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IC 6071
07-20-2005, 04:36 AM
Hi everyone. I was just wondering how to identify a locomotive's type. Like for example, how do you tell a GP38 from a GP35 or GP40, or a SD40 from a SD38 or a SD40-2. I feel really really stupid now but thanks to all that can help.

E.M. Bell
07-20-2005, 05:06 AM
I won teven try to go into all the differnt models here...there are just to many, and even more spotting features. The best way to ID motive power is by engine number, and a good updated roster.

There are several roster sites out there, but I would recomend this one...

http://www.ole.net/~rcraig/MPR.html

all you need to know is who owns the engine and the number to look it up...

4kV
07-20-2005, 05:10 AM
You should also surf around on this site, and provided the photos you see have the correct model on them, which is not always the case, you will probably start to notice the differences.

Ru1056
07-20-2005, 08:43 AM
You should also surf around on this site, and provided the photos you see have the correct model on them, which is not always the case, you will probably start to notice the differences.

Thats how I learned. I learned to look for the big differences first. Things like the shape of the nose, or if the loco has radiator flares or not also helped me.

Also most RR's have the locomotive type in smaller font under the road number on the side.

4kV
07-20-2005, 08:54 AM
There are also some deisel spotting guide books you can get at many train hobby shops.

busyEMT
07-20-2005, 01:28 PM
As E.M. Bell and 4kV wrote, using a roster and/or spotter's guide is the best way. So many times railroads modify the inner workings. HLCX bought a load of SD45-2s, but have been "downgraded" them to SD40-2s without changing the telltale body signs. Upgrades to (dash)3, like BNSF's SD9-3, are mainly electronic modifications.

I id by number and generalities (i.e. GE wings, wide cab, etc...) and research online when I get home.

BNSF_SD40-2B
07-20-2005, 02:22 PM
Upgrades to (dash)3, like BNSF's SD9-3, are mainly electronic modifications

Remanufacture included up-to-date throttle control,alertor,digital speedometer,new angular cab,and the 567C prime mover equipped with 645F power assemblies.

There are only four SD9-3s(6100,6135,6176,6199) on BNSF's roster but the plan was to rebuild 35.

Guilford350
07-20-2005, 02:57 PM
unionpacificfreak,

You may want to check out this online spotter's guide- http://www.railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1280

Also, if you're interested in locomotive specs, try my site- www.geocities.com/guilford_350

IC 6071
07-20-2005, 03:57 PM
Thanks alot for all of your help guys!

lucky77
07-24-2005, 11:37 PM
Check out Kalmbach ( http://www.kalmbach.com/ ) -- they usually publish a couple of Spotter's Guides. But then of course there's the modifications... :evil: Some railroads even label their locomotives with the model, or at least a general model, e.g. Wisconsin & Southern uses "GP38" and "SD40" although their GP38s are actually GP38ACs or GP38-3s and their SD40s are actually all SD40-2s.

-Mark
www.fuzzyworld3.com