Atlas HO Scale Diesel Locomotive GP38 & GP40
The Electro-Motive Division's (EMD) GP38, GP38AC and GP38-2, the fourth entry of second-generation diesel locomotives, were extremely successful four-axle models that would only further establish EMD as the premier diesel locomotive builder of that era. By the time the GP38/AC and later "Dash 2" models were released EMD was a veteran builder that knew what railroads were looking for, and it hit a home run yet again with the GP38/GP38-2. There are only very minor differences with the GP38 and GP38AC while the GP38-2 carries an updated prime mover and newer electronics. The locomotive looked almost identical to the GP35 thanks to that model's standard carbody and cab design that EMD stuck with through the 1980s.
Because of the GP38's success, hundreds remain in widespread use all across the country, particularly on regionals and shortlines.To date, there is only one GP38 known to be officially preserved, Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia #80 at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.
The Electro-Motive Division's GP40 series was the pinnacle of the builder's four-axle locomotives. Manufactured between the mid-1960s and mid-1980s the GP40 came in a wide variety of variants, six altogether, although the original design and "Dash 2" were both the most popular selling nearly 2,500 examples between them. By the 1960s railroads were beginning to understand the usefulness and efficiency of six-axle, C-C locomotives and as such began to purchase more and more, particularly during the 1970s. Unfortunately, for EMD, by the time production had wrapped up on the GP40-2 it was losing an alarming amount of market share to General Electric and before the 1980s had ended would lose first place and to this day remains behind GE.
In any event, given the relative young age of some GP40s and the fact that thousands were manufactured, many still remain in service on Class Is and can also be found on both short lines and regionals. Many have also been heavily modified or rebuilt over the years featuring modern electronics and overhauled prime movers. As a result, they carry little more than the original carbody with which they left the EMD factory.