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N Scale - Life-Like - 7000 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SW8 - Atlantic Coast Line - 50

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N Scale - Life-Like - 7000 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SW8 - Atlantic Coast Line - 50


N Scale - Life-Like - 7000 - Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SW8 - Atlantic Coast Line - 50


Stock Number 7000
Original Retail Price $79.98
Brand Life-Like
Manufacturer Life-Like
Body Style Life-Like Diesel Switcher SW8/600/900
Prototype Vehicle Locomotive, Diesel, EMD SW8 (Details)
Road or Company Name Atlantic Coast Line (Details)
Road or Reporting Number 50
Paint Color(s) Purple and Silver, w. Yellow pinstripes
Print Color(s) Purple
Coupler Type AccuMate Magnetic Knuckle
Coupler Mount Body-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
DCC Readiness No
Release Date 2005-11-01
Item Category Locomotives
Model Type Diesel
Model Subtype EMD
Model Variety SW8
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era NA Era III: Transition (1939 - 1957)
Years Produced 1950–1954
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Life-Like introduced the SW9/1200 model in 1997. In 2003, they added the SW8/600/900 which is a very similar model which uses the same mechanism. It is fairly high quality and runs well when it can get good pickup. It is prone to stalling, however, whenever it has slightly dirty wheels, encounters slightly dirty track or runs over a turnout. For this reason, they are best run in pairs or at high speeds. That being said, the revised versions run better and the most recent releases that started in 2017 run quite well.

The reason for the stalling is due to the fact that it is simply a small, lightweight engine. Even though the chassis is all-metal and split-frame with a free-floating weight inside the cab, it just doesn't weigh all that much. Without enough heft, it is hard to keep conductivity with the track. The motor is s 5-pole skew-wound job. All eight wheels provide pickup and drive. Directional lighting is provided by an LED-equipped PC board mounted to the front of the chassis. The model uses chemically blackened wheels. Early runs used body-mounted Rapido couplers. Later versions feature Accumate or MTL couplers. The couplers are held in place with a plastic clip to permit easy swapping with the couplers of your choice.

Walthers also supplies the mechanisms for the latest 2017 DCC-Ready version to Micro-Trains which uses its own shell for their switchers.

DCC Information: There is no specific support for DCC on these models, but installing a decoder in the cab is a usual solution.

A wired DCC decoder installation for this model can be found on the following:
- Brad Myers' N-scale DCC decoder installs blog.
- André Kritzinger's Chessie System in N scale website.

Prototype History:
An EMD SW8 is a diesel shunting/switching locomotive manufactured by General Motors Electro-Motive Division and General Motors Diesel between September 1950 and February 1954. Power is supplied by an EMD 567B 8-cylinder engine, for a total of 800 hp (600 kW). A total of 309 of this model were built for United States railroads and 65 for Canadian railroads. Starting in October 1953 a number of SW8s were built with either the 567BC or 567C engine, they are noted in the roster below.

Road Name History:
ACL’s roots go back to the Petersburg Railroad in 1830. By the 1870s, their successors and some affiliated lines began using Atlantic Coast Line as a nickname and through a number of consolidations Atlantic Coast Line became the official name by 1900. Atlantic Coast Line funneled traffic from northern Virginia (and its connections to the northeastern trunk lines via the RF&P) down through the Carolinas, Georgia and into Florida as far as Naples on the Gulf Coast. Acquisitions after the war added routes from Columbia and Spartanburg, South Carolina to the coast and lines linking Atlanta, Birmingham and Montgomery to southern Georgia and Florida.

At that point, the Atlantic Coast Line boasted 5,743 miles of railroad, 629 locomotives, 361 passenger cars, and 31,284 freight cars. To put that into perspective for you western guys, that's four times the size of Western Pacific.

ACL was the premier route for New York to Florida passenger traffic. The ACL's "Champion" left New York on the Pennsy, was handed off to the RF&P from Washington to Richmond, ran on the ACL to Jacksonville, FL and was then handed off to Florida East Coast for the ride to Miami. The "West Coast Champion" skipped the FEC as ACL went all the way to Tampa on Florida's Gulf Coast on its own rails. ACL also forwarded some Chicago to Florida trains via connections. Much of the system was relatively flat, allowing ACL to use 4-6-2’s in fast freight service (one of the few railroads to do this.)

ACL is best known for its purple and silver diesels. This scheme was used on freight, passenger, and switcher power until 1957. By that time, it became clear that these colors were difficult to maintain, so the ACL switched to racing stallion black with yellow “tack.” The Atlantic Coast Line merged with the Seaboard Air Line Railroad in 1967 to form the Seaboard Coast Line.

Brand/Importer Information:
Life-Like Products LLC (now Life-Like Toy and Hobby division of Wm. K. Walthers) was a manufacturer of model railroad products and was based in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was founded in the 1950s by a company that pioneered extruded foam ice chests under the Lifoam trademark. Because ice chests are a summer seasonal item, the company needed a way to keep the factory operating year round. As model railroading was becoming popular in the post-war years, they saw this as an opportunity and so manufactured extruded foam tunnels for model trains. Over the years, Life-Like expanded into other scenery items, finally manufacturing rolling stock beginning in the late 1960s. At some point in the early 1970s, Life-Like purchased Varney Inc. and began to produce the former Varney line as its own.

The Canadian distributor for Life-Like products, Canadian Hobbycraft, saw a missing segment in market for Canadian model prototypes, and started producing a few Canadian models that were later, with a few modifications, offered in the US market with US roadnames.

In 2005, the company, now known as Lifoam Industries, LLC, decided to concentrate on their core products of extruded foam and sold their model railroad operations to Wm. K. Walthers.

In June 2018, Atlas and Walthers announced to have reached an agreement under which all Walthers N scale rolling stock tooling, including the former Life-Like tooling, will be purchased by Atlas.

Read more on Wikipedia and The Train Collectors Association.

Item created by: Alain LM on 2019-03-14 11:32:31. Last edited by Alain LM on 2020-09-16 01:30:59

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