Modern Diesel Locomotive Length

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Christopher62, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. Christopher62

    Christopher62 Member

    Can anyone tell me, are all the (real) locomotives being made today the long, six-axle type? Say I wanted to model a modern-day HO scale layout with modern locomotives but don't want the huge 22" sweeping curves, can I still do that? Additionally, are any of the older, shorter locomotives still in use today?

    Thanks all!
  2. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    I am no expert but most modern diesel electric locos are 4 axels total like in this picture.
    Also I see GP38 are common freight locos around here...
  3. nolatron

    nolatron Member

  4. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    I havent seen 6 axels anywhere, i thought that was old stuff lol ohwell :S
  5. kitsune

    kitsune Member

    4-axle road freight locmotives have not been manufactured in the US since the early 1990s, with the EMD GP60/GP60M. The vast majority of freight locomotives are 6 axle engines.

    HO scale 22" radius curves are not very broad. In fact, I haven't used anything below a 30" curve in nearly a decade of layouts. And those were small, around the wall designs with less square footage than a 4x8.

    Yes, smaller 4-axle engines like the GP38 and GP40 series are still common. They are primarily used for yard power, locals, and by shortlines. Smaller dedicated switcher designs are also still in service, though they are somewhat rare these days.
  6. Christopher62

    Christopher62 Member

    Hey guys thanks for the input. Good stuff. Thanks for those links Shaun. That's the stuff I need to see and research.
  7. ejen34

    ejen34 Member

    We have Geeps which are 4 axle and Dash 8's which are 6 axle around here :thumb:
  8. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Most wouldn't consider 22" to be a "huge sweeping curve", but merely the biggest curve you can fit on a 4x8 sheet of plywood.

    There are still plenty of four-axle diesels working around the country, mostly in second-line or switcher duty. The only "new" four-axle locomotives that come to mind are the smaller passenger locomotives I see pushing Amtrak Capitol Corridor and other commuter/regional trains, and the "Green Goat" prototypes--and unfortunately there are no models of the "Green Goat" yet (although I think they'd sell like hotcakes!) (In case you don't know, the "Green Goat" is basically a hybrid locomotive, built on a recycled Geep frame.)
  9. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    Chris--- I just sold two GP30's to a friend, but while I had them, I had no problem running them on 18" and 22" curves. In fact, they looked fine on the 22" track. --John R
  10. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    Maybe hes talking about scale wise when it comes to real trains. Lol cuz I dont see real trains make 22" curves at their scale I dont think... maybe im wrong i dunno :p

    ...ya im going to soon be running 21.125 " (custom lol i had to measure ;\) and 22"...or something like that :p)
  11. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    MPI & Rail Power still produce 4 Axle units, and NRE still rebuilds 4 axle units, look at BNSF's order of GP38-2's from NRE.

    Most of my HO units take the 22" radius of my test track well, though the Overland chassis on my Dash8-40CW derails.
  12. Christopher62

    Christopher62 Member

    I'll check that out Josh. Thank you.
  13. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    You're welcome! If there's anythign else, lemme know.

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