Converting EMD GP7 to EMD NF210

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Oroka, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. Oroka

    Oroka Member

    I am from Newfoundland Canada, and I would like to do a N scale layout based on the former railway in Newfoundland.

    Problem is that no kit exists of the narrow guage locomotives. I am fine with using a standard guage track and trucks, but still, the EMD NF210 does not exist, in any scale.

    After extensive research, I have come to the conclusion that the NF210 was designed off of alot of major EMD GP7 locos. The engine section is very very simular, and most of the cab is the same too, but its location is right on the end of the unit, not a bit forward like the GP7s. Also, the NF210s are a 6 wheel truck rather than the common 4 wheel trucks of most GP7s, although there are 6 wheel truck GP7s.

    I would like to modify proably 2 GP7s into NF210s. Anyone have any suggestions and/or advice on the modification. I am a medium skilled modeler, pretty handy overall and feel this is a project that is within my skills.

    Here are some photo examples of a NF210:




    And here is a decent pic of a GP7
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    To start with, welcome to the Gauge. There are many modelers here that can help you, and I'm sure they will show up and give you the kind of advice you need. It wouldn't surprise me if you find a few that have already done what you want to do.

    Me, I can't help you in this since I've never tried a loco conversion, but I thought I'd just say hi, and let you know we are glad to see you.:wave::wave:
  3. Catt

    Catt Guest

    Hello Oroka,like Don has said allready "Welcome to the Gauge." also like Don,I'm afraid I can't help you much on this project either.Those certainly are intriging looking locomotives and I hope you keep us posted as you progress on them.
  4. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Welcome too the Gauge.
    Best bet...A few years ago, Kato came out with an SD-9. That would probably be your best starting point. This will give you the GP-7/9 long hood(SD9 hoods were similar)and the six wheel trucks. You might be able to find one on e-bay or at a local show.As far as the cab, looks like a kitbash. Cannon & Co. has cab kits that can be a good starting base. They might even have one that would pass. By looking at the proto pics, the whole project is going to be a complete kitbash anyway.
    Hope this helps...
    Don't forget to post pics.
  5. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    You might want to consider using the cab from an SW or NW backend forwards with a custom roof as a good starting point.
  6. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    WOW! those crazy canadians!!!...always screwing up perfectly good american locomotives! ;) :D

    I have a few questions...

    1. they look like they're narrow guage, are they really, or are they standard?

    2. Why did they build them? Where?

    3.For what special pupose?

    4.How old are they? (when were they built, what year?)

    5.What's with the end cab?

    well there's my salvo of questions! Welcome to The Gauge!:)
  7. Pete

    Pete Member

    Here's few answers:
    1) They are narrow gauge, 42" to be more precise.
    2) They were built for many of the same reasons as the rest of the narrow gauge lines - rough terrain meant steep grades and tighter turns than standard gauge would allow.
    3) See #2 ;)
    4) They were built by GMD (Canada's version of EMD) between 1952 and 1960. Three models were used; the G8, numbered from 800-805 and built in 1956; the NF110, numbered from 900-908 and built from 1952-1953; and the NF210, numbered from 909-946, and built between 1956-1960.
    5) No idea.

    Oh, and welcome!
  8. Oroka

    Oroka Member

    I really dont know about the end cab... being a Newfie, I would say that they had a problem converting from end cab steam locos, so they had diesel locos built with end cabs. Sounds like a bad newfie joke... :confused:

    I really never liked those G8s... but didnt see them very often in my area of the island.

    I didnt know they were built by 'GMD', everywhere I read, it says it was built by EMD for export. It is not listed as built under lisence either.

    ::Uphon research, EMD has a manufacturing plant in London Ontario, which was opened in 1950, and goes under the name General Motors Diesel (GMD)::

    The NF110/210 series for the most part seems to be a GP7, with the cab moved the the back, and narrow guage 3 axel trucks. Because of the extra 2 axels, the gap between the trucks are smaller, forcing a smaller fuel tank. Nearly all the shapes are the same on both locos. There is also a skirt covering half of the trucks.

    I have been thinking about how to go about modifying a GP7 into a NF210. I would have to use the high nose version. I would cut the high nose off of the cab, then cut the cab from the rest of the body. The end of the nose would be chopped off and put where the cab used to be, and then put the cab on the end, with the hole from the nose patched up.

    Here is a chopped up image of a GP7, with 3 axel trucks from a SD24:


    Orange is the relocated cab, blue is the part from the nose, red is scratch built and green is the trucks from the SD24.

    So. here is the question of the moment: Are there any GP7s on the market in a decent quantity, and maybe even some shells for spares?
  9. engineshop

    engineshop Member

    Check out Atlas web site. They sell spare parts for almost every model they made. GP7 is no problem and SD24 is one of the newer Atlas models that should be available on e-bay.
  10. Pete

    Pete Member

  11. Pete

    Pete Member

  12. siderod

    siderod Member

    Uh, no there wern't.....a 6-axle GP7 is an Oxymoron. You are refering to an SD7...GP7's (and any other Geeps) all had B-B truck configurations, where as SD7's (and any other SD units) all had either A1A-A1A or C-C truck configuration.

    Good luck with the kitbash...the cab would most likly have to be completely custom built, i don't think starting with a factory cab and modifying it would be any easier then building one from scratch.

    Good luck, and post pictures!
  13. Oroka

    Oroka Member

    Sorry, that was a uninformed assumption.

    I have looked over quite a few images of the NF210s and the GP7s, and the majority of the cabs are the same, so I can salvage much of the cab in the construction of a NF210 cab. Really, the back face is the only major structural difference.

    I am not expecting this kitbash/mod to be 100% accurate, but on this scale, minor details are often irrelevant.

    Engineshop: That is great! I am looking at thier GP7 parts PDF file... Every individual part is listed. Not sure of prices... but still, it is great. Even the cab is seperate which means that I dont need to hack it off the shell!

    Pete: Thanks. The first site is where I got most of my pics, and the inspiration for my layout. Never seen the second site before. Thanks!

    (inspiration pics)


  14. Oroka

    Oroka Member

    Sorry to double post, but I think this is deserving a seperate post.

    Is this a decent buy?

    I am un sure of the specs on it. It says "This Locomotive has Rapido Couplers. Not DCC Ready."

    Rapido Couplers and Not DCC Ready? Is this a standard thing, or a reason it is that cheap?


    I ordered a SD7 instead. I realized that installing 3 axel trucks on a GP7 would take some major reworking of the internal placement of the motor and other innards. I figure I should beable to shorten the chassie of the SD7, and just shorten the drive shafts.

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