curves. The key difference between the early and later version of the mechanism is the DCC support.
DCC Information: The early versions (pre-2002) are considered DCC-friendly. The later revisions support drop-in decoders. I suspect that it is easier and cheaper to take one of the old shells and drop it over a new chassis than to try to convert an old mechanism to DCC.
Road Name History:
Until 1972, when the company was sold to its employees, it was named the Chicago and North Western Railway. The C&NW became one of the longest railroads in the United States as a result of mergers with other railroads, such as the Chicago Great Western Railway, Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway and others.
By 1995, track sales and abandonment had reduced the total mileage back to about 5,000. The majority of the abandoned and sold lines were lightly trafficked branches in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Large line sales, such as those that resulted in the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad further helped reduce the railroad to a mainline core with several regional feeders and branches.
The company was purchased by Union Pacific Railroad (UP) in April 1995 and ceased to exist.
Read more on Wikipedia.
In addition to producing ready-to-run HO and N scale models that are universally hailed for their high level of detail, craftsmanship and operation, KATO also manufactures UNITRACK. UNITRACK is the finest rail & roadbed modular track system available to modelers today. With the track and roadbed integrated into a single piece, UNITRACK features a nickel-silver rail and a realistic-looking roadbed. Patented UNIJOINERS allow sections to be snapped together quickly and securely, time after time if necessary.
The Kato U.S.A. office and warehouse facility is located in Schaumburg, Illinois, approximately 30 miles northwest of Chicago. All research & development of new North American products is performed here, in addition to the sales and distribution of merchandise to a vast network of wholesale representatives and retail dealers. Models requiring service sent in by hobbyists are usually attended to at this location as well. The manufacturing of all KATO products is performed in Japan.
Supporters of KATO should note that there is currently no showroom or operating exhibit of models at the Schaumburg facility. Furthermore, model parts are the only merchandise sold directly to consumers. (Please view the Parts Catalog of this website for more specific information.)
Item created by: nscalestation on 2017-03-04 11:59:04
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